You have just had your pet at your veterinarian for his/her annual physical exam. The veterinarian comments that he/she is “a little overweight”. What does that mean? We all make the usual excuses such as:
- “It’s just after Christmas and we over indulged our pets”
- “It’s winter and we can’t get out for walks as much”
- “He might lose the weight in the summer”
- “She’s only gained one pound since last year, that’s not too bad”
- “She’s only two pounds over weight so what’s all the fuss about?”
Well, research has shown that each of those fat cells are little factories that are pumping out hundreds of potentially toxic compounds called adipokines. These chemicals cause inflammation which irritates the whole body system. Inflammation affects the quality of our pets’ life. He or she will feel tired, lack energy and enthusiasm, ache in many parts of the body and only become excited for the next meal or treat.
A little short term inflammation from an infected paw or ear is not harmful and helps the body fight infection, however, long term, constant and excessive inflammation is bad. Fat is inflammation and inflammation will lead to diseases such as osteoarthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer. Inflammation will also make pre-existing illnesses worse. The bottom line is we can prevent and control this inflammation and give our pets a greater quality of life and longer life.
Discuss your concerns with your veterinarian and find out how we can help your pet decrease his/her inflammation.