My Dog Sleeps Too Much

Dogs can go through the periods where they sleep a lot. Sleeping is normal for most dogs to rebuild energy reserves, but can too much sleeping be a sign of serious health issues for your dog?

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Healthy dogs need sleep to replenish energy reserves but sometimes excessive sleeping patterns can be a sign of illness.  Recognizing the signs of systems of a lethargic dog can be crucial in ensuring the well-being of your dog.  Most people believe that excessive sleeping is normal for dogs. Humans have even coined the term “dog-tired” which means someone that is extremely tired to the point of collapse.  Lethargy is another way of saying something is “dog tired”. Normal sleep duration for a dog is 12-14 hours or more and is often broken up into small naps throughout the day. But a dog can become extremely lethargic as a sign of serious illness. There are a wide variety of dog illnesses that can cause excessive sleepiness in dogs. 

Most lethargic dogs are seen as lazy dog by most pet owners.  Lethargic dogs seem too not play, eat, or drink as much. Sometimes dogs which suffer from lethargy will even have no desire to go outside to use the bathroom and will sometimes do so in the house, or on their own bedding.

Lethargy in dogs can be a sign of an infectious disease.  Diseases such as parvovirus and distemper can cause dogs to become lethargic.  These diseases can cause dogs to become febrile which can be the cause of lethargy.  All animals have a natural instinct to sleep when running a fever including humans. It is the body’s natural defense against infections.  If your dog’s temperature is 101°F and 102.5°F, it is best to take your dog to the vet immediately.

Red blood cells in most animals even dogs carry needed oxygen throughout the body.  Sometimes these oxygen levels decrease and cause a condition called anemia.  Anemia can cause animals to become excessively tired due to oxygen insufficiency.  In dogs, anemia can be caused by excessive fleas or ticks, gastrointestinal parasites, and by gastrointestinal ulcers that cause internal bleeding. Internal bleeding can also result from poisoning, blood disorders, bone marrow disorders, and even cancer.  It is best to seek the assistance of a veterinarian to accurately diagnose your pet and to help eliminate the cause of the anemia.

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