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Posted on 05-21-2012

Obesity and Your Pet's Health

An extra pound or two of added weight might not be cause for concern in humans, but for our pets it could be the source of potentially serious health problems. At Emergency Animal Hospital of Northwest Austin, we see numerous health problems ranging from mobility issues to internal and dangerous diseases that can be linked to pet obesity.

Common Health Problems Found in Overweight Pets

The veterinarians at our animal hospital encounter numerous health problems that are a direct result of the stress that extra weight places on a pet's organs. Treatable conditions such as arthritisAustin veterinarians discuss health problems linked to pet obesity and diabetes can often be exacerbated by obesity, but other issues linked to obesity like digestive disorders and decreased liver function can be potentially life threatening.

It is estimated that at least 25% of all overweight cats and dogs show symptoms of arthritis or other joint and bone damage. Cat and dog symptoms of arthritis include difficulty moving around, walking tenderly or showing reluctance to use a certain leg, and a decrease in mobility and stamina. Arthritis, and bone or joint damage typically is not life threatening but it can be extremely painful.

Another common health problem that our Austin veterinarians see as a result of extra weight is a decrease in liver function. The extra weight causes fat to become stored around the liver, which can decrease the organ's ability to properly function. Decreased liver function can often be indicated by several dog or cat symptoms including extreme weight loss, decreased mobility, and an increased intake of water. A veterinarian at our hospital can diagnosis this problem through lab work, such as blood work and ultrasounds.

While we hope that a situation will never escalate to where you need to resort to emergency veterinary services, at Emergency Animal Hospital of Northwest Austin we offer the experienced care your pets need when faced with serious health issues caused by excessive weight. If you see any unusual cat symptoms or dog symptoms in your overweight pet, call us right away.

What are some ways that have helped your pet lose weight?

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