Weight Clinic

Is your pet putting on a few extra pounds? Does your pet need help with a diet?

Our trained Veterinary Nurses run weight clinics to help your pet become slim again and take the strain off their joints and heart. These clinics are usually run by appointments with a Nurse late mornings or afternoons. We usually see your pet once every three to four weeks to weigh them and give any further advice as required. We give you a booklet and record chart to help you monitor your pet's weight reduction. Cats and dogs are both welcome at the weight clinic. Please contact us for further details.

 

Weight Loss Clinic

Keeping fit, keeping healthy

Feeding the correct diet to your pet is a must for a long and healthy life. Our nurses are trained to give expert advice regarding nutrition. Obesity can cause many health problems for dogs and cats. If you feel your pet may be overweight, feel free to come into our hospital and one of our nurses can assess your pet and recommend a weight loss program to suit your pets' needs.

 

Why is my pet's weight so important?

Research has shown that around 50% of dogs and cats are overweight to some degree. An overweight pet is at risk from a whole range of problems including diabetes mellitus, heart disease, skin complaints, breathing difficulties and arthritis.

Weight gain in pets is normally the result of an increase in body fat. This is most commonly caused by a pet eating too much, especially when combined with a lack of exercise. If more energy is being gained from food that is being used, the surplus will be stored in the body as fat.

By maintaining healthy weight you can help to reduce the risks associated with obesity and help your pet lead a longer more energetic life.

 

How do I know if my pet is overweight?

You may notice some of these changes:

  • Ribs can't be felt without applying a fair amount of pressure
  • Pet obsessed with food
  • Pet is inactive most of the time
  • Loss of an obvious waist (and you may even notice belly wobble when walking or running)
  • You have had to loosen your pet's collar several times over the past year

Oh no, I think my pet may need to lose a few kilograms

The first thing you need to do is make an appointment with your veterinarian. If you are visiting us make sure you mention you are visiting for a weight check-up and would like to join our Weight Loss Clinic. This will help us to set aside some extra time with you and your pet.

Whilst weight gain is an obvious explanation for some of the above changes, it can also indicate illness or disease. Before starting on any weight loss program we need to confirm your pet is as healthy as they can be considering the extra kilograms they are carrying.

We will then suggest a weight management program such as our Weight Loss Clinics.

 

What are Weight Loss Clinics?

Following a health check-up and full physical examination by our veterinarian we will team you up with one of our trained nurses who will prepare a weight management program for you, free of charge.

Our nurses will outline target weight goals and also supply you with a weight chart, a nutritional plan and an exercise program. Your pet's targets will be based on their age, breed, health and individual needs.

You will also be asked to visit us regularly for free follow-up progress visits including weight check-ups to make sure your pet is on track and to discuss any concerns or queries you may have.

 

Weighty Problems - weight loss for your pet

Obesity is the most common nutritional disorder seen in cats and dogs. The most recent figures reported in Australia claim 41% of dogs and 32% of cats are considered to be obese. On average an overweight pet will live 2-5 years less than a pet with an ideal body weight. Health problems appear when body fat exceeds 15% above ideal body weight.

 

The effects of obesity

Obesity is a serious problem in pets and can be the cause of many problems we see in the veterinary hospital.

Obesity predisposes animals to a range of health problems and puts your pet at risk of one or more of the following:

  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Cardiovascular Disease - heart disease
  • Degenerative Joint & Orthopaedic Disease (DJD)
  • Joint Stress/musculoskeletal Pain
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Insulin resistance
  • Glucose intolerance
  • Increased surgical and anaesthetic complications
  • Neurological disorders
  • Respiratory problems
  • Cancer and tumours
  • Skin problems
  • Premature aging
  • Heat Intolerance
  • Hypertension -high blood pressure
  • Reproductive disorders
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Susceptibility to infections

 

The Causes of Obesity

As with people, obesity is caused by overeating. Most obesity is caused simply because a pet eats more calories than they need. The excess calories are then stored as body fat. We have little control over some contributing factors; eg. Breed, sex, hereditary, and age. However, there are others which we can control, these being over-feeding and exercise.

 

Reasons why a pet becomes obese

  • Excessive calorie intake (over-eating)
  • Inappropriate use of snacks, treats and supplements (human treats and snacks)
  • Lack of exercise
  • Appetite-stimulating drug therapy
  • Social factors (i.e. multi-pet households)
  • Decreased energy requirements eg. Hypothyroid disease

If an animal has a lower metabolic rate it is more inclined to obesity and can be affected by reproduction status (de-sexed pets), climate (pets use almost 70% of their energy from food to keep warm in cold climates) and hormones e.g. Thyroid Hormone.

Desexed pets are linked more frequently to obesity. By removing organs that produce hormones your pet's metabolism may be slowed. Adjusting your desexed pet's diet and exercise regime will keep your pet trim and healthy.

 

Healthy snacks for your pet

Carrots (contain Beta-carotene and aid in weight loss in dogs)
Cucumbers
Celery
Ice cubes (on a hot day)

 

Unhealthy snacks for your pet

What a treat for your dog would be equivalent to in human snack terms!

Dog treat = 

Human equivalent

1 x small plain biscuit = 

1 x hamburger

1 x slice buttered toast =

 1 x hamburger

30gm cheddar cheese = 

75gm chocolate

100gm sausage =

 6 donuts

 

Does your pet have a weighty problem?

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions below, or if you think your pet is not at its optimum body condition, you may want to talk to your healthcare team about a weight management program.

 

Here's some weighty questions for your pet...

  • Do you have difficulty feeling your pet’s ribs?
  • Is there little or no ‘waist’?
  • Do you give your pet table scraps or leftovers?
  • Is your pet reluctant to exercise?
  • Does your pet seem to tire easily with activity?
  • Does your pet waddle when it walks?
  • Does your pet keep eating so long as there is food in the bowl?
  • Have you been told your pet is overweight?

A yes to more than one of these questions may mean your pet's diet and exercise program needs to be revised!

 

A solution to the problem

We offer a weight management program tailored to your pet, to help them reach and maintain their optimal body weight. A regulated exercise program will help promote total wellness for maximum benefit to your pet. The use of high quality veterinary diets means your pet will not miss out on any essential nutrients throughout their weight management program.

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