Have you ever had those days when your pet decides to go on a sudden hunger strike? Out of the blue, they refuse to eat their favorite food! In fact, nothing pleases them, no milk, no meat, and at times they even start refusing to drink water! What exactly is wrong with my pet, how to manage this condition? Is my pet sick? Let’s find out!
Final Year Student, Bombay Veterinary College, Mumbai
WHAT IS ANOREXIA?
Anorexia is a state or a condition wherein your pet has a reduced appetite or no appetite for food and water. In fact, even a poor appetite can be indicative of anorexia which further can be indicative of something serious.
There are two types of Anorexia –
- True Anorexia and
- Pseudo (false) Anorexia.
True Anorexia – A condition where the pet doesn’t feel like eating and is not eating either. It works on both physical as well as mental levels.
Appetite is actually a psychological process and hunger is a physical one.
Whereas in Pseudo Anorexia – the pet wishes to eat, wants to eat, and has a will to eat but doesn’t eat. Here there is a presence of appetite but no hunger.
HOW TO FIND OUT WHETHER MY PET HAS PSEUDO OR TRUE ANOREXIA?
In True Anorexia, you’ll find out that your pet is –
- Does not ‘feel’ like eating.
- Not looking at his/her bowl.
- Ignoring the call for food.
- Isolating itself.
- Even if you keep food in front of them, they just turn their head or walk away.
- When you offer them food to eat, they’ll not eat, and not even look at it. (Even if it’s a meat product or their favorite food)
In Pseudo Anorexia you will find-
- Your pet going towards their food bowl to check it out.
- Drinking a little water.
- Puts his head near the bowl to eat but doesn’t eat.
- Sometimes they may lick/ or slightly chew or take the food piece in their mouth and then throw it. (Indicating that they wish to eat, but they can’t, because of some kind of sick feeling or illness)
WHAT ARE THE UNDERLYING CAUSES OF ANOREXIA?
Anorexia is a broad umbrella term and the cause for it can range from systemic serious illness to something as small as a mood swing behaviour.
Hence it’s very important to distinguish between whether your pet has reduced appetite; pseudo or true anorexia.
The causes for True Anorexia may include –
- Systemic Infections
The most common cause of anorexia can be due to Liver Infection or Liver diseases, Pancreatic Diseases, Kidney diseases. In fact any system of the body, if affected by infection can trigger anorexia.
Cancer is a serious disease and can manifest itself rapidly in the body affecting multiple organs at times due to its malignant behaviour.
Psychology plays a HUGE role in our day to day lives. It does play an important role in our pets lives too! Sometimes due to change in environment, some sort of negative situations, death of loved ones, separation from the owner, anxiety etc. can trigger anorexia.
Food Hunger and Appetite is in fact as physical as it is a mental process.
- Medicinal Side Effects.
- Gastrointestinal Blockage
If your pet is mischievous, or accidentally while playing swallows a foreign body such as a ball, Piece of Bone, socks, cloth, etc. It can lead to blockage of the intestinal tract. As a result, due to tract blockage by some foreign body, anorexia sets in.
- Gastrointestinal Infection
The most common cause of anorexia is Gastrointestinal Infection.. If your pet has ulcers in the tract or has recently recovered from Gastritis/ Enteritis/Parvo infection or is showing signs of vomiting and /or diarrhoea it’s evident that anorexia will be present (as there’s an Infection going on)
Whereas, the causes for Pseudo Anorexia includes –
- Change of feed.
If you change your pets feed very suddenly, they’ll not feel like eating it. Therefore it’s best to avoid any sudden feed plan change. Your pet will take some time to get accustomed to the new feed routine or regime. Hence, that must always be taken into consideration.
- Periodontal Disease
Any disease involving the gums and teeth such as gingivitis can trigger this condition as it becomes painful for your pet to chew the food.
- Food Burns
If by accident your pet eats or drinks very hot food, hot milk it can burn their mouth and hence they’ll be anorectic for a while until recovery.
- Sexual Behaviour/ Heat in females.
If there is a female dog or cat who is in heat nearby, there will be lost or diminished appetite of the male dog/cat.
- Infection in the mouth cavity or throat.
Gingivitis, Pharyngitis, Esophagitis, etc. Can cause inflammatory pain in their mouth and throat and It can be a painful process and hence anorexia is seen.
- Environmental Factors
Again, environment and psychological comes to play here as well. A sudden change of environment, separation, anxiety, fear, trauma etc. can lead to anorexia.
MY PET IS SHOWING SIGNS OF ANOREXIA, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
As mentioned before, Anorexia is a broad umbrella term and the cause for it can range from serious systemic illness to something as small as a mood swing behavior. To properly diagnose is the key to good health.
Quick diagnosis leads to quick response and treatment protocol which leads to a quicker recovery.
Your Veterinarian will diagnose your pet based on –
The smallest details can help in forming a confirmatory diagnosis.
i.e. Your Vet may ask you series of questions such as –
“Since how many days is your pet not eating”
“When was the last time your pet came in heat or was mated”
“Did your pet eat something from the road by accident?”
“Does your pet have fleas and ticks?”
“Does your pet have vomiting and loose motions?” Etc.
- Laboratory Tests
Your Veterinarian may run blood tests (Complete blood profiling, serum analysis, urine analysis, etc.) To rule out Infections (systemic illness such as Hepatitis, Gastritis, Kidney disease, etc.)
Sometimes based on history, if your pet has eaten socks/ball/foreign body, an X-Ray will be taken to figure out if there is blockage of the intestinal tract.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT PROTOCOL FOR ANOREXIA?
Anorexia is a condition that can be managed by giving some medicines, antibiotics, IV (Intra Venous) Fluids, or Saline to prevent excessive dehydration which can lead to death.
PENTAVET – our amazing product which is a combination of 5 Phos formulated exclusively for your beloved pets is helpful in the general treatment and management of anorexia. Each of this five phos has different special properties that work in their special way of treating the main underlying cause and thus improving anorexia, which is exhibited first and foremost.
It is very effective and efficient in improving anorexia in dogs and cats which could be due to any of the underlying causes like fever, vomiting, diarrhea, deficiency, anxiety, constipation, liver problems, or any unknown acute or chronic illness, etc.
Dosage – 20 drops 3 times a day or as directed by the doctor.
Anorexia can be a really strange condition. It could be because of a serious illness or because of something minor. However, as a vigilant pet parent, we must never regard any disease or odd behavior of our pet as a minor one.
Regardless of the type, anorexia as a symptom should be taken very seriously and should never be overlooked or ignored. Apt care and management must be provided for the best health of our pets. Quick Diagnosis will lead to a quicker Treatment protocol, good recovery, and better results for the best health of your pet.
PENTAVET is a unique formulation made exclusively for your pets to help manage the underlying anorexia along with the conventional medicine protocol.
Here’s to our pets; to eat or not eat if that is the question, PENTAVET is the answer!
Happy Pets for a Happy You.