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Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Unfortunately these signs are too general to pinpoint to a cause. Your dog may have picked up and eaten something untowards, and now has a serious tummy ache. He may also have damaged his back You should take him to a veterinarian ASAP for an exam.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Parasitic, Bacterial and Viral Infections – Infections causing lethargy and lack of appetite range from a simple case of a kennel cough; a respiratory disease treated with antibiotics, to more serious infections such as distemper, parvovirus or heartworm disease.
The most common causes of lethargy in dogs are: Infection, including parvovirus, distemper, kennel cough and leptospirosis. Metabolic diseases, such as heart problems, liver problems, diabetes, and hypoglycaemia. Medications, such as newly prescribed drugs or a new flea or worm product.
Pain and discomfort

Pain: If your dog is in pain, it may remain hidden or become reluctant to interact with the family. Your dog may seem to be panting more than usual or trembling. You may also notice other signs of pain like irritability, restlessness, or aggression.

Lethargy doesn`t necessarily affect a dog`s appetite unless there are other symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea. “You can be really lethargic, but still maintain your appetite and have normal water drinking,” Dr. Attas says.
Seeming sluggish and tired

A lethargic dog may be uninterested in playing, going for a walk, or participating in activities they usually enjoy. Normal fatigue or sore muscles can sometimes be due to high temperatures, but you should see a vet if symptoms persist for more than two days.

Some of the signs of parvovirus include lethargy; loss of appetite; abdominal pain and bloating; fever or low body temperature (hypothermia); vomiting; and severe, often bloody, diarrhea. Persistent vomiting and diarrhea can cause rapid dehydration, and damage to the intestines and immune system can cause septic shock.
A lethargic dog is typically: Excessively tired, groggy, slow. Listless (lacking energy or enthusiasm) Uninterested in normal activities.
If your dog suddenly starts following you, and is more clingy than usual, it could mean that they`re feeling unwell and may need some extra reassurance and love. If you`re concerned about their health, then you should consult your vet.
What are the typical signs of pain in dogs? General behaviour: Shaking, flattened ears, low posture, aggression, grumpy temperament, panting or crying, excessive licking or scratching a specific area, reluctant to play, interact or exercise, lameness (limping), stiffness after rest, loss of appetite.
You can try offering your dog some of their favorite treats or a small amount of cooked chicken or hamburger. If the problem lasts more than a day or is associated with other symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, and weakness, the best course of action is to see your vet.
Signs of heartworm disease may include a mild persistent cough, reluctance to exercise, fatigue after moderate activity, decreased appetite, and weight loss. As heartworm disease progresses, pets may develop heart failure and the appearance of a swollen belly due to excess fluid in the abdomen.
Sick dogs need a lot of sleep and rest. Provide a quiet and comfortable place for your dog to relax that is free of disturbances, including other pets or young children who may be a bother. You may want to keep your sick dog in a private room or separate area of the house to ensure that they are left alone.
It turns out that yes, dogs, just like us, can feel under the weather. Of course, there are dog-specific diseases, like parvo, ringworm, and more that can make our dogs feel sick. But it turns out that dogs can actually get both colds and the flu too! As a woofer-owner, that may be disheartening to hear.
The first sign of parvo for puppies is often lethargy, lack of appetite, and a fever. Canines will begin to suffer from vomiting and diarrhea as the virus progresses, and can experience dehydration and a high heart rate as a result.
Generally, there are three primary ways that you can tell when a dog needs your help: physiological changes, behavioral changes, and signs of pain or discomfort.
Dog`s eyes can produce tears, but insofar as we are capable of knowing, they don`t seem to be producing emotional tears. They most certainly are capable of expressing emotion, and they typically will express sadness by whimpering or whining or hiding their face. They just don`t cry when they`re sad.
Chronic illness may cause dogs to stop eating but continue drinking. If your dog is avoiding food but is drinking excessive amounts of water—much more than is normal for him—this is a telltale sign that he has develop diabetes. Take him to the vet for a diagnosis and to find out more about his options.
This is because they know you are tired and your energy is much lower than it normally is. They pick up on your cues and adjust their behavior accordingly. Your dog wants to make you feel better, comfort you, and lower your stress levels when you`re sick and this is how they attempt to do just that.
So, yes, a puppy can definitely think of you as his “mother” — that is, his provider and protector — and develop as strong an emotional bond with you as if you were blood-related. Your puppy will also quickly learn to pick you out among strangers, both by sight and through his powerful sense of smell.
Dogs can become anxious when they are in pain and panting can be a sign of anxiety. Trembling can indicate pain somewhere. Lip smacking may be an indication of pain. Again, this could indicate a tooth problem, but it could also be the gums or tongue.
Separation anxiety is triggered when dogs become upset because of separation from their guardians, the people they`re attached to. Escape attempts by dogs with separation anxiety are often extreme and can result in self-injury and household destruction, especially around exit points like windows and doors.
Get Some Sunshine: Sometimes we forget that dogs were originally wild animals who love nature and the outdoors. This is still rooted in your dog`s instincts so his depression could be linked to a lack of outdoor activity. Try getting your dog to go on more walks or to play fetch with you in the yard.
A responsible dog owner does their best to make sure their four-legged friend is the happiest and healthiest at all times. Exercise, a healthy diet, regular grooming, and socialization are some of the most important aspects of owning a dog.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My dachshund woke up fine today, but after he went outside the yard he is acting weird. He is lethargic, doesn’t want to eat, and cant get comfortable
ANSWER : A. Unfortunately these signs are too general to pinpoint to a cause. Your dog may have picked up and eaten something untowards, and now has a serious tummy ache. He may also have damaged his back You should take him to a veterinarian ASAP for an exam.

Q. My dog doesn’t eat, what should I do?
ANSWER : A. If this is a puppy, see a veterinarian immediately. Puppies should want to eat. Common causes for anorexia in puppies include viruses (parvo is a big one), parasitism, and foreign bodies. They need immediate care – go to an emergency vet if yours isn’t open. Puppies can get low blood sugar and dehydration very quickly.

If this is an adult dog and you observe other concerning signs, such as diarrhea or decreased energy, you should see a veterinarian.

If the dog seems otherwise bright and stable, try offering different types of food: wet food, canned tripe, or cooked chicken and rice. Some dogs will go for canned baby food: chicken, turkey, or beef as the main ingredient. Make sure there are no garlic or onions in the ingredients!

Causes of anorexia in adult dogs can range from less serious to severe. Younger dogs are more likely to get into trouble- they tend to eat things they shouldn’t, and can get foreign bodies from eating things like socks, or stomach upset from getting in the trash. Any dog may stop eating due to stress, or just being a picky eater. Middle aged dogs can stop eating when they’re stressed and also have Addison’s disease, which can be fatal. Older dogs tend to stop eating when they develop cancer or renal disease.

There is no one-size-fits-all recipe to know when the right time is to take your dog to the vet. The moral of this story is, if it’s not getting better, your pup feels bad, or you’re worried – go see the vet!

Read Full Q/A … : My Dog Won’t Eat

Q. My dog hasnt eaten snce I left 4 days ago. I won’t be home for 6 more days. How can the caretaker get her to eat?
ANSWER : A. If your dog is feeling a bit sad while you are away and is refusing to eat, your pet sitter may try some things such as adding in boiled chicken or turkey to meals to encourage eating. A pet-safe gravy may also entice your dog to eat as well while you are gone. Your pet sitter may also want to offer smaller meals more often throughout the day to give your dog more chances to try and eat when she is feeling more comfortable and a little less sad. A game of fetch or playing together may also get your dog’s appetite going and help her to feel more comfortable eating around your pet sitter.

If your dog is showing any other signs of illness in addition to the refusal to eat (beyond normal missing an owner), then it is always a good idea to keep an eye out and contact a veterinarian as needed.

Read Full Q/A … : ufdc.ufl.edu

Q. Why does my dog eat grass?
ANSWER : A. As another user mentioned, dogs can eat grass when they want to vomit. Sometimes, when a dog has an upset tummy, they will eat grass. If you notice your dog eating grass frantically, you can assume vomiting will shortly follow. Grass does not digest and pass normally. If your dog eats too much grass, it can cause serious issues with pooping. Your dogs poop can end up all tangled inside of her, and it can need veterinary assistance to remove it. The same goes for celery, so avoid feeding celery to your dog.

The other day my boyfriend accidentally left the laundry room door open where we were keeping the trash that was filled with cooked chicken bones. She ate one of the chicken bones lightning fast. We had to induce vomiting by feeding her some hydrogen peroxide. After we had fed her the peroxide, she immediately began frantically eating grass because her tummy was upset.

If there is something lacking in your dogs diet, it could be that your dog is eating grass to make up for it. I am sure that my dogs diet is extremely well balanced (I do not only feed her an air-dried raw food-type diet (Ziwipeak), but a wide variety of safe, healthy foods), so when she eats grass, I know that it is because she has an upset tummy.

That is why I think it is important making sure your dog has a very well balanced diet. If your dog is on a low quality kibble, your dog may be trying to let you know by eating grass (or eating poop).

Q. My puppy refuses to walk outside on the leash. This only happens when we’re outside… Is it stubbornness or fear?
ANSWER : A. It is never stubbornness. Dogs are not stubborn, they can’t be. Dogs do not generalize well, and dogs display fearful behavior that appears to be stubbornness. Absolutely NEVER force this dog to walk outside when he is uncomfortable with doing so.. the more you force him to do it, opposition reflex – the more he will resist. The more he resists and is forced into it, the less he learns about being comfortable, and the more he becomes fearful of you and of the situation.

What you can do is carry extremely high value treats outside with you. Things like cooked white meat chicken, cooked fish, turkey pepperoni, turkey bacon, diced ham, mozzarella cheese sticks – all cut up into tiny little pea-sized pieces. You can also use peanut butter in a squeeze tube. First, put on the leash indoors and begin feeding him the treats. Help him make positive associations with having the leash put on. Then, take the leash off, and start over in 10min. Put the leash on, feed treats, walk to the door, open the door, feed treats, close door, take off leash. Start over in 10min. Put on leash, feed treats, go to door, feed treats, open door, feed treats, go outside, feed tons of treats and praise. Keep Titus in his comfort zone. If he doesn’t want to go far, just feed him tons of treats where he IS comfortable going. Make sure everything is calm/happy/positive. I bet in a week of doing this, he will be happy with walk further and further all of the time. If ever he is uncomfortable, feed him lots of treats for being a brave boy, and then turn around and go back home. It’s all about keeping him in his comfort zone.. it’s all about remaining within his threshold and never forcing him to feed uncomfortable.

This is very common for puppies. The world is scary! It’s brand new to them, and it’s up to you to make their interactions and discoveries positive, happy, calm, and to never force them into anything.

Q. My 3 month puppy eats his own poop and is also biting what can I do to prevent this
ANSWER : A. When it comes to poop eating, you want to consider a few things. First off, what is his diet like? Maybe something is lacking in his diet that is causing him to want to eat his own poop. This is the most common reason why dogs eat THEIR OWN poop. Try a higher quality kibble like Taste of the Wild, Ziwipeak, Orijen.. and try feeding three meals per day, instead of the more common two meals per day. Remember to gradually switch his kibble. Add a little bit of the new kibble and reduce the old kibble very slowly.. little by little every couple of days until the bowl is mostly new kibble! You should also be cleaning up his poops IMMEDIATELY after he does them.. I mean like, you have a bag in your hand, and you are low enough to scoop it up RIGHT when he finished so he doesn’t have a chance to eat his poop.

When it comes to nipping there are a few things you can do. First, you should yelp as soon as the teeth touch your skin, stand up, cross your arms, and ignore the puppy until he is ignoring you. Once he is off doing his own thing, swoop down and calmly reward him by playing with him WITH A TOY so he doesn’t nip your hands. Whenever you pet him, or interact with him, you should always have a toy on-hand so you can give it to him. This toy should be a soft braided rope toy that YOU own. This means, your puppy is never allowed to have this toy on the floor, and your pup can never “win” tug games with this toy. This is YOUR toy that disappears when you’re finished playing, and reappears when you want to play. If you keep this up, in a weeks time, your puppy will be so excited to see that toy, that as soon as you bring it out, he stops nipping you because he wants to play with the toy. Another thing you can do is have two bags of toys. Bag#1 is full of chew toys/soft toys/squeaky toys/etc. After one week, Bag#1 disappears and out comes Bag#2. Bag#2 has the same types of toys as Bag#1, and it only stays out for one week. This keeps the toys feeling like new to your pup!

Q. My 20 month Cavalier doesn’t eat unless I let him eat from my finger, then he eats. Sometimes he will only eat once a day and leave his food.
ANSWER : A. It is possible that your dog is just not satisfied with his current food, or may be a picky eater. There are several things you can try to encourage your dog to eat.

The first step is to remove any additional treats or people food that may be more enticing to your dog than his own meal. If you feel you must give him some form of treat, be sure to place them directly in his food bowl and mixed with his regular diet. This allows him to get some snacks while also “forcing” him to try out his current meal to get the reward.

Enticing your dog to try his food by adding a pet-safe gravy or even a few treats of plain boiled chicken mixed in can help. Be sure to mix the foods thoroughly so he must explore his own food before getting the treat.

Some small breed dogs may also have a hard time with certain bowls and their collars. If there is a metal name tag on the collar and a metal bowl, the clinking sound can sometimes scare off dogs and make them not want to eat from their bowl. Using a bowl of a different material, or removing the collar prior to a meal may help with this issue.

Your dog may also just not be into his current food and may like another variety better. You can try a new variety by gradually switching over a period of 7-9 days, slowly adding in more new food and removing old until it is switched. This change may encourage him to try out meals again, and the slow changeover will allow his body to adjust to the new diet without digestive upset.

Q. My 13 year old male cat is acting lethargic & doesn’t seem to be feeling well. I don’t know what’s wrong except that he has fleas. Can too many fleas
ANSWER : A. Excessive fleas can cause anemia in cats, left untreated, this can be life-threatening. I recommend getting your cat seen by your vet right away for his illness. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard, since fleas will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.