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John Burns' Blog

London Vet Show Musings

Published: Friday, December 2, 2016

At the London Vet Show recently I attended a lecture by Dr Alex German from Liverpool Vet School. The title of the talk was “Obesity – Are We [the veterinary profession] Wasting our Time?” Dr German explained that of obese dogs put on a weight reduction programme, less than 50% reach their target weight and that of those which do, 48% subsequently re-gain weight.  This was why Dr German felt that the veterinary profession was wasting its time on trying to slim dogs which are already obese and should focus on preventing the weight gain in the first place.

This makes sense but Dr German’s lecture had an unintended sting in the tail.  He also pointed out that, despite the very large incidence of overweight pets, in a survey of over 22,000 veterinary consultations, weight problems were mentioned in only 1.2 % of consultations.  It seems to me that the veterinary profession isn’t wasting time on obesity because it isn’t actually spending any time on the subject.  This isn’t very surprising.  Pet owners don’t want to be made to feel guilty about an overweight pet when they feel they don’t want to do anything about it.

Could your pet do with losing the flubber? Whether you require guidance on an overweight dog or how much to feed, our nutrition team are always available to give free nutrition advice on 0800 083 66 96.

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