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Our pets are subject to similar health situations to us humans, that includes being overweight. This is particularly important as many health problems such as arthritis, heart disease, pancreatitis and diabetes are related to being overweight and can be treated by proper diet and regular exercise, so what can you do about your porky pet? To begin with, bring in your much loved pet and use our scales for free! If your pet requires a little dietary attention then we can arrange a appointment with one of our dietary consultants. We can work out what diet is best suited for your pet that you can implement in your home, whether it be a prescription diet or a take home calorie controlled diet. This consultation also attracts no charge, so what have you got to lose but your pets extra pounds! So don’t fall for those puppy dog eyes or insistent meowing because in the long run you will have a healthier and longer living pet that will thank you for it!
The consultation consists of recording the starting weight of your pet and setting a goal weight which we want to achieve. We then analyse what your pet is currently eating, this includes all the treats that are slipped under the table. In order for an effective weight loss regime to work everyone in the household needs to be on board this includes the neighbors who may regularly toss bones over the fence. A specific diet will be worked out according to your pets breed, weight, age and health condition. Every 2 weeks we recommend we weigh your pet and adjust the diet if needed to manage the weight loss successfully.
The following are just some hints in order to get your pet trim, taut and terrific:
- Ice cubes – Are a great treat, add veggies and a small amount of stock makes them an extra special treat
- Veggies- carrots and apples go down well
- Kongs – Are toys you can stuff with calorie controlled goodies and also relieves boredom
- Kangaroo Tails – Low in fat but great to chew on and wonderful in keeping your pets teeth looking good too
- Build up your pets exercise gradually so its not too much of a shock for them
- Cats tend to exercise only when it suits them. You can get them motivated by using the simplest toys, toilet roll holders dangling from a height, scrunched up paper for them to flick around or a laser light or torch shining on a wall tends to be too irresistible and will find even the laziest cat jumping off the couch and bouncing off the wall.
Make an appointment for a FREE weight loss appointment and discuss our pet’s diet with one of our friendly veterinary nurses.
Obesity in Cats
Is feline obesity a problem?
YES – obesity, defined as an excess of body weight of 20% or more, is the most common nutritional disease of domestic cats. Although the frequency varies from one country to the next, we know in some countries that up to 40% of adult cats are obese! Despite these alarming figures, very little is known about the detrimental effects of obesity on feline health. What we do know is that cats that are neutered and live indoors are more likely to be obese. Similarly, male cats are more likely to be obese. With respect to the detrimental effects on feline health, obesity in the cat is a known risk factor for both diabetes mellitus, lower urinary tract disease and arthritis. In humans, obesity causes an increase in morbidity and mortality at all ages and is associated with diabetes mellitus, certain types of cancer, impaired mobility and arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other illnesses. Recent studies suggest that heart disease might also occur in obese cats! More work is needed to evaluate this and to determine what other detrimental effects obesity has on cats.
Finally, obesity in cats is associated with hepatic lipidosis. This is a severe form of liver failure in cats. It typically occurs in cats which are obese and have then undergone a brief period of ‘stress’ which causes anorexia. The ‘stress’ may be as simple as a change of house or a change in diet. Hepatic lipidosis used to be an almost universally fatal disease in cats. Fortunately, with improved, aggressive and prolonged therapy about 80% of affected cats can be saved. However, it is because of the risk for this potentially fatal disease that treatment of feline obesity needs to be done cautiously and always under the care of a veterinary surgeon.
What specifically causes obesity in cats and how should it be treated?
Many factors work together to cause obesity in cats, and as mentioned earlier not all of them are clearly understood. Some are probably genetic, while others are clearly related to diet and environment. Also, as mentioned above, neutering increases the risk for obesity in cats. It is important for the cat owner and veterinary surgeon to keep all these factors in mind when treating the obese individual. Prevention is better than treatment but not always easy. When cats are neutered. Their food needs are decreased, apparently because metabolism becomes ‘more efficient’. Also, cats living indoors are more prone to obesity, perhaps because they eat more out of boredom, but also because they have less opportunity to stay trim through exercise. Remember, everybody should run and play, including cats!
Once a cat becomes obese, the challenge for owner and vet is to promote weight loss safely and then to maintain the optimum weight. In the long run it is better to set realistic goals for weight reduction rather than attempting to force the cat down to a “normal” weight. Usually a 15-20% reduction in weight is a good target that can easily be achieved! Rapid weight loss should be avoided, since it puts the cat at risk for development of severe liver disease, discussed above. And weight that is lost slowly is more likely to stay lost! There are no drugs or magic pills which can be used safely or effectively. Commercial “low-calorie” diets are available from veterinary surgeons and provide the basis for effective weight loss. However, they are more effective when combined with additional exercise. This also has the advantage of providing more time for interaction between the cat and the human, which we know provides enjoyment and is beneficial for the health of both. With some patience and extra care obese cats can be treated safely and effectively, with the ultimate goal of prolonging a healthy happy life!
A cheaper alternative to commercial low calorie diet is a 33% to 50% reduction in food intake. This should be accompanied by regular weighing of the cat. If the cat fails to lose weight, then the amount of food should be again reduced by 33-50%. If weigh-ins are every 1-2 weeks, the cat is invariably safely losing weight within a month. In cats with access to outdoors it is vital to ensure that the cat does not have access to alternative food sources such as friendly neighbours!
A Lifelearn Product from:.
Arthur Webster & Associates Pty Ltd
P O Box 438, PYMBLE NSW 2073 Australia
We are fortunate enough to have in-house diagnostic equipment and services that allows us to provide fast results on your pet’s health, including a comprehensive range of lab tests, ultrasound and x-rays.
"They all love animals"
Understanding that some couples who have kids and grandkids, treat their animals like people. Having well trained staff, who get to know us quickly, and who are always so nice, helpful and efficient. They do great follow up calls to monitor their patients, and if they say they will call back, they actually do call back. They love animals and are very involved with their work.
"You guys are simply the best"
Thank you for providing a cattery where our 2 cats have stayed several times, and get outstanding care. They come home each time so relaxed - none of this tail and nose in the air for 48 hours story. The result is we go away and have no worries about our cats.
"Always the best care for our fur babies"
I have always been a client of North Nowra Vets. Their care and compassion is so heartfelt. They care for my cats as if they were their own. Always available for emergency after hours calls. I also use the cattery when we go away and have never had a cat ignore me afterwards. We will remain a loyal customer at North Nowra Vets because they care.
"My best respect to all who are part of this team"
These vets, Cathy and Quentin and their team, I cannot speak more highly of their knowledge and care, it is wonderful and you never leave you pet for surgery wondering. They all have a true love of animals. My best respect to all who are part of this team. Well done.
"Visits are never rushed and our dog's checkups are very thorough"
We have always found Kathy, Quentin and staff very pleasant and helpful. Visits are never rushed and our dog's checkups are very thorough. The options for treatment are clearly explained so the best choice can be made. Our dog has the intelligence and strong will that his breed is known for but he is always very happy even excited to go to the North Nowra Veterinary Hospital and that surely is a strong a recommendation as any.
"Everyone is so welcoming and friendly!"
From a client's perspective, or 'owner of your patient', you have many years brought the "whole package" together in relation to you practice. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly which is great for both human and animal. I have for many years been referring friends, neighbours, acquaintances and clients from our own business to you knowing that they will receive professional care and excellent diagnosis.
"It's all about the little things you get right!"
It's not easy to say specifically which one thing makes for your customer service, as it's all about the little things you get right, such as keeping staff for long periods of time, so we see familiar faces and hear familiar voices on the phone. The fact that a number of people want to stay sends a powerful message that it's a good place to work.
"I pass 3 other clinics to get to you"
A lot of people ask me why I go out of my way to go to your clinic. It's because you have always given the best possible care, the centre is always fresh looking and a smile always available. At first I felt a bit apprehensive seeing someone other than Cathy or Quentin. But each and every time my distress has been eased with the knowledge and support given by all the team. I have always received 110%.
"Thanks for providing a hassle free service and a happy place"
I am pretty impresses when whoever is on the counter manages to call up Xena's details as I'm walking through the door so that by the time I reach the counter it's all up on the screen waiting for whatever has to be done. It's great and really efficient!! Thanks for the hassle free service and a happy place to walk into!
"I couldn't be happier with the service and care for my dog!"
Upon arrival I was very nervous as this was my first time taking my dog to Jervis Bay Vets. I had recently moved away from a hospital I was unhappy with. I could not recommend the Veterinary Clinic enough, the team are like a family and the veterinarian spent quality time with pet addressing the concerns I had. I am very happy.
"The vets took every precaution"
Thankyou to the vets and staff that saved my beautiful dobermann bitch "Sophie", I am a dog breeder and was very impressed with the communication between the vets, they were thorough, caring and professional, with a complicated medical condition (VWD). The vets took every precaution. I would recommend their services, your dog is in great hands here.
Our Great Dane has anxiety issues, for which she is being medicated. These medicines worked quite well for a time, but her anxiety started to increase, so we gave acupuncture a go. The difference was noticeable after the first treatment, and she continued to improve. After a few treatments she plateaued, and has been without treatment for a few months now, and still going well – she is much happier and calmer. I highly recommend giving it a go in Kristy's very talented hands.
"Our girl Freyja has a better doctor than us!"
Every time we visit the vets they always go above and beyond for us. I always feel like they put in so much time for us. They also know how to handle one big wriggly great dane!
"I have never been to such a good vet!"
I am so glad I finally found a vet that really understands my anxious dog! All the nurses and vets are always gentle with my dog! Thank you!