EDMOND, Okla., Jan. 27, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- An Edmond veterinarian is spreading the word about the dangers of excess weight in pets and the need to control the issue through wellness care. According to Dr. Jennifer Bianchi of White Oaks Veterinary Clinic, dogs, cats, horses and other pets need a sensible combination of diet and daily activity to stave off obesity and the chronic health conditions associated with it. "Obesity is a major contributor to joint problems, chronic pain, cardiovascular disease and other serious ailments," says Dr. Bianchi. "Our animal hospital would like to see pet owners take steps to keep their animals healthy."
The concerns raised by the animal hospital are verified by the observations of researchers. One report by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention indicates that more than half of all domestic dogs and cats are carrying more weight than they should, with 25 percent of the dogs and 22 percent of the cats qualifying as obese. "The situation definitely grows worse every year," says Dr. Bianchi, "and health complications are pretty much inevitable if the obesity goes unchecked." She adds that these complications can include many health problems that are just as familiar in humans, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, liver or kidney failure, joint deterioration and breathing problems.
Dogs and cats are not the only domesticated animals that fall prey to obesity; horses can also suffer serious health problems from excess weight gain. While wild horses remain constantly active and must search for food, tame horses have ready access to food and may remain largely sedentary. Obese horses may suffer from heat stress if an extra layer of fat inhibits their ability to shed body heat, explains Dr. Bianchi. "Obesity in horses can also cause laminitis as well as abdominal tumors called lipomas," adds the Edmond veterinarian.
Due to the rise of obesity in pets, the animal hospital urges pet owners to schedule regular wellness evaluations for their animals. These checkups typically include a weight evaluation and guidance for the right type of diet and exercise plan beneficial for each specific pet type. The checkups are also designed to help the veterinarian detect, diagnose and treat any complications that may have already developed.
Veterinary intervention and treatment may include prescribed dietary changes, daily exercise, pain management for conditions that limit an animal's ability to run and play, and medications to help get blood sugar or blood pressure levels under control. Owners must then implement these best practices going forward. "Our goal is not simply to make the pet drop a lot of weight, but to create a healthy new lifestyle that will support proper weight as well as better overall wellness," said Dr. Bianchi.
In addition to obesity treatment and prevention, White Oaks Veterinary Clinic provides general wellness care, stem cell therapy, spaying and neutering, acupuncture, dentistry and other services for pets in Edmond and the surrounding communities.
White Oaks Veterinary Clinic 888-667-5235