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Common Obesity-Related Health Issues for Dogs and Cats

Obesity dogs and catsWe all know that carrying extra weight is not the best for our health. Obesity in our pets is no different and can cause a wide variety of health issues for or dogs and cats.

According to Veterinary Pet Insurance Co, one of the leading pet insurance companies, in 2012, policyholders filed more than $34 million in claims for conditions and diseases that can be caused or exacerbated by excess weight.

My cat, Ariel is of average weight, but a few weeks after we brought her home from the shelter, we worried about her weight. She was eating a lot and seemed to enjoy eating people food (she was obsessed with french fries and tater tots) and we started to see her weight gain over a short amount of time. We’ve not had experience with overweight cats before (our older cats who passed away this year were very fit and thin cats), and we knew it was not something we want to have for her. We thought we were treating her by giving her little bits of our food, but clearly that was not best for her health, so we stopped.

According to Veterinary Pet Insurance Co.‘s 2012 insurance claims of more than 485,000 insured pets to determine the top 10 dog and cat obesity-related conditions in 2012 and they’re certainly not issues I want for my cat!

Most common obesity-related conditions for dogs and cats:

Most Common Dog

Obesity-Related Conditions

Most Common Cat

Obesity-Related Conditions

1.   Arthritis 1.    Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease
2.   Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease 2.    Chronic Kidney Disease
3.   Undiagnosed Limp 3.    Diabetes
4.   Low Thyroid Hormone 4.    Asthma
5.   Liver Disease 5.    Liver Disease
6.   Torn Knee Ligaments 6.    High Blood Pressure
7.   Diseased Disc in the Spine 7.    Arthritis
8.   Diabetes 8.    Undiagnosed Limp
9.   Heart Failure 9.    Heart Failure
10.  Chronic Kidney Disease 10.   Gall Bladder Disorder

Dr. Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. says, “Taking your pet to the veterinarian for regular wellness visits is the most effective way to monitor your pet’s weight. Routine exercise, a regulated diet and watching for signs of excessive weight gain are important steps in avoiding pet obesity and the additional health concerns that are associated with it.”

Photo credit: iStockPhoto
Source: Veterinary Pet Insurance Co.; Obesity press release

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