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Recognizing, describing, and managing reduced food intake in dogs and cats

Lily N. Johnson DVM1 and Lisa M. Freeman DVM, PhD2
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  • 1 VCA San Francisco Veterinary Specialists, 600 Alabama St, San Francisco, CA 94110.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

Reduced food intake is an important clinical sign that can result from a myriad of chronic diseases (eg, CKD, congestive heart failure, cancer, or liver disease) as well as acute illness or injury. Reduced food intake can lead to insufficient intake of calories and other nutrients, weight loss, muscle loss (cachexia), and, ultimately, poor outcomes. 1,2 In addition, reduced or altered food intake is obvious to pet owners and is an important factor when owners assess a companion animal's quality of life. 3,4

It is important for veterinary health-care teams to be aware of and to take steps to

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Freeman (lisa.freeman@tufts.edu).