Thursday, August 16, 2007
Medical Reports: Pudgy Pet's Friend
Love your dog, but you're getting a bit tired of carrying him or her? Tonight, Seven's Diana Diaz shows us how to keep man's best friend in line.
WSVN -- They can look at you like they haven't eaten in months, and it's easy to give in to temptation and overfeed your dog.
Allison Nash: "He was having a lot of treats. I have 3-and-half-year-old twin girls at home that were feeding him everything from their pancakes to their spaghetti. You name it, he was eating it."
And Allison was concerned.
So was Ashley after her dog Bentley gained weight little by little.
Ashley Stafford: "At first I didn't realize anything, until a couple months later, and all the weight kind of came on."
Both Ashley and Allison decided to make a vet visit.
Dr. Mieke Baks, veterinarian: "Has he lost any weight?"
Ashley Stafford: "Maybe one or two pounds, nothing drastic."
Doctor Mieke says she see's a lot of overweight pets.
Dr. Mieke Baks: "Come on. Good, boy."
Just like us, our furry friends will face health problems from carrying the excess pounds.
Dr. Mieke Baks: "Dogs, especially larger breeds, when they get arthritis, it is a lot harder on them if they are obese. They are in a lot more pain."
A quick test can tell you if your dog is packing too many pounds.
Dr. Mieke Baks: "Put your hand flat on their rib cage. You should be able to feel the ribs."
If that's not the case, it's time for a diet.
First, cut their food in half, and, most importantly, no people food, even if it's cooked just for Fido.
Dr. Mieke Baks: "The dogs will pick out the chicken out of the rice and everything, so it's hard to get everything in the right balance."
And, just like us, increase exercise.
Dr. Mieke Baks: "Just play with the dog a little more, so that they are more active."
If there's still a problem, there is a new diet drug, called Slentrol, just for dogs.
Dr. Mieke Baks: "It interferes with the fat absorption in the intestinal tract, so not all the calories that are in the food are absorbed."
But most vets say drug therapy should be the last resort.
Most healthy dogs can get in shape through diet an exercise.
Fortunately, both Bentley and Teddy didn't need to get on the pill.
Ashley is hoping Bentley will loose 10 pounds.
Ashley Stafford: "I started walking him more frequently whenever the sun goes down."
And Allison wants to make sure Teddy lives a long healthy life.
Allison Nash: "He's a great dog, and I want to make sure that, you know, he doesn't get any heart disease or any problems associated with obesity."
Now, if your dog is gaining weight, you should see your vet. Excess pounds can be brought on by a medical condition.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Mieke Baks
Siegel Animal Clinic
12870 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33181