Special Assignment: Doggie Diet Drugs

News 12 First at Five, July 26, 2007

EVANS, Ga.---You've heard of diet drugs for people, but diet drugs for dogs? Pfizer is now offering one to help all those fat fidos.

Shuga looks more like a watermelon on toothpicks than a dog. That's because she should weigh around 18 pounds, but when she tipped the scale at 38 pounds, owner Sally Griffin knew she had to do something.
"We've had her on a pretty strict diet for a year and a half," Sally says as Shuga breathes heavily.

The diet didn't exactly work. Shuga was still fat, but she was starving. Sally says she would scratch holes through pantry doors and cabinet doors, just trying to get to her food.

Because of Shuga's weight, she has trouble breating and trouble exercising. Sally would try to take her on a walk, but Shuga couldn't make it to the end of the street and back without collapsing.

Sally didn't know what else to do, until she heard about Slentrol. After a good laugh about putting her pooch on a diet drug, she asked her vet to weigh in.

Dr. Chaffin Roseberry of Evans Animal Hospital is all too familiar with Shuga and dogs like her. 40 percent of her doggie patients are overweight. She believes Slentrol could be the answer because of how it works. The drug blocks the absorption of fat from the G.I. tract. It also makes the dog feel full.

Dr. Roseberry also says the drug is safe because it has no side effects, but it does require some work on your part. You have to work closely with your vet because she or he will have to adjust doses and monitor the weight loss closely.

Sally has made the commitment, and it's working for Shuga. Shuga has only been on Sentrol for a month, and she's already lost three pounds. That's 8 percent of her body weight.

As Shuga loses more and more weight, both the dog, and Sally, are breathing easier.

Not every dog, however, can use the drug. You will need to talk to your vet about if it will work for your dog.

For more information about canine obesity, click here.

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