According to recent studies, approximately 54% of pets are overweight or obese!
Although we do not see clinical signs most of the time, being overweight has been associated with many conditions that put a pet’s health at risk.
TOP FIVE DISEASES RELATED TO OBESITY IN DOGS
1. Poor quality and quantity of life
A lifetime study of labrador retrievers found that dogs with an ideal Body Condition Score (BCS) of 4/9 to 5/9 lived a medium of 1.8 years longer than their slightly overweight counterparts with a Body Condition Score of 6/9 to 7/9. The slimmer dogs also had delayed onset of chronic illnesses.
Maintaining an ideal weight has proven benefits in the prevention and treatment of this debilitating condition. Studies have indicated that leaner dogs have delayed onset of arthritis compared to their overweight counterparts.
Regardless of cause, lameness in dogs can be alleviated with weight loss and their pain score decreases significantly.
3. Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVD)
Weight management is strongly recommended in dogs predisposed to IVDD. Studies have shown that obese dogs of all breeds are at increased risk for IVDD. Also dogs that have had surgery for IVDD were 7-6 times more likely to walk again at 3-4 weeks after surgery if they had body score condition of 6/9 or less.
4. Subclinical conditions
In dogs obesity has been related to increased inflammation and hormone changes that can lead to diseases such as pancreatitis and diabetes.
5. Cardiorespiratory effects
Obesity in dogs has been associated with various cardiac and respiratory conditions (although dogs are not at risk for coronary disease as the humans).
Most notably, obesity has been linked to breathing problems, being worse on pets that already have problems like tracheal collapse.
TOP FIVE DISEASES RELATED TO OBESITY IN CATS
In cats, diabetes is the clinical consequence with the straight correlation to obesity. Not only is obesity a risk factor for diabetes, but weight loss is an important part of the treatment and increases the likelihood of remission.
2. Urinary disease
Obesity reportedly plays a role in the feline urinary system. Obesity has been shown to be a risk factor for feline urinary tract disease, and weight loss-along with dietary and stress management-is considered part of the treatment.
Compared with lean cats, heavy cats are almost 3 times more likely to present for limping related to osteoarthritis.
4. Subclinical conditions
It has been demonstrated in the last studies that the adipose tissue increases the production of hormones and inflammatory mediators as the animal becomes heavier.
5. Poor quality of life
Like dogs, cats with an ideal body condition score are likely to live linger and have better quality of life.