|Overweight patients are common in veterinary medicine, just as they are in human medicine.
Although animals also suffer from diseases in the general categories of cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and digestive diseases, many of the specific problems of obese humans do not afflict obese pets.
Of tumors, only adenocarcinoma of the breast is a significant problem in dogs and cats.
Moreover, a high intake of dietary fat and table food has been reported to be protective in adult dogs; in women, increasing dietary fat has been associated with increased breast cancer risk.
Two experimental studies in dogs notwithstanding, no published data have been provided suggesting that hypertension accompanies obesity in companion animals currently.
Hyperinsulinemia and glucose intolerance has been reported in diabetic obese dogs as well as in humans.
Whether or not weight reduction would correct these abnormalities has not been reported. In humans, central distribution of fat may be more pathological than a peripheral distribution, increasing morbidity due to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension.
The presence of differences in fat distribution have not been described in companion animals, even though they may influence the risk of obesity-related diseases in pets as well. No studies of investigation of the success of maintenance of the lost weight in client animals exist.
Recently reported studies of obese women suggest that maintenance of lost weight may be better maintained with continuous care programs, and support the view that obesity should be treated like other chronic diseases, by providing ongoing care for the rest of the life of the patient.
Source: Buffington CA. (1994): Management of obesity - the clinical nutritionist`s experience. In: Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1994 Jun;18 Suppl 1:S29-35.
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