Losing It

Trying to help your pet lose weight can be frustrating. Traditional “weight loss” diets often lack sufficient levels of the vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals that animals specifically need based on individual idiosyncrasies. The bottom line is that what is on the bag is not enough. Changing how a body recognizes and metabolizes its food (nutrients) needs to be addressed for any weight loss program to be healthy. Here are two dogs that have successfully experienced losing weight and enjoying every bite of it!

HOLLY: 8 year old spayed yellow Labrador Retriever who weighs 122 pounds. She is fed a top line dry food for large dogs. Holly has had problems with weight most of her life, afraid of storms, repeated ear infections, and now has problems doing the things she enjoys the most; going for walks and swimming. She has difficulty bending her left elbow, swelling in left hock, 5/10 pain score, and her nutritional assessment indicates problems with liver and endocrine function and carbohydrate metabolism.
Plan: Weight goal 85#, home cooked grain free diet at 1 cup twice a day, 1-2 eggs at bedtime, ½ cup protein and veggie snacks during the day. Vitamins, minerals, and tissue extracts specifically to address her conditions, medications and supplements for her pain and inflammation. Chiropractic adjustments and rechecks monthly with changes to program, daily walks as she can tolerate.
We are not at the goal point yet but Holly continues to improve and had a great summer without pain.

Date Weight Pelvis Thorax Comments
Nov 122 lbs 94 cm 96 cm
Dec 122 lbs 88 cm 96 cm Playing with toys, activity level up, likes food, not hungry
Jan 108 lbs 86 cm 94.5 cm Fell on ice, rear end sore
Mar 104 lbs 83 cm 92 cm Seems stiff
Apr 105 lbs Winter was difficult, add microcurrent therapy for pain
Jun 98.5 lbs 80 cm 88 cm Doing more outside
Aug 98.2 lbs 83 cm 91 cm Swimming every day, no limp in 2 months

BLAZE: A 9 ½ year old, male neutered Border Collie mix was eating a lamb and rice dry food for most of his life. He developed degenerative joint disease in both hips, had problems walking, and was overweight. His owners were hoping to avoid hip surgery. Addressing his pain and arthritis was vital to getting him moving. Initially drugs were used for his pain but with some herbs, vitamin and mineral replacements, and correcting his body metabolism, it wasn’t long before he was able to scale-down. A home-made diet was selected for him. In April Blaze tipped the scale at 91 pounds and by August he was below 75. That is a 16 pound loss in 4 months! Part of his program included underwater treadmill exercise. He enjoys his water therapy, runs and plays, and has no difficulty getting up or playing. His happiness level is way up!

If your pet is overweight here are steps to take:
1) Read the label on the food you are feeding. Does if fit what this animal would eat out in the real world? For help with understanding this read www.DoctorJ.com . Then make a better change.
2) Is pain part of the reason? If so, aside from medications, consider other therapy that can relieve it such as massage, hot/cold packs, liniments, herbs, and pain specific therapeutic modalities.
3) Is there a daily exercise program? If not, get one that fits your pet’s ability and current status.
4) For those with long term obstinate obesity, adjusting endocrine and metabolic trends will most likely be needed to get the pounds dropping.

© Integrative Veterinary Education, Inc.

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