Quality, professional veterinary care, tailored for you and your pet.
JULIE INNES VETS, HAMILTON
People often grumble that vets and nurses are obsessed with pets’ weights, but it
really is so important!! Imagine you were walking around carrying a sack of potatoes-
how relieved would you be to put them down? Monitoring your pet’s weight is very
important to us. Unexplained weight loss can indicate an undiagnosed problem, and
obesity can cause a whole host of problems. Our nurse, Anna, is trained in weight
management, and runs weight clinics free of charge, to help you get your pet back
to being slim and fighting fit.
Why does my pet need to lose weight?
- Because obesity puts a huge strain on the joints, heart and lungs, liver and kidneys.
It can make your pet far more prone to diabetes and even skin problems. Ultimately
it WILL shorten your pet’s life. It is one of the biggest factors in the success
of managing arthritis- many patients who successfully lose weight don’t even need
medication any more, which is great news for your pet AND your wallet!
But he/she hardly eats anything!
- Remember that dogs and cats have a very different calorie requirement from us.
They walk on four legs, so don’t require extra calories to stay upright, and they
are much smaller than us. Their calorie requirement can be far smaller than owners
realise! So that bit of toast/ digestive biscuit/ titbit can really make a big difference
to their waistline! Sometimes there are one or two people in a household who sneakily
feed an animal, leading the owner to believe that the pet is only getting X or Y,
when in fact someone is supplementing that!
But I can’t bear the way he/she looks at me!
- tell yourself you are doing this for your pet’s benefit. Reward your pet with attention
and affection instead of food. Once your pet realises that the snack wagon
has left town, he or she will settle down to the new regime! And if you really can’t
bear to deny your animal, remember that they don’t understand fractions: to your
dog, half a biscuit is still “a biscuit”
There must be an underlying medical problem!
- Sometimes, there is. Dogs occasionally suffer from low thyroid hormone, which
can accentuate weight gain, and we can test for that if it is suspected.
Cats don’t seem to get this condition- they are more prone to over-active thyroid,
which causes weight loss, and we can check for this too.
One of the things that makes me keen to promote weight loss in overweight animals
is that I have seen the difference it makes to them- owners are amazed at their “new”
animal, and it is so satisfying to see an “old” dog suddenly becoming young again.