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Fit or Fat: What's Your Pet’s Body Condition Score?

Filed under: Exclusives!HealthPetsTipsDr. Patrick Mahaney

Teddy Hilton's Dr. Patrick

How can you tell if your dog or cat is too fat?

The scale only provides a number, which cannot reasonably give an accurate estimate of your pet’s health regarding their weight. Therefore, it is best to evaluate your pet’s body condition score (BCS).

The ideal BCS is 5 out of 9. The extreme obesity and a serious candidate for The Biggest Loser Pet Edition is 9 out of 9.

Place your hands onto your pet’s ribs. Can you feel the individual ribs and the spaces in between?

Stand your pet up onto all four feet and carefully observe them from above and from the side. Does your pet’s abdomen (“stomach”) stick out beyond their ribcage (from above view) or swing pendulously down towards the ground (from side view)?

If you have answered yes to any of the above then your pet is too fat and has a BCS between 6 and 9.

Pets carrying excessive weight are more likely to develop arthritis, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, constipation, and other health problems.

Schedule an examination with your veterinarian to address your pet’s excessive BCS and establish a healthy weight loss plan.

Please feel free to "like" and share this post on Facebook, and tweet this tip to your favorite pet loving tweeps.

PS - Click HERE to "Follow" Teddy's celeb pet vet Dr. Patrick Mahaney on Twitter, where you can tweet him your pet questions!

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New Year's Resolution: Help Your Pets Lose Weight!

Filed under: HealthPets

Help your pet lose weight in the new year

Just like obesity is a huge problem for humans (no pun intended!), it's also a problem for animals.

Dogs and cats suffer from the same health problems people do with excess weight such as arthritis, diabetes, heart problems - all which could lead to a shorter life span.

While many of us this year (like every year since the dawn of time) are making a resolution to drop the carbs and hit the gym, but maybe it's time for your pet to do the same.

The Vinton Veterinary Hospital in Virginia is doing something about animal obesity and is sponsoring a Biggest Loser for pets.

Pets return every two weeks to be weighed and to chart progress. The pet that loses the most weight by percentage by April 1st wins a slew of healthy pet food and other prizes!

Of course, not everybody can get in on this event, but maybe check for similar local events or AT LEAST talk to your vet about slimming down your pet.

Maybe start working out with your pet, soboth of you can lose weight.

On behalf of Teddy, HAPPY NEW YEAR to all the pets and pet lovers out there!

[Image via AP Images.]

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Sad Loss At The Toledo Zoo

Filed under: Sad SadSealHealthZoo

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We're sad to hear this, but at least he lived a nice, long life!

The Toledo Zoo's 36 year old gray seal Neptune has died due to age-related health problems.

Neptune was known for his work with the U.S. Navy from 1975 to 1978, during which time he assisted with Navy tasks such as "retrieving tolls and equipment for divers, identifying mines, and locating submarines."

He was donated by the Navy to Connecticut's Mystic Aquarium in 1978, and he made his way to the Toledo Zoo in 1999.

Rest well, Neptune! You will be missed.

[Image via The Toledo Zoo.]

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Obese And Unhappy With It? Come To South Carolina!

Filed under: Wacky, Tacky & True

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Starting in January, obesity will be a thing of the past for South Carolina government workers…or at least some of them!

South Carolina’s state employee insurance plan will cover obesity surgery for 100 workers on a first-come, first-serve basis. The surgeries cost about $24,000 each, which may prove to be a small price to pay for all the other obesity-related health problems that may be avoided with this new plan.

Currently, over $1 billion are spent each year in South Carolina on obesity-related health problems. Wow.

There’s been debate over this matter, with some people being of the opinion that the state should encourage weight loss, but to a less extreme extent. We have some of our own questions/concerns, which are as follows…

-What happens to people who are nearly obese? If they know they can get free surgery, are we concerned they'll purposely fatten up a bit more just for the benefit?

-Do you have to live in South Carolina for a specific period of time? Could a morbidly obese person move there right now, get a state job, and qualify for the surgery by January?

-Will people who are REALLY, REALLY obese get preference? We understand it's "first come, first serve," but somebody who weighs 750 pounds must get preference over a 300 pound person, right?

Do U think comped obesity surgery is the answer to South Carolina’s problem?

[Image via AP Images.]

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