Does your dog look weak and lethargic from time to time? Dogs go through cycles just like we do, and it is natural that they feel tired and lazy sometimes, especially during the hot summer days. However, if your dog suddenly becomes lethargic and inactive and the condition persists, you need to find out the reason and observe your dog carefully for other possible illness symptoms.
There are many possible reasons that can make a dog lethargic.
If your normally-energetic dog has suddenly slowed down, and has lost enthusiasm in doing his favorite things (e.g. walking, playing games, eating), you need to pay attention and try to find out what is making your dog lethargic.
Lethargy is a symptom that cannot be ignored. It's an early warning sign that tells you there is something wrong with your dog.
Lethargy in dogs in a common illness symptom. If a dog is sick, injured, or depressed, lethargy is almost always one of the first symptoms to show.
The difficult thing is, a lot of illnesses can make a dog lethargic, and so it is impossible to pinpoint a particular physical problem in the absence of some other symptoms. It is therefore essential that we observe our dog carefully for other symptoms or abnormal behaviors if the dog suddenly becomes sluggish.
Lethargy is basically a decrease in activity level. A lethargic dog may:
As mentioned above, there are a lot of possible reasons that can make a dog lethargic. Common causes include:
Young puppies are normally full of energy. If they suddenly become lethargic, it may be because of some kind of infectious diseases, such as distemper, or parvovirus. Check the body temperature of your puppy if she suddenly becomes lethargic. (Normal dog temperature is between 101°F to 102.5°F.) If the dog lethargy is accompanied by fever, take your puppy to the vet immediately.
If a dog is anemic, there are not enough red blood cells to transport oxygen to different parts of the dog's body. A lack of oxygen can make a dog lethargic.
Anemia can be caused by flea infestations, gastrointestinal parasites such as worms, or more seriously, internal bleeding caused by ulcers or other conditions (e.g. poisoning, clotting disorders, bone marrow disorders, cancer).
Pain caused by injuries or physical problems can also make a dog lethargic. If a dog is in pain, obviously he does not want to move too much. As well, in the case of an injury, many of the body's resources and energy are redirected to the injury site to promote healing, so it is understandable that an injured dog does not have sufficient resources or energy for other normal activities.
Common examples of dog health problems that cause pain include:
Dogs who are obese are less likely to move around and engage in activities since it simply takes too much effort and energy! Also, because of a lack of exercise, they feel more tired and tend to sleep more. It is a vicious cycle!
Malnutrition (e.g. poor diet), health problems that interfere with nutrient absorption (e.g. inflammatory bowel disease, worm infestations) can result in weight loss and lethargy in dogs.
Older dogs naturally have less energy than young puppies and they tend to move slower due to achy joints. They are more prone to suffer from such age-related ailments as heart failure and liver disease, which can also make a dog lethargic.
A dog may become lethargic simply because of a lack of stimulation! Dogs that are cooped up in the house all day, dogs whose human buddies are too busy to play with them, and dogs who are left alone most of the time will naturally feel bored. Over time, this may lead to lethargy and even depression.
As lethargy is a symptom, it is necessary to first pinpoint the exact underlying root problem that is making the dog lethargic. By identifying and tackling the root problem, the symptom (lethargy) will go away.
In the meantime, however, there are several things that we can do to give our lethargic dog an energy boost.
Rosemary is another tonic herb that is especially good for aging dogs. It helps prevent senility and is also an antioxidant and energizer.
This natural supplement contains spirulina, chlorella, flaxseed, turmeric, alfalfa, and a lot of other natural ingredients that are antioxidants and nutrient-rich. The supplement can boost the immune system, promote healthy organs and systems, and give that extra "spark" to your dog's energy.