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Publication type: Journal Article
Document type: Full Paper

Year: 2012

Author(s): Handl, S; Iben, C

Title: The current situation of obesity in the dog and cat II: Diagnosis, treatment and prophylaxis.

Source: Kleintierpraxis (57), 7 372-385.

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Handl Stefanie
Iben Christine

Vetmed Research Units
Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds

The current situation of obesity in the dog and cat II: Diagnosis, treatment and prophylaxis The easiest ways to diagnose obesity in dogs and cats which do not require large technical equipment are the measurement of body weight and body condition scoring. Two further methods of estimating body composition suitable for use in veterinary practice are bioelectrical impedance and ultrasonographic measurement of the subcutaneous back fat layer. Currently, however, the most precise non-invasive method for measuring body composition is dual x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). The first step in treating obesity is the calculation of the target weight, which can be calculated from the current body weight and the body condition score. Common strategies used in weight reduction diets are reduced energy density, increased protein to energy ratio, and increased fibre content. Commercially available as well as homemade reduction diets can be used. Several feed additives, like L-carnitine or conjugated linoleic acid, are used in commercially available weight reduction diets, although clinical studies proving their efficacy are often lacking. Two drugs for the pharmaceutical treatment of obesity (dirlotapid and mitratapid) are currently licensed in Austria and Germany. In addition to dietary management, an exercise regime should be included into the therapy program. The compliance of the owner is essential to successfully complete the weight reduction therapy. In the prophylaxis of obesity, the expert advice of veterinarians plays a particularly important role; therefore, the recording of the feeding history as well as the measurement of body weight and the estimation of body condition score should be an integral part of every veterinary consultation. Close monitoring of the body condition is essential, especially after neutering or during middle age, when the risk for developing obesity is greatest.

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