In people, anorexia is an eating disorder, associated with the desire of girls to lose weight by any means, even to the detriment of their health. Less often, it becomes the result of serious diseases that do not allow a person to consume the required amount of food. Animals do not care about their figure, which means that anorexia in dogs occurs for other reasons. What should an owner of an eating disorder know about?
Causes of primary and secondary anorexia
There are three types of disorders - primary, secondary and pseudoanorexia, each of which has a number of features:
- Primary anorexia, or in another way nervous , occurs due to frequent stresses that disrupt the activity of the nervous system and change the hormonal background. A similar type of pathology can also develop against the background of dropsy of the brain, inflammation of the brain caused by infection or head injuries.
- Secondary anorexia - accompanied by severe symptoms, is the result of various diseases.
- Pseudoanorexia - in this case, the nervous system and hormone levels are normal, but the dog is not able to take and chew food, although it experiences hunger. More often, a similar condition is observed in animals that are exhausted and exhausted by diseases. The appetite disappears in dogs due to toxic poisoning, taking certain medications. Decreased animals eat less or at times refuse food.
Anorexia in dogs can occur for the following reasons:
- due to problematic behavioral reactions - pets often try to manipulate the owner: they start to eat only goodies, take food only from the owner’s hands, refuse one feed, in favor of another, etc .;
- against the background of psychological problems - dogs are keenly experiencing separation from their family, a change of place of residence, for some loneliness is a real test;
- due to social problems - when living in a flock, weak animals may not get enough food; when overeating, the dog may also have an aversion to food, etc.
An eating disorder is included in the symptoms of many diseases and conditions:
- viral infections - more often diagnosed in unvaccinated dogs;
- the penetration of foreign bodies into the esophagus, stomach or intestines;
- diseases of the gastrointestinal tract;
- pathologies of the dentition;
- purulent-inflammatory processes (with a pyometer, abscess of the paraanal glands, suppuration of wounds, etc.);
- pain syndrome;
- diabetes mellitus and hypoglycemic coma;
- diseases of the urinary system;
- malignant or benign neoplasms;
- disturbances in the brain.
Almost any critical condition - heavy blood loss, peritonitis, etc. can be accompanied by anorexia.
Symptoms of anorexia depend on the type of pathological condition. In the primary disorder, the animal is disturbed by a headache, nerve spasms occur, coordination is disturbed in the dog, it cannot maintain balance, and there is a risk of epileptic seizures.
The dog feels sick, vomiting occurs. Often, cerebral edema develops, signs of pathological disorders in the central nervous system are manifested. The condition may be complicated by hydrocephalus - dropsy of the brain. The pet is behaving nervously, moody.
During a secondary disorder, the animal experiences pain, signs of intoxication appear. The pet tries to hide from outsiders, ignores commands, does not respond to them and whines. Perhaps an increase in internal organs, which can be noticeable to the naked eye. In addition, the condition is accompanied by symptoms of the disease that caused this pathology.
If the dog develops pseudoanorexia, then the following symptoms may appear: inflammation that affects the gums, toothache, paralysis of the masticatory muscles, which does not allow the pet to open its jaws.
Anorexia is a dangerous condition that threatens not only the health, but also the life of the animal, so most often it requires professional medical attention.
Suspecting something was wrong, the owner should first test the pet - it is anorexia or pseudoanorexia. For this, the dog should be given food and look at its reaction. Will the dog show interest, is it able to grab a piece and chew? Is the process accompanied by signs of pain?
Then you should evaluate the condition of the dog’s mouth. Often, an animal drops food when eating, sits in front of a bowl, but doesn’t eat, or, just starting to eat, turns away and leaves. This behavior can be caused not by disorders, but by diseases of the oral cavity - gums, teeth, tumor formations, chewing muscle tissue, etc.
If serious symptoms occur, the dog must be shown to the veterinarian. First of all, therapy consists in feeding the patient through a probe and conducting a diagnostic examination in order to identify the root cause of the disorder. A chest x-ray, an ultrasound examination of the peritoneum, a collection of biological material - urine, blood are prescribed, hormonal tests are performed.
For the first 3-4 days, the dog is force-fed with pasta consisting of high-calorie foods and meat balls. If vomiting and nausea occur, the doctor resorts to a probe. The veterinarian can install the tube and show the owner how to use it to give the pet food, which avoids hospitalization.
Forced feeding is used until it is possible to save the patient from the root cause of anorexia. If therapy is carried out at home, then the owner is recommended to keep a diagnostic diary, in which all the changes in the condition are recorded.
If the pathological condition is caused by pyroplasmosis, then maintenance therapy is carried out:
- saline solutions are added with the addition of glucose, ascorbic acid;
- immunostimulating drugs are prescribed;
- the dog is given funds that stimulate the production of gastric juice and excite the center of the nervous system, which is responsible for the feeling of hunger.
Veterinarians also resort to symptomatic treatment, but it is considered ineffective, since it does not eliminate the risks of unforeseen relapses.
Dogs who have had a serious illness or surgery are prescribed corticosteroids, anabolic steroids that stimulate the synthesis of hormones that are responsible for the feeling of hunger.
Nutrition and Care
Nerve stress is considered one of the important causes of any disease other than congenital. The reaction of the animal to moral trauma in the form of refusal to eat is quite understandable, but mandatory stopping of this process is required.
The owner should provoke the pet to eat, this will allow you to start the process of generating the necessary hormones. And although the dog will not be able to fully taste the food, he will begin to feel hunger.
It is important to provide a suitable environment: it should be familiar, friendly, calm. Do not invite strangers to the house, get annoyed if the initial attempts fail.
It is advisable to place the pet in a separate room / room, ventilate and sufficiently moisten the air, and ensure a suitable temperature regime. It is better to start with special pastes or canned pastes that have an attractive aroma, taste and delicate texture.
The patient should be provided with useful fluids: tea (warm), in which you can add a little honey, milk, sweet water (dissolve sugar in a glass). Also in this case, an ideal option would be infant formula.
There are a number of recommendations that will help the owner feed a pet suffering from an eating disorder:
- food should be offered in small portions, but often - every 1-2 hours;
- you can coat your nose or tongue with a small amount of food, while observing whether the pet will try to lick the food in order to try it;
- preference should be given to high-calorie and nutritious foods, but containing low amounts of fat - this is especially important if the pet is tormented by nausea;
- It is advisable to give food with your hands - any dog gratefully accepts such attention, which should be used; you can scoop up a little broth in your palm, dip your finger in food and offer your pet;
- the first food should be warm, have a soft consistency; You can add sauce, gravy.
When the appetite returns to the pet, it can immediately be transferred to the usual food.
Dogs are predators who require animal food as a source of protein for full life. Without it, serious disorders can occur in the body, including the development of irreversible processes. Therefore, it is very important to timely identify signs of an eating disorder and provide the pet with the necessary treatment and care.