Obesity is a serious health problem in many of our pets. Many people make the mistake of showing love by feeding their pets too much. Eating makes them happy and when they're happy we're happy! But, the brimming food bowls, occasional treats, and table scraps can add up fast to an overweight pet. And with obesity comes extreme physical stress on all body systems making our pets more prone to disease and shortening their lifespan. Of course, as with any lifestyle change, sacrifices must be made. But, when the weight comes off our pets have a better chance of living a longer, healthier, and happier life and if we can contribute to their longevity the sacrifice is well worth it.
Is my pet overweight?
If your pet is 5-19% above its ideal weight it's considered overweight. If your pet is 20% or greater than its ideal weight it's considered obese.
Think of it this way, if your pet is 35 pounds at its ideal weight and it gains 7 pounds, it is obese. This would be comparable to a 150 pound person gaining 30 pounds!
Your pet's ideal weight will be determined at your initial visit. In general, an ideal body condition can be measured by a few criteria. One should be able to appreciate a tapering at the waist (area behind rib cage) when viewing the pet from above, and, be able to gently press the rib cage and easily feel an individual rib.
What health problems can be associated with obesity?
Congestive heart failure, diabetes mellitus, liver disease, arthritis, diarrhea, breathing difficulty, increased blood pressure, mammary tumors and skin disease. All of that extra weight is a constant physical stress to all the body systems.
What can I do to help my overweight pet?
It all starts with a visit to your veterinarian. A combination of appropriate diet and exercise is fundamental to any weight loss program. In addition, some dogs may have a metabolic problem brought on by too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism). Whether or not a thyroid test is indicated, will be decided during your initial visit. Blood tests are used to check the thyroid level. If it is too low, thyroid supplementation will make a tremendous difference in your pet's abilit to lose weight. When diet and exercise aren't working there is an alternative to help your pet get to a healthy weight.
Slentrol: A weight loss drug for dogs?!
Yes, it's true! Slentrol is an FDA-approved weight loss drug for dogs. It is a liquid medication given once daily that acts in the small intestine to suppress the appetite.
It is designed for a steady, healthy weight loss over time and yields an average weight loss of 3% per month. This drug is not a treatment continued over your pet's lifetime, but rather acts as a jumpstart to get weight loss initiated. Once the pounds start to come off your pet will become more active, energetic and with an appropriate diet and exercise regimen weight loss is maintained.
Getting your pet started on Slentrol: Our Weight Management Team
At Antioch Veterinary Hospital we have a Weight Management Team to help your pet achieve weight loss success. At the initial visit our veterinarians and staff will establish a weight loss goal for your pet and calculate an appropriate dose of Slentrol. A month after the initial visit your pet will come in for a weight check to evaluate progress and adjust doses as needed. Thereafter, visits with weight checks and dose adjustments occur on a monthly basis until your pet reaches its weight loss goal. We know that this endeavor to better your pet's health is at times frustrating. That's why in between visits our Weight Management Team makes regular support calls and is always available to address any questions or concerns. Working together we can fulfill the wish of a healthier and happier life for you pet!
Click Here to read our Weight Management Success Stories!