In today's post, our Timmins vets discuss obesity in pets and why it is a growing concern.
Obesity in Pets
Your pet has an overweight problem. This may be very detrimental to his or her health and can contribute to many medical disorders:
- 24% of obese pets have walking problems like arthritis, slipped discs in the back, and torn joint ligaments (especially in the knee)
- Respiratory (breathing) difficulties - decreased endurance with exercise.
- Heart problems - congestion due to work overload.
- Liver disease - a result of the fat invasion of the organ.
- Dystocia - difficulty in giving birth.
- Diabetes - lack of the ability to regulate blood sugar.
- Heatstroke - decreased ability to control internal body heat.
- Skin problems - especially oily skin and poor hair coat.
- Digestive system problems - excessive gas and constipation in particular.
- Anal gland infections and impactions due to poor rectal muscle strength.
- Lowered resistance to diseases - overweight pets are sick more often.
- Increased risk with surgery and anesthetics.
Obesity reduces your pet's lifespan and general enjoyment of life!
What are the primary causes of obesity in pets?
The Primary causes of obesity are:
- Lack of adequate exercise - even if the pet is walked daily
- Lowered metabolism - often seen after neutering
- Emotional trauma - stress in the home for extended periods
- Brain problems - especially with the appetite control center
- Hormone imbalances - poor thyroid gland function in particular
Less than 5% of overweight problems are due to the last three factors listed above.
The major cause of obesity is a lack of sufficient exercise and/or overeating