Dr. Cleland here. I wanted to add to what Dr. Freihaut said last week about weight control. If you have an overweight pet, you are not alone. I just read that one study has shown a 90% increase in overweight cats since 2007, and overweight dogs have become 37% more common.
But it really doesn’t matter how common it is. What really matters is your pup looking at you as you eat or after their bowl is empty. Stats go out the window real quick. Or maybe you are feeding your cat the equivalent of puffed air, and he is somehow still converting that to pounds of fat.
That can be very discouraging.
So, I present to you Chester, whose name has been changed to protect his innocence 🙂 He was so overweight he could barely get around – age, arthritis, and overweight all rolled into one sad package. His owner came to us considering euthanasia, but hoping for a change for the better.
Dr. Freihaut ran a thyroid test and discussed Chester’s diet. Turns out Chester was eating some sneaky calorie dense treats on top of his “light” food, and Chester’s thyroid was not functioning properly. (The thyroid is the thermostat of the body – it regulates how fast the body burns through calories and performs other necessary processes).
So Chester went home with some low fat treat recommendations (see first post), medications to help boost his thyroid function, medication to help his arthritis, and a very gentle exercise regimen.
Today, Chester comes in happy, wagging his tail, and much more slender. He can get around on his own. He can play. He can enjoy doggie things without anyone having to talk about his quality of life, other than how good it is now.
So there. There is hope. I think that weight issues can be sensitive because we often feel guilty when our pets are overweight. I think that weight control is like anything else with our pets: educate yourselves, love your animals, then do the best you can for them with the resources you have. Thats all they ask 🙂