Obesity in dogs and cats caused by imbalance in their diet does not have many symptoms, apart from gaining weight. Even so, an obese pet may have dull fur, dull eyes, diarrhea or constipation. It is also very common for them to suffer from fatigue and low energy levels.
It is important to note, however, that if you notice changes in your pet, you should not assume that it is part of its “normal” state of obesity. Obesity can be associated with a list of conditions that can be serious. Make sure a vet checks it.
Obesity in dogs can be a sign of thyroid malfunction
Sometimes, Obesity can be caused by problems of the thyroid gland. Remember that hormones that control the rate of body metabolism are produced in this gland.
When the gland produces very few hormones – an underactive thyroid – the condition is called hypothyroidism. The only way to diagnose hypothyroidism is to have your vet perform some blood tests.
Hypothyroidism is most often seen in middle-aged dogs to older medium to large breeds. But any dog of any size or age could have it, while in cats hypothyroidism is very unusual.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism
When the metabolic rate decreases, virtually all organs of the body are affected. Most dogs with hypothyroidism have one or more of the following signs:
- Greater weight without increased appetite and increased blood cholesterol levels.
- Decreased heart rate, lethargy and lack of desire to exercise.
- Dry and dull hair with excessive detachment. It may happen that the hair does not grow back after cutting or shaving. Cold intolerance is also common.
- Skin changes: May cause itching and increase dark skin pigmentation.
- Greater susceptibility and occurrence of skin and ear infections.
Rapid weight gain can be a symptom of diabetes in dogs, but it can also be a sudden weight loss! Diabetes is a disease without a cure, which can affect dogs and cats. It is estimated that 1 in 100 dogs that reach 12 will develop diabetes. In cats it is estimated that between 1 in 50 and 1 in 500 will develop this disease.
Diabetes mellitus occurs when you dog or cat has stopped producing insulin, have inadequate insulin levels or have an abnormal insulin response.
The influence of the races
Certain dog breeds also experience higher than average diabetes rates. These include: toy poodle, terrier, cocker spaniel, dachshund, doberman, pinscher, german shepherd, labrador retriever and golden retrievers.
In cats, diabetes mellitus is more common in overweight cats. Certain breeds, such as Siamese cats, experience a higher than average diabetes rate.
Other symptoms of diabetes mellitus
- Increased urination: your dog or cat wants to go out often, has accidents and urine outside the usual area.
- Drink a lot of water: You should fill the bowl with water more often than before or notice that your cat or dog drinks from unusual places, such as the toilet.
- He is always hungry: never seems to have enough; He is always begging for food.
- Sudden weight loss
- The eyes seem cloudy: this sign It is only present in dogs.
- The fur has deteriorated: your cat has stopped fixing and the fur becomes dry and dull.
- Lethargy: Sleep more or less active.
While the obesity epidemic in dogs and cats continues incessantly, the incidence of painful and debilitating diseases increases. So, in obese pets Osteoarthritis, cystitis or urinary tract disease, hepatitis, chronic kidney disease and congestive heart failure are more common.
It is common for different conditions to have one, if not several, symptoms in common. Therefore, to obtain an accurate diagnosis, you must have your pet examined by your veterinarian, who will perform the necessary analyzes to get to the root of the problem.
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