Why is My Dog Acting Lethargic in Pasadena, CA?

Dogs do not have to be energetic at all times throughout the day, and many dogs sleep a lot when you are not home. Lethargy is different than resting up for the next play session, and it is not normal behavior for dogs. Knowing the difference between lethargy and normal sleepiness is key so that you do not miss the early warning signs of a serious health problem that could be affecting your dog.

Lethargy is a disinterest in getting up from sleeping, a lack of energy when playing, and a disinterest in food. Your dog might not even seem to be interested in you or other animals in the house. Lethargy can have many causes, some more serious than others, so you will want to learn more about what lethargic behavior might mean about your dog’s health.

dog lethargy in pasadena, ca

1. Infections

This is a common reason for a dog to act like they have no energy. You might notice your dog being lethargic at first, but their feet and their nose might feel hot to the touch. If your dog has not been drinking enough, you might notice that their skin does not snap back into place when you do the tent test.

Parasites and bacterial infections can both cause lethargy, along with various other symptoms. If you have not treated your dog for heartworm, this could also be the reason for their lack of energetic response to stimuli. Make sure that your dog gets to the veterinarian to be looked at so that they can get the right treatment for their infection in a prompt manner.

2. Metabolic Conditions

There are various kinds of conditions that can cause your dog to have little to no energy. These conditions include Cushing’s Disease and thyroid conditions. Diabetes can also cause lethargy in dogs. Dogs with these kinds of systemic conditions can usually be treated quite effectively with medications that are provided by a vet.

Your vet will be able to do blood tests to look for all of these different conditions. Once you have a confirmed diagnosis, you will be able to get your pet onto a medication regimen that will help them to feel much better and get their energy back.

3. Medication Reactions

There are certain medications that can make your dog seem listless and low energy. Some pain medications can cause this, and there are medications that impact metabolic functions that can have this effect as well. If you are worried that a new medication is a reason that your dog does not seem to have any energy, make sure to reach out to your vet. Some of these kinds of reactions might be serious, while others are normal and should not cause you to worry.

4. Anemia

Dogs with low red blood cell counts can feel weak and struggle to even stand up and move around. Your dog might be anemic due to a health issue, an injury, or a systemic condition. This can be a serious problem if it is not addressed.

Your vet will probably give your dog a transfusion to stabilize them and then start working on figuring out why your dog is not producing enough red blood cells. Surgery and other interventions could be required to resolve the issue. If your dog is diagnosed with cancer as the root cause of the anemia, you might be able to treat this problem with chemotherapy.

5. Toxicity

Dogs like to eat things that are not all that edible from time to time. In some cases, your dog might have eaten something that was contaminated, and this can cause a lack of energy as their body fights off the invading bacteria that have been introduced to their system. Toxicity can also impact the blood flow to the heart and cause a lack of energy.

If your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea, or you think that you witnessed them eating something that is toxic, you will want to get them to the vet right away. Toxicity can be deadly if It is not treated promptly. Your vet will be able to give your dog fluids and other medications to combat the toxic substance in their system and hopefully stop the damage that is being caused by the toxic substance.

6. Heatstroke

Heatstroke is a very serious condition in dogs, and it requires medical attention as soon as possible. Dogs with heatstroke often need to get help within half an hour, or they cannot be saved. Heatstroke can show up as lethargy at first and then progress to include vomiting, heavy panting, excessive drooling, and collapse.

Dogs are not very efficient at cooling their bodies off when it is very hot, so your dog should not exert in hot weather. Make sure that your dog also has access to fresh and clean water at all times to help avoid heatstroke.

Lethargy in Dogs Can Have Various Causes

Lethargy in dogs can be linked with various causes, and you will almost always need to take your dog to the vet to have them checked out if they are listless and have no energy. Some of the reasons for dog lethargy are easy to address, while others can be life-threatening and require surgery or a hospital stay for your pet. Lethargy might not seem like a serious condition, but it can sometimes be the first sign of a serious problem that needs immediate medical attention.

Knowing your dog and their usual energy levels can help you to decide if your dog is lethargic or if they are just extra sleepy on a specific day. You will need to be aware of the possibility that a lack of energy could be related to a serious health issue, and make sure to pay attention if your dog starts to act like they aren’t interested in life. Getting your dog to the vet is always a good idea if you think that anything out of the normal is going on.

If you have concerns about your dog being lethargic give your Altadena Pet Hospital vet a call today at (626) 798-0738.