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Love your pet ... love your vet - March 2015

Can you pinch an inch?

Everyone's talking about spring and this is always a good time to look at your pets and think about whether they are fit and healthy. It's easy during the winter months for all of us, including our pets, to put on a few extra lbs!

You need to look objectively at your pets to see whether they are over-weight. In a healthy pet with an ideal condition score the ribs should be able to be felt but not seen, with an obvious waist. By contrast, if you can pinch an inch (or more) and if your pet's tum sags down and bulges out, then a new healthy diet is in order.

Carrying extra weight places extra demands on virtually all of the organs of the body. Excess weight can lead to or worsen many medical conditions including:

Taking the above into consideration, it's vital to address the situation and your vet can help. They will undertake a full health check including checking for medical conditions such as an under-active thyroid gland that could result in weight gain.

To achieve weight loss, pets need a combination of a specially formulated calorie controlled diet (often down to around 2/3 their previous calorie intake) and more exercise. All pets need regular exercise, and increased walks, more frequent play and increased access to outdoors will all help.

The good news is that as your pet loses weight the benefits of increased healthiness will be seen quite quickly.

If you are concerned about your pet's weight, then contact your vet today for an appointment for an all over health-check and help in shedding those extra unwanted lbs!

Keith Moore BVSc MRCVS is a Veterinary Surgeon at Hillside Veterinary Centre in Corfe Mullen. For more information visit www.hillsidevets.co.uk.

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Last Updated: 30th November 2014