Has your dog been kind of moping around, with very little energy and sleeping a lot? The unfortunate news is that lethargy in dogs can be caused by many different reasons, and the only way to know for sure is to make a vet appointment.
What Is Lethargy in Dogs Vs. Tiredness?
To define lethargy, it is basically a lack of energy, enthusiasm, or both. It is different than just being tired. Lethargy is more tied to medical issues. Tiredness is what naturally happens after taking your dog on a long walk.
Trust your intuition when it comes to your dog. Most people can tell if their dog wants to lay down because it is simply tired or if it is something deeper than that. A sleeping dog that is not lethargic might wake easily and jump to its feet if they hear something that excites them. A lethargic dog won’t hold any interest in going on a walk or even playing.
Is Lethargy in Dogs Normal?
Have you given your dog a reason to become sleepy and not care about running around anymore? In this case, your dog is likely just tired from all the activity, which is completely normal.
Another example is that if your dog has been very active at daycare all day long, all he might want to do now is sleep. This would also be normal.
However, if neither of these situations applies and your dog seems lazy and uninterested in anything and you can’t quite figure out why it is time to find out what is going on.
Causes of Lethargy in Dogs
Low thyroid levels can cause lethargy in all ages of dogs. This is particularly common in breeds such as Labradors, Goldens, Dobermans, Boxers, and Dachshunds.
Puppies may suffer from hypoglycemia which may cause them to become extremely lethargic. Toy breeds also commonly experience this condition of low blood sugar.
On the other end of the spectrum are senior dogs. Sometimes senior dogs become lethargic because their joints are in pain and it hurts for them to move. When your senior dog becomes lethargic, pay attention. It could also be due to something going on internally such as organ problems.
What Is the Treatment for Lethargic Dogs?
Here is what will likely happen when you take your lethargic dog to the vet. The vet will begin by giving your dog a physical exam. He will make sure your canine is properly hydrated, that his heart and lungs are doing well, and will check his spine and joints.
After the source of the problem has been found, diagnostic testing may be recommended, which may include bloodwork and X-rays. This is done to make sure your dog’s internal organs look as they should, and no disease is present.
Once a diagnosis has been made, the vet may prescribe the following: pain medication, fluids to remedy dehydration, antibiotics for an infection, or anti-nausea medication if needed.
Seeking treatment before a serious problem arises is always a smart idea.