Healthy, happy pets love to eat, they love to beg, and it is very tempting to give them more food than is good for them, even to the point where it interferes with their health and happiness. Fact: in the lifespan feeding trials of two groups of similar dogs, the group fed 25% fewer calories lived 2 years longer. In dogs, obesity can result in cardiovascular disease, breathing difficulties, poor coat condition, and, of course, arthritis and lameness. In cats, obesity is also linked to diabetes, liver disease, and urinary tract disease or obstruction. Some cats get so fat that they can no longer defecate, and need enemas every week!
We do not want this to happen. We recommend for people to feed less food, to switch to low calorie formulas, to not leave food down all day, to give fewer treats and table foods, and to exercise their pets more. But often, when we next see these pets, they weigh the same or even more. So we recommend the Purina OM weight management program. The Purina OM program starts with a personalized computer print-out explaining how many Kilocalories your pet is allowed, and how many cups or cans of Purina OM diet this translates into, plus or minus treats. The OM diet is a low fat, low calorie, high fiber and high protein: calorie ration that promotes loss of body fat but not lean body mass, and reduces oxidative stress that can lead to weight rebound. We give you a measuring cup, and you just follow the instructions. Each month, we reweigh your pet, enter the new weight in the computer, and give you your updated instructions.
For more information, visit www.purinavets.com
Medical Management of Obesity
- The thyroid gland Sometimes dogs will not lose weight no matter how little you feed them; it may even seem that they are not interested in eating. This may be due to a thyroid complaint; – hypothyroidism. Hypothyroid dogs may have other symptoms such as a general lethargy, and a pattern of hair loss (without being itchy) involving both flanks. A blood test may reveal a low level of thyroid hormones. These dogs usually respond to a daily administration of a thyroid supplement, which needs to be given life-long.
- Weight loss with SLENTROL (Dirlotapide-Pfizer) Introduced in 2007, this medication for dogs only is able to assist in weight loss. It is a Microsomal Triglyceride Transfer Protein (MTP) inhibitor. It is able to block fat absorption by the cells lining the small intestine; meanwhile, it tricks these same cells into releasing a hormone (Peptide YY), that tells the brain that the meal has been digested, and to feel full. SLENTROL is not for use in people. It is only safe in dogs. Once the initial dose is calculated, it is given for 2 weeks. The dog must then be reweighed every 4 weeks, and a new dose calculated. It is used until the desired weight is being maintained, or for up to one year.
For more information go to www.slentrol.com