Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fat Fido


It would be safe to say that that some people out there, and you know who you are, love their dogs more than they love their kids. No one ever talks about that in public, but all of us know people who take care of their pet better than their kid.

Well, the US FDA is following suit, because last week they announced the first prescription drug to treat dog obesity. Yes, that's right, dog obesity. The drug is called Slentrol and is brought to you by Pfizer. You know, the same company that manufactures Lipitor.

According to this article, the problem of dog obesity is so prevalent a whopping FIVE percent of dogs are considered obese. This equals about 4 million dogs. And, another 20-30 percent are considered overweight.
``This is a welcome addition to animal therapies, because dog obesity appears to be increasing,'' said Dr. Stephen Sundlof, director of the food and drug agency's Center for Veterinary Medicine, announcing the approval of the drug.
Now, not everyone is excited about this new medication. (Imagine that.) In fact, some people are outraged that Fido has the same opportunity that many Americans have to lose weight so that Fido can squeeze into that Speedo for summertime.
That is a shame, but here's something to think about: Why don't dog owners - the people theoretically in charge of feeding said chunky canines - just feed them less and exercise them more? Or, perhaps in extreme cases, try any one of dozens of weight-restricting food products for dogs on the market? The whole thing is just ridiculous.
Oh yeah, the drug maker, in full disclosure stated that the drug will cost $1-2 a day and has the potential to cause liver problems. Side effects may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and loss of appetite.

Before I close, I would like to apologize for using the characterization of "Fat Fido." I don't want to be targeted by Rosie. So, maybe I should instead say "Plus Size Pooches" now have a drug to help them remove the plus. HA!

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fido in a Speedo?

Oh, no!

Tracama said...

Sarcasm does not become you. How about the kids vs dogs agrument? Dogs - you can leave them home alone, don't have to clothe them or pay for higher education. If you can't have children, they are the next best thing. I agree that simply walking your dog every day and not feeding him table scraps will keep him healthy. Dogs are valuable to the blind, the disabled, the police, a lost child and don't forget the lovable St. Bernard, who not only digs you out of that avalanche, but brings you a barrel of liquor besides. So sad that they retired them last year. :) Please answer some of the more intelligent questions coming your way and ignore the topics that aren't even worth "talking" about.

Lea said...

That poor dog in the picture!

Sadly, this shows that some Americans are so lazy their dogs are suffering.

Anonymous said...

Some people think that feeding is an expression of love. My MIL had an obese dog 25 yrs ago. I seemed to be the only family member horrified by the dog's weight. Attitude toward obesity varies from person to person, even about the family pet.

Jamie Fraser

Anonymous said...

That is a BIG dog....

what if the owner maybe stopped overfeeding it and made it run more?

Muddy said...

I really do not understand giving a dog medication so he'll loose weight. I know to some a dog is like a child...but come on...

Anonymous said...

(You are so funny!) On that topic, my sister and I were "scandalized" at Christmas because we noticed my mother's poor little weenie-dog had lost weight---because she'd put him on a diet on the advice of the vet. We accused her of starving him and we wanted to sneak him tidbits, but my mother forbade it...

Rachael said...

The fido fat pill is just another example of an America too lazy to get off the sofa and WALK THE DOG!!!

Dogs need excercise. Having a backyard is no substitute for a walk.

The only way I could see this being of use is in a dog with an orthopedic injury or problem that would prevent it from excercising and that is exacerbated by obesity.

Green beans and canned pumpkin are great weight loss aids for dogs too. Loads cheaper. No damage to the liver.

k├»rstin♪ said...

i let my cat get a little too fat due to circumstances not entirely in my control, but still should have put her on weight loss at the end of all that. she has paid a price for that, in becoming diabetic, and a slew of other health issues that might have been prevented had i been more diligent.
stupid me.

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

I feel so bad for the dog.

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming that this pet obesity pill is going to be prescribed by vets? I wonder what their take on that is? Why wouldn't any vet recommend diet and exercise for the pets before resorting to pills? I love my dog, and I keep track of her weight. Dogs always act like they're starving, it's the humans' responsibility.

Anonymous said...

That is one fat ass dog.

gay CME guy said...

As one without kids, I would be one of those dog people who treats his dog like a kid. That said, I find this incredulous. HOw many $millions of R & D did Pfizer put into this.
It reminds me of a focus group I attended about a year ago, about bottled water for dogs. I'm glad to report that the people who were vocal in the group found the idea obscene.

Anonymous said...

I love dogs, but I just don't see the point of having that sort of medication to try to treat obesity in an animal. I suppose that if there was a medical condition that was causing the dog to weigh an enormous weight the medication could be considered but then again, the medical condition would most likely cancel out the ability to use that medication.

It would be best for all involved (pet and owner) to go with a diet and exercise plan. I bet if there was a study done they'd find a correlation between the weight of a pet and it's owner. So therefore, instead of a drug for the easy way to deal with the problem, stricter diets and exercise regiments should be implimented.

Anonymous said...

I couldnt sleep and wanted to read other blogs and just stumbled onto this one. Your blog is very interesting. I find it quite humourous and i John Cusack too, all his flicks and Don Henley. You must be from the 80's too. Nice to meet you Dr. A!

Sarebear said...

I bet this pill was a product of research for weight-loss meds for people, but was not well-suited, but worked well enough in animal trials.

If only them making money off of such side-products of people drug development WOULD HELP EM CHARGE LESS FOR PEOPLE MEDS . . . lol!

Andrea said...

Oh this is just stupid. If half the energy that went into discovering pills and medications like this were to go into ways to change the diet industry from money sucking attention glommers full of fad diets, there would be so much less obesity in the American culture, animals included.

A. Truman North said...

http://condig.blogspot.com/2007/01/new-frontier-of-big-pharma.html

I wrote it, too.

good show, Doc.

Best
Truman

Anonymous said...

interesting article, didn't know that the obesity rate in dogs is that high! so, are dog oweners willing to spend 1-2 dollars a day than taking their dog for a walk?

Anonymous said...

2 brothers in the UK were prosecuted this week for over feeding their dog, it equalled cruelty.