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What Can Cause a Great Dane to Suddenly Stop Eating and Drinking Water?


Dear VetBabble: Why Has My Great Dane Stopped Eating and Drinking Water?

Recently, one of our readers reached out expressing concern for their Great Dane who has stopped eating and drinking water. Despite a three-day examination at the vet and having a fever, the cause remains unknown. If you’re in a similar predicament, this article offers a friendly and informative overview of possible reasons and actions to take when your dog refuses to eat or drink.

Why Do Dogs Stop Eating and Drinking?

There can be several reasons why a dog might suddenly stop eating and drinking. Some of the most common causes include illness, stress, dental issues, and changes in diet. Let’s dive into the details for a better understanding of each concern.

1. Illness

Any change in your dog’s eating or drinking habits could be a sign of illness. Since our reader’s Great Dane was suffering from a fever, it could be that the fever caused the loss of appetite and thirst. Additionally, some other health-related issues could be at play such as gastrointestinal problems or even diabetes, which could lead to increased water consumption – check out our article on Why Does My Dog Drink More Water? for more information.

2. Stress or Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can also lead to changes in a dog’s eating and drinking habits. If there have been recent changes in the home environment or if your dog has a history of anxiety, this could be a contributing factor to their refusal to consume food and water.

3. Dental Issues

Pain from dental issues such as gum inflammation, tooth decay, or oral injuries can cause a dog to avoid eating and drinking. If your dog appears to be in pain or experiencing difficulty while chewing, a trip to the vet is necessary to address any dental concerns.

4. Changes in Diet

Sudden changes in your dog’s diet can result in a disinterest in eating. In such cases, gradually transitioning to new food can help avoid disrupting their eating habits. Consult our article on Why Won’t My Dog Eat? for more tips on encouraging your dog’s appetite.

Related Health Concerns

Aside from the possible reasons for a dog’s refusal to eat or drink, there are some other health concerns that might arise due to a lack of proper nutrition and hydration. One of the most common concerns is diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can have serious consequences, especially in larger breeds like Great Danes. Learn more about what could cause diarrhea in dogs in our article Why Does My Dog Have Diarrhea?

As a responsible pet owner, it is crucial to be vigilant about any changes in your dog’s behavior, especially concerning their eating and drinking habits. Knowing when to act is just as essential – read our guide on Diarrhea in Dogs: When to Worry to familiarize yourself with the warning signs.

What to Do and When to Consult Your Vet?

If your dog has stopped eating and drinking, monitor their behavior closely and offer nutritious and easy-to-digest food to entice their appetite. Ensure they have access to fresh water and a comfortable environment for resting.

However, if the refusal to eat and drink persists for over 24 hours, or if you notice any other worrisome symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, take your dog to the vet for a thorough examination. Timely intervention can be crucial in identifying and addressing underlying health issues that may be affecting your beloved pet.

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