Weight Control Is Vital to Pet Health at Redwood Veterinary Hospital in Vallejo, CA

Pet Weight Loss

The professionals of Redwood Veterinary Hospital are dedicated to wellness care for your pets, demonstrated by our focus on the important issue of weight control. Pet owners must consider weight control in pets as vital to their well being—as important as diet, regular check-ups, exercise, shelter, vaccinations, and other health care.

To help treat the very common, serious “disease” of obesity in dogs, we offer our Slentrol® Weight Control Program. This program incorporates a prescription medication (see below) to help curb a pet’s appetite and subsequently help pet owners learn how much food their pet really needs per day to maintain ideal body weight. Enrollment in this program includes such benefits as regular “weigh-in and measure” appointments, a progress tracker with monthly reports, and two phases: the Weight Loss Phase, which lasts until the weight goal is reached, and the ongoing Weight Management Phase, which lasts a minimum of 3 months or until your pet is fully stabilized and the program is integrated into your lifestyle.

Weight Loss Medication Assists Dogs: Slentrol®

Included in our Canine Weight Control Program is a promising medication made by Pfizer Animal Health called Slentrol, prescribed to assist in managing your dog’s appetite with little or no side effects. Unfortunately, there is no comparable medication for cats at this time.

Before beginning our weight loss program, your veterinarian will examine your pet and run some simple tests to be sure there are no underlying health issues. Feeding an appropriate number of calories coupled with daily exercise is the basis for our weight control program, combined with support, monitoring, and medication designed to enhance your pet’s chances for long-term success and a better quality of life.

Expertise in Animal Nutrition

Dr. Brian Veltri holds a master’s degree in animal nutrition along with his DVM. While Dr. Veltri practices all aspects of canine and feline medicine, he has a special interest in this area and is pleased to discuss your pet’s special dietary concerns. His oversight and expertise adds significant value to this extraordinary pet health program.

For more information about our pet weight loss program or to register your pet, contact our office at (707) 553-1400.

For more on this subject, read Dr. John Huebner’s article addressing the issue of Obesity in Pets.

Redwood Veterinary Hospital is the leader for excellence in small animal health care.

Successful Weight Loss with the Use of Slentrol

by Genever Fox, DVM

As a veterinarian, one of the most common questions I am asked by dog owners is, “How much should I feed her?” It is not a trivial question because many—possibly more than 60%—of the dogs that I examine are overweight. It is a difficult question to answer since the caloric needs for dogs differ quite a bit depending on breed, activity, and temperament, and dog foods differ quite a bit in their caloric density from one another as well. So while I can confidently tell the owner of my overweight patient that he or she should feed less, I cannot tell them exactly how much less.

But now we have Slentrol to help us figure out how much our obese dog should be eating to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Slentrol is the first, and so far the only, canine weight-control medication on the market. It is a safe drug when used appropriately, and it works by reducing the dog’s appetite. The dog then eats less and loses weight. Since the dog is not begging for extra food and treats, his or her owner is not tempted to “break” the diet. The dog can be fed normal foods. Once the dog reaches and maintains its goal weight, the amount of food fed can be measured so that the owner has the answer to the question, “How much should I feed her?” Once this question is answered and the dog is at an optimum weight, he or she can be weaned off of Slentrol. The owner then keeps feeding the proper amount and the dog’s weight stabilizes at the optimum level.

I used Slentrol to diet my yellow Labrador, Maggie. She came to me as a young stray (5 months of age), and I think she was “pleasantly plump” from day one. Once she stopped growing, it was apparent to me that she was a typical lab “chow hound”—she would eat anything and as much of it as she could find. And with her dubious lineage, she has severely dysplastic hips, so weight control is vitally important for her to live the best and longest life possible.

At the beginning of her Slentrol program, Maggie was weighed and some basic blood work was run on her. A goal weight was selected (10 pounds less than her current weight), and her initial Slentrol dose was calculated. Within three days, I noticed a difference in her attitude toward food—she was much less interested. She would still eat, but with less enthusiasm. I knew this was normal and since she didn’t care, I reduced the amount I fed her by about 25%. By her one month “weigh-in,” she had lost 3 pounds.

Based on this result, a new dose was calculated. I found that she then ate even less, about a 35% reduction from what I had been feeding her. I continued her program in this fashion for about 3 months, and she continued to lose weight. When she had lost 8 pounds, she looked great and so then I began to reduce the Slentrol until I wasn’t giving her any at all. During this week Maggie did experience some increase in her appetite, but not to the level it was prior to the program. Most important, now that I know how much food she needs to maintain her new, svelte figure, I do not increase her feedings.

Maggie has maintained her normal weight now for 2 years since the Slentrol experience. The program worked since it trained me to only feed her the proper amount to maintain her weight and it allowed me to continue to feed the same food as before, rather than a special “low-calorie” food.

There are many dogs out there like Maggie, who just naturally want to eat much more than they should, and most of those dogs are obese unless their owners control the amount they are eating. Slentrol is a safe and effective way for the owners of these dogs to reduce the amount they are feeding so that their dogs will lose their excess weight without the dogs feeling hungry and begging for more food. It also allows owners to figure out how much food their dogs need to maintain a normal weight.

It is important to note that Slentrol is a prescription medication for dogs only that should only be used under the direct supervision of a veterinarian. It modulates an appetite hormone in dogs and does not work in cats or humans.

Once enrolled in the Slentrol Program at Redwood Veterinary Hospital, the patient and client are assigned a Slentrol Advisor and are scheduled for regular weigh-ins. There is no extra fee for these appointments—they are included in the cost of the initial evaluation and the medication.

“For me a house or an apartment becomes a home when you add one set of four legs, a happy tail, and that indescribable measure of love that we call a dog.” — Roger Caras, President Emeritus, ASPCA