After a cat named Midnight was found lodged between fence posts, Santa Cruz, Calif., animal control officials took the opportunity to point out the dangers of overweight pets. "Feline obesity is nothing to laugh about," said shelter field services manager Todd Stosuy in a statement. Animals such as Midnight, who weighs 14.4 pounds, face greater risk of health problems including arthritis, diabetes and heart disease. A microchip reunited Midnight with her owners.
Fat cat Tiny Tim tipped the scales at 35 pounds when he started his 300-calorie-per-day diet regimen and exercise plan at Houston's Southside Place Animal Hospital back in January. He has since slimmed down to 27.6 pounds, although his progress briefly stalled when he was apparently sneaking late-night snacks. Tiny Tim's progress is being carefully monitored by clinicians to ensure he is losing weight slowly and safely.
The High Park wildfire in Colorado is creating smoke that drifts along wind currents to residential areas, causing smoke inhalation problems for people and pets. The AVMA points out that secondary changes from wildfires, such as air and water quality, pose significant health problems for pets. Dogs at greatest risk from smoke inhalation are those with lung or heart conditions and those with narrow airways, including pugs and bulldogs, notes veterinarian Julie Lenoch.
As AVMA's National Pet Week continues to highlight the importance of preventive care for pets, veterinarian Chea Hall says many common conditions, such as obesity, arthritis and diabetes, can be successfully managed if caught early and treated appropriately. Dr. Hall also notes that since cats can exhibit symptoms of multiple diseases, the best way to catch illnesses before they are too advanced to treat or cure is to routinely take pets to the veterinarian.
Providers began selling pet insurance about 30 years ago, but sales of policies only began taking off during the past decade, as more people started treating pets as family members and expecting access to pricier veterinary treatments. Policies vary in coverage and price, depending on a pet's age, general health and the extent of coverage. For more information, read AVMA's guidelines on pet insurance and more information to help clients decide whether it's right for them.