The state of your dog’s health is a serious issue. As an owner, you must be responsible for keeping your favorite canine healthy and happy. As a result, you must consider various factors that may affect his or her health. While many dog owners are becoming more aware of the problem of over weight dogs, they remain in the dark about another serious dilemma.
Very few know anything about cachexia. They should. The opposite of obesity, cachexia presents more serious and fatal health issue.
What Is Cachexia?
Cachexia is a progressive disease affecting dogs. It causes your pet to lose weight. While losing a few extra pounds is usually not a bad thing, losing lean body mass is harmful.
Cachexia causes your animal to progressively become thinner. His or her muscles waste away.
During the process, even the skeletal structure is eroded.
Cachexia, therefore, is a physical wasting away of the body. It is accompanied by a loss of both weight and muscle mass. It is often associated with cancer. Cachexia is characterized by
o a definite weight loss. The weight loss occurs gradually.
o your pet being more than 20% below the optimal weight.
o the ribs of your dog become visible
o on short haired dogs you can easily see the vertebral column as well as the pelvic bones
o continued weight loss. Your dog continues to eat but does not maintain, let alone gain weight.
o a loss of body mass. It affects the ability of your dog to perform daily functions
o a lack of energy
o a lackluster coat
o eyes become dull
A dog with cachexia may already be suffering from other health problems. These are usually serious in nature. You have cancer cachexia. There is also cachexia lymphoma – tumors.
A dog suffering from cachexia does not have a good prognosis. In the case of cancer cachexia, there is a decreased quality of life. The animal usually responds poorly to treatment. The survival time of cachexia coupled together with cancer is very short than either problem on its own.
Dogs with cachexia need to gain weight if they are to fight the disease. This state of malnutrition can be slowed down if the diet is catered to address the animal’s nutritional needs. You need to formulate a diet that
o is low in simple carbohydrates
o contains substantial Omega 3s since tumours cannot metabolize fats well
o is high in fiber. This will enhance the bowel function of your dog. This is particularly effective in addressing disorders associated with the gastrointestinal tract.
o is high in vitamins A, C and E. Your pet needs antioxidants to help slow down or stop the wasting away disease.
o contains the mineral selenium.
o contains moderate in specific proteins. You do not want to feed your dog significant amounts of highly digestible proteins.
Working with your dog’s diet is the right path to take even if you catch the disease in its earliest stages. This involves making sure you improve the content of their diet. Heat up their food if it helps encourage them to eat more. Feed your animal food that will appeal to them more.
There is no known cure for cachexia in both humans and dogs. You can only do what you can to provide your dog with the tools to fight off the debilitating disease.
As in all issues involving the health of your pet consult your vet before proceeding with any treatment.