Week 5 Lesson 2
Do you know that neutering can cause weight gain?
WAGSTA veterinarians are strong advocates for spaying and neutering. Health benefits include removing the risk of testicular, ovarian and uterine cancers and infections and reducing the risk of mammary tumors. Neutering also help with dominance, aggression and straying behaviors.
The number 1. benefit is the prevention of unwanted pregnancies and a reduction in the number of homeless dogs.
Neutering does however have its downside by causing an increased risk of weight gain! Dogs who are female, middle aged and neutered, are most prone to being overweight.
By removing ovaries and testicles and the hormones derived from them, a dog’s metabolic rate is reduced.
This means the amount of calories used up in everyday body functions is reduced. So unless calorie intake is lowered accordingly, neutered dogs experience a positive calorie flux resulting in weight gain.
The calorie requirements of neutered and spayed dogs are approximately 25% less than those of entire dogs.
The day of your dog’s desexing operation should be considered a nutritional milestone. Dietary restriction should be immediate!
An initial 10% reduction in daily calorie intake is a good place to start. Followed by additional reductions, as needed. Regular monitoring of weight and Body Condition Score and reducing food intake accordingly ensures neutered dogs remain a fit and healthy weight throughout life.
Is your pantry kept out of bounds to your dog?
Are you aware of the threats to your dog that reside in your kitchen? The everyday foods we humans consume with relish, but if eaten by our dogs can end in sickness or fatality? Here are the top 11 “human” foods which are toxic to dogs:
1. Chocolate & Cocoa: contains theobromide which adversely affects the heart, central nervous system, lungs and kidneys. Typical signs of intoxication include excitement, trembling, panting and collapse. The greater the cocoa content of chocolate the more toxic it is.
2. Onion (raw, cooked, powdered): causes destruction of the red blood cells resulting in anemia. Weakness occurs 3-5 days after consumption with red tinged urine and exercise intolerance.
3. Garlic: Like onion, garlic can also destroy dog’s red blood cells. The effects of garlic ingestion can be cumulative.
4. Grapes, raisins and sultanas: can cause vomiting diarrhea, weakness, staggering gait and abdominal pain approximately 24 hours after consumption. Serious intoxication can result in kidney failure.
5. Avocado: contains persin which can cause abdominal upset and symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. The skin and seed portion of the avocado fruit are most toxic. Guatemalan variety fruits are known to contain flesh toxic to dogs. The leaves and bark of avocado trees are also poisonous and avocado seeds can cause intestinal obstruction if swallowed.
6. Caffeine (soft drinks, coffee beans and grounds, tea, coffee): can affect the heart, lungs, central nervous system causing hyper excitability, vomiting, tremors and convulsions.
7. Artificial sweetener- xylitol (found in sugar free gums, toothpaste, sugar free sweets and some peanut butters). Xylitol causes insulin release in dogs resulting in a sudden drop in blood sugar levels. Weakness, collapse and seizure can occur within half an hour of consumption. Foods containing xylitol, have been linked with liver failure in dogs..
8. Macadamia nuts: cause vomiting, muscle and joint pain, weakness of hind legs and a wobbly gait 6-24 hours after consumption. Effects may persist to 48 hrs.
9. Stone fruit seeds (peach, plum, apricot, cherry): contain cyanide and can cause vomiting, rapid and irregular heart rate, heavy breathing and coma. Larger seeds also pose risk of causing intestinal blockage requiring surgical removal.
10. Alcohol: all forms of alcohol are toxic to dogs. Dogs are much more sensitive to alcohol than humans. Typical signs include vomiting, disorientation and stupor progressing to cardiac arrest.
11. Bread Dough and Pizza: The high fat, salt and calorie content of pizza makes it an unsuitable human food for dogs. Uncooked pizza dough and bread dough can rapidly expand in size if eaten by dogs. Within the warm moist environs of the stomach, yeast becomes activated causing dough to rise, resulting in painful, potentially life-threatening bloat.
(12.) Corn cobs: Corn is perfectly fine for dogs to eat however never feed it on the cob. Corn cobs are one of the most common causes for intestinal obstruction in dogs!
These foods provide all the more reason to control scavenging and the feeding of left-overs and household treats! Should your dog eat any of the above, take note of the quantity ingested and contact your veterinarian for advice.
Woofs and wags,
Your WAGSTA team.