Why has my dog Stopped Eating?

 |  May 28th 2009  |   11 Contributions

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My 13 year old dog has stopped eating everything. She will drink water but no food. It has been a few days now. I looked into her mouth and one tooth is sort of black and so is the gum. She throws up about once a day also. Could all this be from her tooth?

Jacksonville, FL

Animals do not stop eating unless there is a reason.

When I think back to the last time I went a day without eating despite food being available, I remember being very sick. Similarly, when a pet stops eating it means that something is wrong.

Dental disease causes or has been linked to a huge number of problems in cats and dogs. However, unless a tooth has abscessed acutely, dental problems rarely cause pets to stop eating completely. I therefore consider it unlikely that your dog's tooth is the cause of your dog's inappetance.

I am worried that a metabolic problem such as liver disease or kidney disease, or a glandular disorder such as advanced diabetes, or cancer may be causing your dog's appetite to disappear. Many other problems, such as infections with viruses or bacteria, trauma or dehydration also may cause symptoms like those you describe.

I recommend immediate veterinary attention for any pet that goes more than one day without eating. The sooner you find out what is wrong, the higher your chances of successfully addressing the problem.

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