Signs and symptoms of lethargy in dogs
Dogs sleep a lot, in fact, our canine companions will spend almost half their lives napping, usually though if they catch a sniff of their food being prepared or hear the sound of their lead jangling, they are suddenly wide awake and ready to take on the world.
A tired dog that doesn’t respond to his normal stimulus is clearly a reason for concern.
Dog’s with lethargy often seem to have lost all their energy, have a reduced or no appetite and can even appear depressed as well as spending an inordinate amount of time asleep. Your pooch might be acting out of character, for example by being intolerant of other dogs they usually get along with or seeming disinterested in cuddles, toys or human company.
Sometimes your dogs tiredness might be accompanied by other symptoms too such as shaking, diarrhoea, breathlessness, restlessness or it could be that you think your pooch appears disorientated or weak.
As you can see there really are so many different symptoms that might accompany your dog’s listlessness depending on the reason behind it, but one thing’s for sure your furry friend can’t tell you what’s causing it and the only way to find out is by having him checked out at the vet.
When is Lethargy in Dogs a Cause for Concern?
Lethargy is a cause for concern when it is moderate to severe. For example, if your dog is so lethargic that nothing gets his attention, then this is probably severe lethargy and will require an immediate visit to the emergency vet.
On the other hand, if your dog is fairly lethargic but will still pay attention or try to get up if you offer him his favorite treat, this is probably moderate lethargy. He might still need an emergency vet depending on his other signs, but he might be able to wait for his regular vet. Never hesitate to speak to a vet or emergency vet if you’re unsure about what to do for your dog.
If your dog’s lethargy is mild, he probably doesn’t need to see a vet at all, and he certainly doesn’t need to see an emergency vet. Mild lethargy may occur in dogs who overexert themselves, especially in hot weather. They may be sound asleep for a long while and may not rouse, but when they do wake up again, they usually feel fine and behave like they normally do. A dog with mild lethargy probably just needs to sleep off whatever is causing the problem, but you can certainly contact your regular vet if you feel it’s best to do so.
My Dog is Lethargic: Frequently Asked Questions
You should be concerned if your dog has shown signs of lethargy for more than a day. This may be an indicator that your dog is suffering from an illness, so you should visit a vet to get a proper diagnosis if symptoms persist for more than 24 hours.