Paris is a delightful 2 and a half year old Pug who is well known at Vetwest Clarkson. On every visit she is happy to see us and wags her whole body when coming to the clinic. However, she did have a little problem. She loves her food way too much!
In January 2013 Paris graced us with her presence. She was her usual bright and happy self, wagging her tail with all her might. It was mentioned during her physical examination with Dr Marie Hendrick that Paris was now very overweight and something needed to be done to stop her from suffering from some pretty serious medical issues. As with all overweight pets, Paris’ weight gain occurred over an extended period of time. When we see our pets everyday the slow changes are not always easily noticed. Sometimes it takes a weigh-in at the vets to notice how much of a problem things can become.
Obesity and weight gain in humans is talked about a lot these days in magazines and TV shows. Doctors talk about the medical issues that weight gain can cause but sometimes we forget that these problems can, and do, also affect our furry friends. Paris’ main problem was that, with her little short puggy face, the increased weight was causing her to have problems breathing. She was breathing very loudly and with some difficulty. This type of breathing increased her chances of suffering from heat stroke. Luckily she wasn’t suffering from other signs that occur with obesity such as poor energy levels, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart conditions, joint pain or arthritis.
Both Paris’ love of food and her family’s desire to give her everything she wanted had landed her in some strife. It was decided by Paris’ family and Dr Marie Hendrick that Paris should enter our weight loss programme. On the 27th January 2013 Paris and her family got started. The Vetwest weight loss programme has been designed as a free clinic run by our experienced nursing team to help pets achieve a weight loss goal. The plan was established so the only fee incurred by the family is the specialty veterinary prescribed food.
Paris’ starting weight was 10.1kg. The nurses worked out that her goal weight would be 8kg. The nurses were there every step of the way. They checked Paris regularly to make sure she was losing weight at a healthy rate. Paris’ weight was recorded, her waist measured and calculations were performed to make sure she was eating the correct amount of the food that she was prescribed (sometimes she even got to eat more than originally calculated – now that’s a nice diet!)
With hard work from Paris’ family and the nurses at Vetwest Clarkson, Paris reached her goal weight in August 2013. This may seem like a long time but we all know that a slow and steady weight loss is safer and easier to maintain. The main issue Paris had with her weight gain was her breathing. We are happy to announce that Paris’ breathing is much more normal. Her grunting and snorting and fighting for every breathe has resolved and she is much happier. Her risk of suffering from heat stroke this summer has significantly reduced which is a great relief.
So many medical issues associated with weight gain can put a big strain on our pet’s lives and many of these can be easily reversed with some careful weight loss. If you think your family pet is a little overweight or suffering from the medical issues that stem from weight gain please don’t hesitate to speak to a team member at your local Vetwest Animal Hospital.