Being lethargic and being tired are two different feelings. Lethargy in puppies is no joke. This behavior could mean that something else is going on with your pup. To learn more about this health behavior, keep reading.
Lethargy Vs. Tired: What’s The Difference?
Lethargy in dogs shows they have no interest in doing anything at all. For example, they won’t want to get up to eat dinner. They’ll have no motivation to get up and play with their toys or go for a walk.
On the other hand, tired pups will sleep a lot. However, if they hear magic words like “walk” or “dinner,” they’ll jump up immediately.
What Is Lethargy In Dogs?
In a nutshell, when dogs are lethargic, they have no energy or motivation.
While it can be difficult to tell the difference between a lethargic dog and whether your dog is tired, it is up to you and your judgment.
You know your dog best, and it may be time to get them checked out by the vet if they’re not acting themselves.
Is Your Puppy Lethargic Or Just Sleepy?
It’s easy for dogs to get overtired or burn off so much energy that they need to sleep the afternoon away to rest and recharge.
Puppies need more sleep than older dogs. This is because they’re still growing and developing. For instance, puppies are still building up their stamina.
If you’ve been playing with your puppy most of the day or went on a long walk, then your puppy is most likely trying to regain its energy. They’re exhausted.
In addition, if you bring your puppy to the vet or a grooming appointment, it may be exhausted.
They’re often on high alert at these places, so when they come home, they crash.
In those cases, your puppy is sleepy.
However, puppies should still respond when you talk to them. Your puppy may not know when to relax depending on their personality and temperament.
So, if they’re sleeping a lot, whether you’ve had a busy day or not, they should still be easy to wake up. Likewise, your pup should still respond when you mention going for a walk or playing with their favorite toy.
If you have trouble waking your pup or know they haven’t been busy during the day, you may be dealing with lethargy.
Lethargy In Puppies: Signs And Symptoms
There are a few common causes when your puppy seems lethargic. One common condition is hypoglycemia. This is a health issue that’s caused by low blood sugar.
Hypoglycemia is most common in puppies under four months old. This is because the liver cannot increase its blood sugar if they’re not eating well.
Are these health conditions you should call the vet for? Absolutely. Lethargy in puppies is only caused by low blood sugar. However, it could be a sign of many other issues.
Other Symptoms To Pay Attention To
If you notice any of the following symptoms in your puppy, you’ll want to contact your vet immediately.
For example, lethargy and shaking in dogs could be a sign that they’re in pain. These symptoms may signify spinal pain, gastrointestinal pain, or a fever.
When your dog is lethargic and drooling, it could indicate that it ingested something toxic to them. In some cases, they’ll also vomit. In addition, this may lead to pancreatitis if your vet doesn’t check them out.
If your puppy is lethargic and not eating, there could be many causes. Your furry friend may not feel well to the point that they don’t want to eat. This is another time to call the vet as soon as possible.
Call the emergency vet immediately if your dog is lethargic with labored breathing (or their tongue is blue or purple).
Labored breathing could mean several conditions, such as:
- Congestive heart failure (or another heart disease)
- Fluid in the lungs or abdomen
- Laryngeal paralysis
- Airway blockages (such as choking)
- Severe pain
- Kennel cough
- Liver disease
- Urinary Tract disease
If your dog has a distended abdomen, this could indicate bloat, which is a life-threatening issue.
Finally, pale gums may be a sign of anemia or internal bleeding. Sudden weight loss overnight is another issue of concern.
Lethargy In Dogs Treatment
It’s best to be safe than sorry. So if you notice any of these symptoms or if you’re unsure if your doggo is lazy or tired, call your vet.
Your vet will determine if the dog needs to be checked out or not. However, they’ll most likely want to see your pup as a precaution.
Your vet will run several diagnostics, such as:
- A physical exam
- Check gum color
- Heart vitals
- Lung vitals
- Hydration status
- And more
They’ll give your canine companion a thorough examination to determine the cause of the problem. Then, treatment will begin, depending on what the reason is.
Lethargy In Puppies Can Be Overcome
If you believe something is off with your pup, you should call the vet immediately. Get medical advice from them and monitor your dog for a few hours and see if anything changes. Then, you and your vet will get the help and treatment your dog needs.
Rachel Poli is a content writer and author, but her real job is being a stay-at-home pet mom. Her zoo currently consists of a dog, a cat, two turtles, and two fish tanks. She’s also an avid pet sitter for a few local families, caring for various animals.
After realizing how little information there is for pet sitters on the internet, Rachel decided to start her own animal website. She strives to educate pet parents and pet sitters about the overall care of our furry friends.