Has Your Dog’s Appetite Become Ravenous?
When a dog’s appetite turns from normal to ravenous, then he has developed a condition called polyphagia. There are several causes of polyphagia and they can range from disease to psychological problems to learned behavior; as such, the treatment is typically determined by the root cause at play.
Signs and Symptoms of Polyphagia
Of course, the most evident sign of polyphagia is the dog’s increase in appetite, but that isn’t the only sign to watch out for. If a dog is suffering from polyphagia, then other symptoms commonly associated with it include:
- Polydipsia (increased thirst)
- Polyuria (increased frequency in urination)
- Weight gain
- Inability to absorb food properly
What Causes Increased Appetite in Dogs?
As stated earlier, there can be several things that can cause a dog to have an increase in his appetite. For instance, diabetes is a common cause of polyphagia because the body is unable to assimilate its blood sugar, and the resulting low blood sugar levels can have an impact of the dog’s appetite. Insulin-related tumors can have a similar effect on a dog’s appetite.
Hyperthyroidism is another potential cause of polyphagia, but it is rare in dogs. In this case, the thyroid’s overproduction of thyroxine pushes the cells in the body into overdrive, causing an increased metabolism, which is often accompanied by an increased appetite.
Another cause might be that the dog has a problem in his gastrointestinal system that is causing his body to not absorb food properly. Such problems can range from inflammatory bowel syndrome to insulin deficiencies to intestinal cancer. In such cases, the dog will start losing weight despite the increase in his food intake.
Treatment Options for Polyphagia
If you notice your dog is eating much more than his usual intake, then it is important to take your dog to the veterinarian for a check-up. The vet will perform a thorough physical examination of your pet and order a battery of lab tests, including a complete blood test, a urinalysis, liver and kidney tests, an endoscopy with a biopsy taken from the stomach or small intestine, and radiographic imaging (in some cases).
The findings of these tests will determine what type of treatment options are available. For instance, some dogs simply need a change in their diets (including both food and feeding schedules), while others might require daily insulin injections or medications. If the polyphagia is not caused by an underlying medical condition, then adjusting the dog’s feeding habits can help, or behavioral training might also be recommended.
Diamondback Drugs Is Here to Help You and Your Dog
If your veterinarian has prescribed medications for your dog’s polyphagia, you can receive a free quote for these medications from Diamondback Drugs. We can help you save money on your dog’s medications.
As always, be sure to inform your veterinarian about any medications or supplements your dog is currently taking so your vet can make the best treatment decision for your pet’s unique case and help reduce the risk of a potential drug interaction.
Author: Giano Panzarella