AVMA Collections: Obesity in dogs


Single-topic compilations of the information shaping our profession
April 2008
 
In this collection:
Summary:  Text | Audio 

Benefits of diet restriction

Obesity and health

Considerations for treatment and prevention

The role of nutrition

Biomarkers of obesity

 
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Benefits of diet restriction



 
 
Effect of weight reduction on clinical signs of lameness in dogs with hip osteoarthritis Highlights:
•   Overweight dogs with hip osteoarthritis studied
•   All dogs lost minimum of 10% body weight
•   Lameness improved significantly
Weight reduction alone may improve lameness
Joseph A. Impellizeri, Mark A. Tetrick, Peter Muir
J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:1089-1091. April 1, 2000.
 
Evaluation of the effect of limited food consumption on radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis in dogs Highlights:
•   Test group fed 25% less than controls for 8 years
•   Controls: Multiple-joint osteoarthritis in 77%
•   Test group: Multiple-joint osteoarthritis in only 10%
Osteoarthritis low in dogs fed 25% less
Richard D. Kealy, Dennis F. Lawler, Joan M. Ballam, George Lust, Daryl N. Biery, Gail K. Smith, Sandra L. Mantz
J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:1678-1680. December 1, 2000.
 
Lifelong diet restriction and radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis of the hip joint in dogs Highlights:
•   Test group fed 25% less than controls for 14 years
•   Controls: Hip joint osteoarthritis in 83%
•   Test group: Hip joint osteoarthritis in 50%
Hip joint osteoarthritis lower in dogs fed 25% less
Gail K. Smith, Erin R. Paster, Michelle Y. Powers, Dennis F. Lawler, Darryl N. Biery, Frances S. Shofer, Pamela J. McKelvie, Richard D. Kealy

J Am Vet Med Assoc 2006;229:690-693. September 1, 2006.

 
Effects of diet restriction on life span and age-related changes in dogs Highlights:
•   Test group fed 25% less than controls for life
•   Test group lived 1.8 years longer than controls
•   Also later onset of osteoarthritis, chronic disease
Longer life, delayed disease in dogs fed 25% less
Richard D. Kealy, Dennis F. Lawler, Joan M. Ballam, Sandra L. Mantz, Darryl N. Biery, Elizabeth H. Greeley, George Lust, Mariangela Segre, Gail K. Smith, Howard D. Stowe
J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:1315-1320. May 1, 2002.
 
Influence of lifetime food restriction on causes, time, and predictors of death in dogs Highlights:
•   Test group fed 25% less than controls for life
•   Test group: 2-year delay in neoplasia deaths
•   Declining lean mass, high fat predictive of death
Body mass changes later in life require evaluation
Dennis F. Lawler, Richard H. Evans, Brian T. Larson, Edward L. Spitznagel, Mark R. Ellersieck, Richard D. Kealy
J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:225-231. January 15, 2005.
 

Obesity and health

 
 
 
Association of expiratory airway dysfunction with marked obesity in healthy adult dogs Highlights:
•   Obese, nonobese dogs given pulmonary tests
•   Expiratory resistance 2x greater in obese dogs
•   Causes may be structural or inflammatory
Obesity may cause expiratory airway restriction
Jonathan F. Bach, Elizabeth A. Rozanski, Daniela Bedenice, Daniel L. Chan, Lisa M. Freeman, Jennifer L. S. Lofgren, Trisha J. Oura, Andrew M. Hoffman
Am J Vet Res 2007;68:670-675. June 2007.
 
Long-term risks and benefits of early-age gonadectomy in dogs Highlights:
•   Incontinence higher in females spayed early
•   Early-age gonadectomy safe in male dogs
•   Female dogs best spayed after 3-4 months
Obesity decreased in both sexes neutered early
C. Victor Spain, Janet M. Scarlett, Katherine A. Houpt
J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:380-387. February 1, 2004.
 
Prevalence of obese dogs in a population of dogs with cancer Highlights:
•   Obesity prevalence differs among cancer types
•   Obesity may have an incongruous effect
•   Cancers may affect weight differently
Systematic use of body condition scoring needed
Lisa P. Weeth, Andrea J. Fascetti, Philip H. Kass, Steven E. Suter, Aniel M. Santos, Sean J. Delaney
Am J Vet Res 2007;68:389-398. April 2007.

Development of a mental wellness program for animals Highlights:
•   Animal mental health not just behavior issues
•   Includes positive experiences, life satisfaction
•   Overeating pleasurable but also leads to obesity
Animal caregivers must use judgment in feeding
Franklin D. McMillan
J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:965-972. April 1, 2002.

Disease prevalence among dogs and cats in the United States and Australia and proportions of dogs and cats that receive therapeutic diets or dietary supplements Highlights:
•   1,104 pet owners asked about pets' health
•   6.1% (67) believed pet was obese
•   0.3% (3) saw obesity as a health problem
Obesity education for pet owners is needed
Lisa M. Freeman, Sarah K. Abood, Andrea J. Fascetti, Linda M. Fleeman, Kathryn E. Michel, Dorothy P. Laflamme, Cassandra Bauer, Brona L. E. Kemp, Janine R. Van Doren, Kristina N. Willoughby
J Am Vet Med Assoc 2006;229:531-534. August 15, 2006.

Health status and population characteristics of dogs and cats examined at private veterinary practices in the United States Highlights:
•   Over 30,000 dogs examined by U.S. veterinarians
•   Obese body condition scores given to 4.8%
•   Obesity listed as disorder for only 2%
Obesity underreported by veterinarians
Elizabeth M. Lund, P. Jane Armstrong, Claudia A. Kirk, Linda M. Kolar, Jeffrey S. Klausner
J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;214:1336-1341. May 1, 1999.
 
 

Considerations for treatment and prevention 

 
 
Use of body condition scores in clinical assessment of the provision of optimal nutrition Highlights:
•   Body condition scoring currently underutilized
•   Predicts body fat with 85% confidence or better
•   Results must be applied to health plan
Obese scores indicate health disorders
William J. Burkholder
J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:650-654. September 1, 2000.
 
Evaluation of owner education as a component of obesity treatment programs for dogs Highlights:
•   60 obese dogs placed in weight loss program
•   Owners in test group attended nutrition classes
•   BCS, weight fell similarly for all dogs
Owner education offered no advantage
Jill E. Yaissle, Cheryl Holloway, C. A. Tony Buffington
J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:1932-1935. June 15, 2004.
 
Effects of caloric restriction and a moderate or intense physiotherapy program for treatment of lameness in overweight dogs with osteoarthritis Highlights:
•   Lame, obese dogs given diet, massage, exercise
•   Test group same plus intensive physical therapy
•   Weight loss, lameness better in test group
Diet, physical therapy better than diet alone
Evamaria Mlacnik, Barbara A. Bockstahler, Marion Müller, Mark A. Tetrick, Richard C. Nap, Jürgen Zentek
J Am Vet Med Assoc 2006;229:1756-1760. December 1, 2006.
 
Use of pedometers to measure physical activity in dogs Highlights:
•   Dogs and owners wore pedometers 7-14 days
•   Fewer steps, higher body condition scores linked
•   Less active owners had less active dogs
Pedometry in dogs not precise but useful
Catherine B. Chan, Marguerite Spierenburg, Sherri L. Ihle, Catrine Tudor-Locke
J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:2010-2015. June 15, 2005.
 
Public health roles for small animal practitioners Highlights:
•   Shortage of veterinarians in public health growing
•   Public health can be marketing opportunity
•   Client may see veterinarian more than physician
Veterinarians can impact obesity in humans also
James S. Wohl, Kenneth E. Nusbaum
J Am Vet Med Assoc 2007;230:494-500. February 15, 2007.
 
 

The role of nutrition  

 
 
 
Facilitative and functional fats in diets of cats and dogs Highlights:
•   Good, bad fats in humans work differently in dogs
•   Functional, facilitative are better labels
•   "Bad" fat only if excessive, causes obesity
Good, bad labels for fats do not apply in dogs
John E. Bauer
J Am Vet Med Assoc 2006;229:680-684. September 1, 2006.
 
Nutritional adequacy of diets formulated for companion animals Highlights:
•   Home-prepared diets often too high in calories
•   Home-made recipes vary, hard to measure
•   Owners may substitute food for attention
Discuss nutrition with clients preparing pets' diets
Erin L. Steiff, John E. Bauer
J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;219:601-604. September 1, 2001.
 
Energy requirements and body surface area of cats and dogs Highlights:
•   Body weight not enough to derive energy needs
•   Metabolic rate, BSA must also be considered
•   Accuracy of BSA estimates can vary up to 20%
Use of BSA as a clinical tool requires monitoring
Richard C. Hill, Karen C. Scott
J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:689-694. September 1, 2004.

Biomarkers of obesity

 

 



 
 
Correlation between plasma leptin concentration and body fat content in dogs Highlights:
•   Plasma leptin correlates strongly to adiposity
•   Good for measuring obesity across breeds, ages
•   ELISA testing simple and practical
Plasma leptin useful for assessing obesity
Mayumi M. Sagawa, Fumio Nakadomo, Tsutomu Honjoh, Katsumi Ishioka, Masayuki Saito
Am J Vet Res 2002;63:7-10. January 2002.
 
Influence of obesity on plasma lipid and lipoprotein concentrations in dogs Highlights:
•   Plasma leptin correlates strongly with body fat
•   Less correlation of plasma leptin with body weight
•   Plasma leptin levels may drop before body weight
Blood lipid assay useful for managing obesity
Isabelle C. Jeusette, Estelle T. Lhoest, Louis P. Istasse, Marianne O. Diez
Am J Vet Res. 2005;66:81-86. January 2005.