General Diseases: Low Energy Canine

Dog General Diseases and Symptoms QuickLinks

Causes of Low Energy Dog:

Dogs may suffer from low energy levels as the result of an acute (sudden) condition or as a secondary symptom that is the result of some kind of chronic or generalized disorder that is affecting the body.

Acute lowered energy levels are more common in young and/or older dogs. It occurs soon after excessive exercise, a long walk/run, stress, fear, harsh weather conditions etc. Some infectious conditions like canine distemper, parvovirus infection and acute food poisoning may also cause energy drainage in dogs. Excessive and acute blood loss due to any accident, trauma or injury is another cause of low energy in dogs. 

Addison's disease, diabetes, Cushing's disease, bacterial infections, gastrointestinal parasitic infestations, malnutrition, cardiovascular and respiratory stress leading to a disturbed oxygen supply in the cells, toxins, tumors and progressive loss of blood cells are some of chronic and/or generalized causes of low energy levels in dogs.

In either case, i.e. acute or chronic causes of low energy in dogs, symptoms and the underlying cause is important. Symptoms such as anorexia (appetite loss), pain, disturbed physiology, lack of interest etc. are primary causes for lethargy and weakness, are all related to low energy in dogs.

Symptoms related to Low Canine Energy:

Symptoms such as lethargy, weakness, lack of interest, inactivity, stress, anemia etc are all considered to be causes of low energy dog. These symptoms are caused by primary signs such as anorexia, pain, stress (respiratory, cardiovascular or neurological stress), dehydration, lowered glucose level and anemia etc.

Diagnosis Canine Low Energy:

Low energy in dogs can be identified by clinical symptoms such as lethargy, inactivity, dehydration and weakness. Along with general clinical symptoms, a dog's history is important in identifying any underlying cause. Laboratory procedures such as blood count and an assessment of general body condition are part of the initial phase of diagnosis. Advanced blood work, a test of liver functions, urine and fecal examination, endocrine tests, biochemical profiling and biopsy in case of tumors, might be needed for confirmation of any underlying cause as well.

One important part of reaching a diagnosis is an assessment of feeding patterns. Case records show that malnutrition, imbalanced and unpalatable dog food is a commonly unidentified cause of low energy in dogs.

Treatment and Management of Low Energy Dog:

As part of the initial assessment of energy levels in dogs, it is important to determine whether a patient needs immediate attention. This is done with oral administration of energy rich contents and fluids. If oral administration is impossible or associated symptoms such as vomiting are present, then fluids containing energy rich contents such as lactose and electrolytes should be administered through an IV or SC route.

At home, acute but mild cases of low energy dog can be treated by offering fresh water for drinking and regularly offering energy rich food. A high energy dog food can also be used under the direction of a veterinarian.

The immediate administration of energy supplements and energy content can help to restore body condition. Additionally, to support physiology and energy levels, natural remedies can be administered, which are effective in situations where no specific therapy is needed or an owner does not want to administer synthetic preparations for this purpose. There are two types of natural remedies that could be of help, the first is a product like Energy Tonic which helps to support various systems in the body with a combination of ingredients known to boost energy levels in dogs. The second, Gluco-Ensure supports systems in the body that are also related to canine energy levels such as pancreatic health, blood sugar levels and insulin production.

For cases which involve some type of underlying systemic or generalized condition which results in a dog lacking energy, or in cases of acute or chronic anemia or blood loss, a veterinarian must be consulted. After conducting a detailed clinical examination and confirmatory diagnosis, specific therapy should be initiated with specific drugs and in support, supplementation, management and use of natural remedies to maintain energy levels as required.

Low energy dog is not always a serious issue. Case records have shown that if weakness and low energy levels are the only signs, then the dog energy problem can be treated with supportive measures. Natural remedies are the most effective way to treat such cases. But, if other serious symptoms are noticed along with weakness and lethargy, such cases should be handled with care and by a veterinarian only.