Rise of the di­a­pet­ics... cats and dogs be­ing fed to death by ‘car­ing’ own­ers

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News - By David Jarvis

IT HAS been de­scribed as Bri­tain’s big­gest health threat, cost­ing the NHS in Scot­land more than a quar­ter of a mil­lion pounds a day.

Now the di­a­betes epi­demic, fu­elled by soar­ing lev­els of obe­sity, is spread­ing to our pets – as fig­ures show 30,000 dogs and 55,000 cats have the life-threat­en­ing dis­ease.

And 10 per cent of pets with di­a­betes have to be put down as own­ers fail to man­age the con­di­tion.

As in hu­man type 2 di­a­betes, poor diet and lack of ex­er­cise are largely to blame, with own­ers ac­cused of in­dulging their an­i­mals with un­suit­able foods, or fail­ing to take dogs on long enough walks.

Ac­cord­ing to ve­teri­nary char­ity The Peo­ple’s Dis­pen­sary For Sick An­i­mals, al­most half of all dogs and a third of cats seen by vets are classed as over­weight or obese.

Nurse Kristina Shirley said: ‘Pets who are the right weight are less likely to develop di­a­betes. Many own­ers don’t know whether their pet is over­weight.

‘We work hard to en­cour­age own­ers to feed their an­i­mals a bal­anced, age and ac­tiv­ity ap­pro­pri­ate diet and weigh out their food to avoid ex­cess weight gain.’

A Ply­mouth an­i­mal shel­ter re­cently took in what was de­scribed as ‘Bri­tain’s fat­test dog’.

Bop­per, an 11-year-old col­lie, was 8st, twice the healthy weight and too big to fit into a ken­nel.

He is now be­ing mon­i­tored for di­a­betes and has been put on a spe­cial diet and ex­er­cise regime.

RSPCA chief ve­teri­nary of­fi­cer Caro­line Allen said: ‘Sadly we do see a grow­ing rise in pets with obe­si­tyre­lated prob­lems such as di­a­betes. This is mostly as a re­sult of their life­style, in­clud­ing diet and ex­er­cise.’

The sur­vey of 1,192 vets con­ducted by phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany MSD An­i­mal Health re­vealed that one in ev­ery 200 cats and one in 300 pet dogs has di­a­betes.

BIG PROB­LEM: Col­lie Bop­per is twice his ideal weight

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