This past summer, we were visited by a client who had a cat who was not well. This cat had lived indoors along with a number of other animals, and had become obese despite eating diet food. As a result of poor nutrition and weight gain, the cat was showing signs of Diabetes Mellitus, which was confirmed through testing. As the client felt unable to care for a cat with Diabetes appropriately, we were asked to euthanize the cat; after refusing this, our clinic team decided to adopt her. Our beautiful ‘Bo’ has since become a very important part of the clinic.
Bo spends her time on the third floor of the clinic, where she moves between a kitty perch in the window of the vet office, a comfy orange couch and our staff room. Her choice seems to depend on who she is looking to hang out with, who might have some food to offer (no table foods!), and where things are looking the most comfortable. She is truly “queen” of the Eglinton Vet castle, with her food presented on a regular schedule. She will certainly let you know if a meal is too late! And, she is always up for a belly rub.
Bo came into our care weighing 10.1kg on August 6, 2014 (a big 22.2lbs!). At this size, she was unable to walk more than a few steps at a time or groom herself properly. We are proud to say that since moving into EVF, Bo has lost 0.75kg (or 1.65lbs), which is an impressive 7.5% of her body weight. She has lost this weight due to the perseverance of our team, who measure her food carefully and exercise her when possible. The most important thing about Bo’s story is that her diabetes is now in remission, purely due to her improved diet. She becomes more active every day, and has tried to convince us that weekly ‘weigh ins’ are not necessary, but she still has a long way to go to reach her ideal weight.
Obesity in pets is unfortunately something that our doctors discuss with clients every day. It is one of the most common medical disorders affecting companion animals, with up to 40% of pets in North America being classified as overweight. There are a number of reasons for this including: a more confined and sedentary lifestyle for pets, availability of highly palatable, energy dense pet foods and treats, and a strong human-animal bond that leads to overfeeding and snacking. One of our goals is to discuss diet and weight with each of our clients at each and every visit. We hope that by focusing on good nutrition, we will allow our patients to live long, healthy lives.
Our friend Bo is a good example of how we can help our patients to lose weight. She is also a great addition to the clinic team, and provides us all with smiles just by being around. Obviously, we are all animal people, but there is something special about EVF’s resident furry friend. We are so glad that we agreed to let her stay with us, and we hope that she will be here for many years to come!