lethargy [ˈleTHərjē] – lack of energy and enthusiasm; state of sleepiness or deep unresponsiveness and inactivity
One of the most ambiguous and yet extremely important symptoms to watch for in dogs is lethargy.
The quieter your dog gets, the more serious the situation is.
But it doesn’t tell you anything about the reason.
Anything that will cause your dog feel unwell can result in lethargy.
While other symptoms might give you SOME indication as to what could be going on, lethargy will tell you NOTHING about the cause as all. Other than there is one.
That’s why when your dog becomes lethargic, you do need to see a veterinarian.
You may notice other symptoms to go with the lethargy or you may not.
The other day Cookie woke up in the morning quite lethargic. With her in particular it was quite alarming.
First thing I did was to check her vitals, her gums and presence of other signs.
Other than the lethargy and disinterest in food, there were none. Everything looked normal. If there were one more worrisome sign, we’d be on our way to the emergency. Because they weren’t, we gave her a bit of time to get over whatever was wrong. Fortunately, she improved by the end of the day. If she didn’t, we’d had been on our way to the vet the next morning.
Things that can cause lethargy or weakness in dogs include the following:
- Anemia or other blood disorders
- Heart disease
- Respiratory conditions
- Liver disease
- Diabetes mellitus
- Addison’s disease
- Certain medications
- Snake bites
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Urinary tract problems
- Electrolyte abnormalities
- Immune diseases
- Neurologic and nauromuscular disorders
- Certain eye diseases
- Skeletal diseases
Another trap you can fall into, which is when things happen gradually over time.
When your normally active and playful dog suddenly becomes lethargic, you KNOW something is wrong.
But what if your dog becomes quieter and quieter slowly, over time?
Such gradual changes can easily disguise themselves as normal.
You might think your dog is just slowing down with age. But I have seen senior dogs who could outplay the youngest of them. It is not age what will slow your dog down, it is most likely pain or another medical problem. Please, do always keep that in mind.
When your dog becomes lethargic, he is talking to you.
I really feel like crap, please, do something. It's kind of an equivalent of a person saying, "I think I should see a doctor."
Veterinarians Answer: 10 Main Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog
Symptoms: Recognition, Acknowledgement And Denial
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Excessive Panting
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Excessive Drinking
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Bad Odor
Symptoms to Watch For In Your Dog: Excessive Drooling
What Can Your Dog's Gums And Tongue Tell You?
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Coughing
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Excessive Head Shaking
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: What Is That Limp?
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Nose Bleeds (Epistaxis)
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Unexplained Weight Loss
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Loss Of Appetite
Whats In The Urine? (Part I: What You Can Notice On Your Own)
What's In The Urine? (Part II: Urinalysis)
A Tale of Many Tails—and What Came Out From Underneath Stories from My Diary-rrhea (part I)
Acute Small Intestinal Diarrhea
Acute Large Intestinal Diarrhea (Acute Colitis)
hronic Large Intestinal Diarrhea
Chronic Small Intestinal Diarrhea
Don't Panic, Don't Panic: Know What Your Job Is
My Pet Is Suddenly Tired and Weak. What Is Causing This?
Dog Weakness and Lethargy: Causes and Treatments
Lethargy in Dogs