Causes of Pet Lethargy
By John Gilpatrick
The average dog sleeps upwards of 10 hours per day, while most cats clock a solid 12 hours of shut-eye, meaning that in a given day, there’s a 50-50 chance your pet is sleeping whenever you see them.
Though most pets spend the rest of their hours playing, eating and walking, a lot of the time, they’re likely just sitting around. Even healthy dogs and cats can appear lethargic, according to Boston Veterinary Clinic owner Dr. Brian Bourquin, any increased signs of inactivity in your pet can be indicative of a larger problem. “You know your dog the best,” Bourquin said, “and because they can’t speak up and say, ‘I’m sick!’ we have to observe their behavior closely to note any significant changes.”
There’s often a big difference between relaxed and lethargic. Nancy Williams, an Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and a Registered Veterinary Technician, said that if your pet isn’t eating, doesn’t respond when you call them, or no longer feels like playing, walking, or doing the things they normally love to do with you, something larger and potentially problematic could be going on.
Lethargy accompanies a vast majority of canine and feline medical problems, and while they might be small ones, you should immediately consult with your veterinarian as soon you observe excessive lethargy in your animal – anything more than 24 hours, Williams said. Similarly, lethargy can also be a symptom of many behavioral problems in pets.
Read on for five of the most common reasons for pet lethargy: