Obesity in animals

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Obesity in animals, Symptoms, causes, and treatment

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Tuesday, 3rd August 2021

Obesity, or an abnormal accumulation of body fat, has become a common problem in pets recently. Aside from affecting their overall health, it can also shorten the life span of pets. Such pets are at risk of developing serious health issues such as osteoarthritis, heart disease, diabetes, respiratory problems, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.


What causes obesity in pets?

Obesity is typically caused by an excess of dietary intake and inefficient use of energy. Obesity can affect all types of pets, and the most common causes are overfeeding and a lack of exercise, though diseases such as hypothyroidism and insulinoma can also cause it.

Lethargy, respiratory problems, intolerance to exercise, and loss of mobility are all symptoms of obesity in pets.

“The main cause of pet obesity is the owner's lifestyle, excessive consumption of commercial food, and an unbalanced feeding schedule. I always advise people to feed their pets natural foods. Aside from that, old pets and pets who aren't doing well emotionally are more prone to obesity,” Dr Gustavo Pinto, a veterinary doctor from Panjim, Goa, explained.

Obesity in dogs, on the other hand, is more common than in cats or other pets. Restriction of treats and frequent exercise can aid in the monitoring of animal weight.

Obesity is affecting wild animals as well as pets. “In my clinic, I've seen an increase in obesity cases in the last few years. Obesity is not just a growing problem in pets like dogs and cats; recently, a colleague treated an obese monkey whose weight was five to six times that of a normal weight,” said Dr Narendra Pardeshi, veterinarian at the Small Animal Clinic in Pune.


Treatment and preventive measures

Morbid obesity cannot be treated with exercise, according to Dr. Pardeshi, who recently collaborated with Dr. Shashank Shah, a laparoscopic bariatric surgeon at the LaparoObeso Centre in Pune, to perform the country's first laparoscopic surgery on a dog with hypothyroidism.

Dipika, the dog, weighed 50kg before surgery and has dropped to 45kg in just one week. “We expect the weight to drop by 10 to 15 kg in the coming weeks,” Dr Shah said. Dipika can now stand and walk on her own, which she could not do before the surgery, according to her owner, Ms Daruwalla.

Every pet owner should take proper care of their pet's lifestyle in order to save them from obesity. A proper diet and feeding schedule should be followed, regular walks should be taken, and most importantly, the pet should be happy in its surroundings.


The News Talkie Bureau


The Indian Express


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