Obesity in cats and goes comes hand in hand with health implications. Here are some of the shocking and unseen effects weight gain can have on our pets.
Weight problems in domestic cats and dogs has been
escalating issue in recent years. Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions may have
further exacerbated the problem with less opportunity to exercise our pets.
Like us, if our pets snack frequently and rarely exercise,
their weight quickly increases which often comes hand in hand with health
implications. Here are some of the damaging effects weight gain can have on our
cats and dogs.
- Your pet may be at a higher risk of endocrine &
metabolic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism and
The extra pressure on the skeleton increases the risk of orthopaedic
disorders such as fractures, cruciate damage, intervertebral disc disease and
degenerative joint disease.
An overweight pet is at greater risk from complications
related to cardio-respiratory disease including heat stroke, tracheal collapse,
laryngeal paralysis, airway obstruction syndrome and irregular heart rhythm.
Extra weight in the abdominal area increases the risk of
urinary tract disorders such as incontinence and urinary crystals.
Mammary and bladder tumours and other lumps and bumps may be
more difficult to detect.
Fleshy skin folds and the inability to groom properly can
lead to skin problems such as scurf, matted fur, pressure sores and dermatitis.
- Overweight animals have less resistance to disease.
Once a pet becomes overweight or obese, a vicious cycle
often develops. The extra weight means that many animals have difficulty
exercising because of the adverse effects on locomotion, heart function and
Obese animals have a slower metabolic rate and their
individual “set-point” for body weight is higher than it should be. This makes
achieving and maintaining weight loss difficult once obesity is established.
Breaking the vicious cycle requires diet, exercise,
stimulation and motivation. Visit your vet
for advice, keep your eyes peeled for more articles from us with tips on how to
safely slim your pet or why not join our FREE diet club!
Joining our Diet Club entitles you to free specialised and
personalised advice from our registered Veterinary Nurse and holder of the
Certificate in Canine and Feline Veterinary Health Nutrition, Ness Bird.
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