In the previous two articles, we discussed that a large percentage of cats and dogs are overweight and obese and how to identify if your pet is carrying a few extra pounds using a Body Condition Scoring system. This week we will scratch the surface of the long-term effects of obesity on the health of your pet.
The Association of Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) notes the following as the major health effects of obesity.
- Osteoarthritis (“arthritis”)
- Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart and Respiratory Disease
- Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury
- Kidney Disease
- Many Forms of Cancer
- Decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years)
This list of medical conditions stemming from obesity can leave your pet unhappy, painful and very ill. These conditions can also be very costly and time-consuming.
Veterinary Economics estimates that treating a 40 pound, an obese dog with osteoarthritis can run up to $1258 per year. Using preventative medicine with great, quality diets at the right amounts and joint supplements can run, at its highest, $486 per year (MASSIVE savings). Veterinary Economics also looked at the cost of treating a newly diagnosed diabetic cat. Between diagnostics, monitoring bloodwork and tests, insulin and syringes (not including the time to treat the cat twice daily) can run upwards of $1424. Preventing diabetes can be as simple as feeding the cat a quality diet at a measured amount to prevent obesity.
Pet obesity is a serious, medical condition with long-term, potentially painful effects and expensive medical bills. Tune in next week for fun ways to help your pet get in shape and stay there!