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Veterinary Services Tips

Obesity In Cats - What Should You Do?

Dr. Chandrakanta Chakraborty 93% (134 ratings)
M.V.Sc, B.V.Sc. & A.H.
Veterinarian, Kolkata
Obesity In Cats - What Should You Do?

If your cat is becoming overweight, it is definitely a reason for concern as it could be a sign of different disorders. Overweight and obese cats are growing in number and as a result, the number of cats under normal weight is significantly low. Obesity in cats can be a premonition of high blood sugar, arthritis and hepatic Lipidosis. But if you are willing to put your cat on a diet, then it must be pursued very carefully so that it doesn’t lead to undesirable results.

In a study conducted in 2011 by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, it was found that more than 50 percent of cats were overweight and obese. It is important to consider the reason behind sedentary obesity and the most obvious factor that comes to the fore is that any mammal that consumes more calories than it can burn. Any cat that has become overweight or obese should be put under comprehensive health checkup with blood and urine tests and exact weight measurement.

It is also important to check the hormone levels and to ensure that the cat has no metabolic or physical dysfunction. In case the cat is under normal physical function other than being overweight or obese, then a gradual weight loss diet can be implemented to achieve desired results.

Getting started:
The most crucial responsibility of the cat owner is to limit the calories that the feline consume on a regular basis. The general rule is that if the cat is 10 pounds, it must consume around 200 calories in a day according to the guidelines of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Here are some of the tips that you can follow in general to help your cat lose weight.

Measure the daily intake of food and divide the targeted amount of calorie into 4 to 6 small meals. Supply your cat with ample amount of water and consult with your veterinarian to set a weight loss goal. When the cat is becoming too fat, you should avoid giving treats and foods for human beings as that can cause obesity and diarrhea. Also, you should never allow your cat to eat dog food.Cats have their own cat foods commercially available. Every cat must consume those in order to maintain a standard body weight & stunning health. These foods are fortified with essential fibres,proteins or amino acids, micronutrients, vitamins and a very low quantity of carbohydrate. One should not feed any carbohydrate or starch like rice or bread to cats as this is practically not required. A too low amount of carbohydrate in daily diet of a cat is enough. Extra carbohydrate or carbohydrate mainly diet chiefly is responsible for sedentary life and extra pounds in body of the cats which make them prone to many lifestyle diseases like diabetes melitus etc.

Bottom line:
Veterinarians suggest that any new diet is required to be implemented slowly as there is high chance that your cat would stop eating altogether if you give her new foods all of a sudden. And the bottom line is, if you want your cat to control its weight through diet, then you must cut off calories in proportion to the level of physical activity that the cat indulges in. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, losing 1 pound in a month is a healthy option.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3464 people found this helpful

Arthritis In Dogs - 7 Common Signs You Must Watch Out For!

Dr. Chandrakanta Chakraborty 93% (134 ratings)
M.V.Sc, B.V.Sc. & A.H.
Veterinarian, Kolkata
Arthritis In Dogs - 7 Common Signs You Must Watch Out For!

Like human beings, dogs along with other mammals too suffer from arthritis, particularly when they are aging. Younger dogs can also suffer from arthritic changes which can be painful and uncomfortable for the dog. This pain is caused by different signs and symptoms of arthritis and being aware of those signs can help you access early treatment and recovery.

  1. Limping on the legs: This is the first sign of arthritis when you see your dog limp on one or more of his legs. Under certain circumstances, the limp is seen to be in its severe state when the dog first rises and then it gradually becomes unnoticeable when the dog warms up.
  2. Difficulty in moving: The dog may be reluctant in moving or taking part in its favorite activities. It could be something like playing in the backyard or getting inside the car or going up and down the stairs. If this is the case with your dog, then you should not ignore it and look for medical assistance.
  3. Discomfort in the spinal region: Arthritic alterations may not only occur in the legs of the dog, but also in the several parts of its body. These alterations may result in abnormal posture, sore and swelling of the neck or lameness in the hind legs.
  4. Tiredness and fatigueYou may have known your dog to be very active, but these days, you see it become tired too easily. For your dogs, this could mean that the walks have shortened and even painful. When plagued by these conditions, your dog would want to spend most of its time resting and sleeping.
  5. Easily irritated: Arthritic animals, be it a cat or a dog is definite to be irritated very easily. Some of them may even bite or scratch when handled or approached. The condition is even worsened when the pet is handled in a way that triggers its arthritic pain.
  6. Dying off of the tissues in the muscle: When a dog suffers from arthritis, it may also cause muscle atrophy or dying off of the muscle owing to decreased movement of the muscle and inactivity. When the dog has muscle atrophy, the legs would become thinner than normal legs.
  7. Licking the affected area: Dogs who are suffering from arthritic pain may develop a habit of biting, chewing and licking the affected area. Even though it is normal to indulge in such activities, it may reach an extent where the area becomes inflamed or there is a loss of hair in those areas in the body.

It is not that your dog would all of these signs if it has arthritis and therefore, you must consult with a reputed veterinarian if you see any of these signs without further delay.

Finally osteoarthritis is a multifactorial disease. Genetic predisposition, inherited skeletal disorders like hip dysplasia, pollution factors inducing free radical damage may make your dog prone to oasteoarthiris. Obesity is a common factor which aggravates the sufferings. Dietary management, physical managements like controlled exercise & swimming, physiotherapy and feed supplements that protect joints & bone structures along with available commercial diets for nourishing those delicate structures may be a good gateway tovprovide your beloved pet a quality life. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can ask a free question.

3367 people found this helpful

Lumps Or Bumps Growth on Dogs - Why Visiting A Doctor Is Recommended?

Dr. Chandrakanta Chakraborty 93% (134 ratings)
M.V.Sc, B.V.Sc. & A.H.
Veterinarian, Kolkata
Lumps Or Bumps Growth on Dogs - Why Visiting A Doctor Is Recommended?

It is not unnatural to find some lumps or bumps on your dog’s body, particularly when the dog is approaching its senior years. These growths are among the most common issues found in older dogs. But it can also happen to the younger ones. It is natural to be scared and have doubts whether it is a tumor or a lump or is it cancer. As a dog owner, therefore, you must understand the different types of lumps, bumps and growths on the dogs so that you can consult with a reputed veterinarian without delay.

1. Understanding the lumps, bumps, and growths: The veterinary doctor would refer to an unknown lump as a tumor in a general manner. This term do not indicate the malignity or benignity of the tumor. These terms typically indicate that an abnormal growth of tissues has taken place inside the body which has a shape or is a mass. There is no reason to panic in case your vet says that there is a growth or something of similar significance.

2. Getting the right diagnosis of the lumps on dogs: The dog owners are most likely to notice growth on the dogs while taking it for routine grooming or while petting it. When there is a new growth or tumor on the dog, it is safer to consult with the veterinarian who can carry out a thorough checkup. He would discuss the medical history of the dog which may include daily lifestyle, diet, signs and symptoms of illness and then a physical examination will be performed. It is important to note here that sometimes, the growth may not be noticeable and this is the primary reason why taking it out to an experienced veterinarian is crucial. The expert would be able to find visible masses while carrying out a routine examination.

3. Testing the mass or lump on the dog’s body: When there is a lump or growth on the dog’s body, it is important to carry out some tests such as complete blood count, urinalysis, radiographs revealing signs of metastasis and internal abnormalities, ultrasound, CT scan and certain advanced diagnostics.

In some cases when the lump can be easily accessed, the expert may recommend you to take your dog for a fine needle aspirate which is performed by inserting a small needle into the mass and drawing back the syringe. A little amount of tissue gets accumulated in the syringe which is then tested to determine the character of the lump. When the fine needle aspirate test is not effective, usually a biopsy is carried out under general anesthesia or mild sedation where it is cut out surgically or the entire mass is removed following surgical procedures.

3265 people found this helpful

Depression In Dogs - How To Deal With It?

Dr. Chandrakanta Chakraborty 93% (134 ratings)
M.V.Sc, B.V.Sc. & A.H.
Veterinarian, Kolkata
Depression In Dogs - How To Deal With It?

Depression in humans is well-known and well-documented, but depression in dogs is less known and studies have not been extended up to a deep level till now. As we say dogs are better known as "humans", it is natural for them to feel low and depressed at times. Some of the dog owners must have noticed that all of a sudden their dogs start acting in a way which is very unlike them. Sometimes, they find places to hide constantly or are spotted to be sleeping all day long.

The reasons for such depression are more or less the same in every species and can be interpreted as the following:

  1. Abusing: Just like humans, dogs get psychologically affected by the way their owner treats them. If you abuse your dog in a way in which it was not raised up, it is sure that your dog will slip into depression and in a few cases, might display some signs of aggression too.
  2. Critical depression: Critical depression occurs due to some changes in the dog's body. Chemical imbalances may provoke certain behaviors; one of them could be depression. In such situations, it is recommended to take your dog to a Veterinarian in order to seek professional help.
  3. Grief: If your dog's companion or its known faces drift away, it affects the dog’s behavior massively and may result into depression. This is because with time, the dogs develop strong emotional bonds and it gets hard for them to handle themselves in their absence.
  4. Aging: Aging is another reason behind your dog's depression. It is very simple to know and understand too that your dog will not be as energetic as it was in its young days. Also, sometimes sensing that their lifespan is about to end may lead them into depression.

How To Deal With It?
By being compassionate, as most of the times your dog may feel depressed because of the treatment you offer to it. They always want to be loved and adored by their owners and this cures everything unnatural happening with them. Try to play with them whenever you come back home, feed them gently, run your fingers through their fur and be extra attentive. All of these will enlighten their mood. Alternatively, you may try out other methods like going out for a walk twice a day, let it socialize with others in the park, let it feel loved more than anything.

For critical depression and grief, it is better to take recommendation from a Veterinarian. Try being patient with your dog about everything. Not all dogs recover rapidly. Hence, before snapping at it again, give it some time and don't pressurize it for anything that comes from its master affects it the deepest. For more comfort, you may bring a new pet which would be its companion for the entire day. Be cautious about the situation and selection. Sometimes they become envious due to such occurrences. Make sure they both get along well.

Osteoarthritis is related with genetic predisposition, inherited problems or defects in bones & joints. This painful condition often requires veterinary pain killers, supplements which protects bones and joints, scientific measures like controlled exercise, swimming & physiotherapy under the veterinary medical supervision. As pollution related features can bring such disorders causing free radical damage, this problem can be managed and a quality living for the pets can be provided with the application of advanced medicines like glucosamine, chondroitin sulphate, MSM, micronutrients ete. Many commercial diets are available which can nourish pets skeletal system effectively and a good plane of nutrition can guard a pet from gaining extra body weight which aggravates osteoarthritis. A perfect dietary and lifestyle management therefore is highly essential for combating such painful disorders. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Veterinarian.

3878 people found this helpful
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