EDMOND, Okla., Oct. 12, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- An Edmond veterinarian is emphasizing the need for area pet owners to maintain their pets' weight at a healthy level. According to Dr. Jennifer Bianchi of White Oaks Veterinary Clinic, pet obesity can cause a host of health problems and discomforts that can drastically reduce an animal's quality of life, ranging from diabetes to an increased risk of cancer. "Fortunately, there are many things we can do to work with pet owners and recommend the right combination of food, exercise, and other veterinary care as needed to help their pets enjoy the longest and healthiest life possible," said Dr. Bianchi.
Edmond veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Bianchi notes that more than half of all U.S. dogs and cats qualify as overweight or obese. The accumulation of extra pounds may occur for one or more of many possible reasons, she explains, from a sedentary lifestyle and unwise feeding habits to an undiagnosed health condition. "In most cases, however, obesity stems from too much food or the wrong kinds of foods for a pet's particular stage of life, coupled with too little activity," she said. According to Dr. Bianchi, puppies and kittens require more food than adult animals, and a senior pet requires less food than an adult, particularly if joint problems or other age-related conditions have reduced his activity level.
The veterinarian adds that the food itself must contain the correct nutritional balance to support a healthy weight. "Pets who are allowed to consume table scraps are at a higher risk for obesity because of the high levels of fats, sugar, and starch in human foods," she warns.
Dr. Bianchi states that obesity can create the same disease risks in pets as it does in humans, with the same debilitating or even fatal results. She observes that obesity in animals is associated with higher rates of diabetes, heart and liver problems, high blood pressure, digestive problems, and even certain forms of cancer. Additionally, too much weight can stress the joints, causing premature joint wear, arthritis, and other painful conditions.
Dr. Bianchi recommends prevention as the best medicine for pet obesity. She advises area pet owners to bring their animals in for regularly scheduled wellness visits so the veterinary team can weigh him and determine whether he is carrying too much weight for his age and breed. "If we see possible cause for concern, we can recommend dietary, nutritional and lifestyle changes that can help," she said, adding severely obese dogs may benefit from an oral medication called Slentrol if all other measures have failed to reduce their weight.
In addition to preventative wellness and nutritional counseling, White Oaks Veterinary Clinic provides stem cell therapy, acupuncture, dentistry, equine care, and other services for area pets.
CONTACT: White Oaks Veterinary Clinic, 1-888-667-5235Source:White Oaks Veterinary Clinic