Vet Nurse Jo Reports on Narm's Great Weight Loss

Sadly, obesity in domestic pets is becoming a huge problem and it is reported that 54% of cats and dogs are now overweight. As veterinary professionals, we believe it is important to educate owners and help raise awareness.

Narm is a 9 ½ year old female Springer Spaniel, that was initially seen by a veterinary surgeon late last summer for her vaccine course. Narm's owners were concerned regarding her upper respiratory noises. On examination the veterinary surgeon was unable to find a cause for the snorting noises and recommended that Narm should attend a nurse weight loss clinic as she was overweight and had a body condition score of 4-4.5/5, which could have been contributing to the obvious change in her respiratory noises.

At Narm’s first weight loss clinic her owner and I discussed in detail Narm’s daily routine and diet. I was quickly able to identify why she had gained a staggering 4kg in 2 ½ years and now weighed 21.4kg. Her owners had also noticed Narm had become less energetic and was slowing down, so I tailored her new diet around supporting her joints as well as losing weight. Narm’s owners and I also discussed other health problems associated with obesity, including risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and respiratory disease.

Veterinary prescribed diets are designed to aid weight loss without dramatically reducing the amount fed. It is important to avoid cutting down your pet’s normal food allowance as they will no longer receive the right amount of daily nutrients and will become malnourished, which may lead to further health implications. Unwanted behaviours may also be seen, as your pet will be feeling hungry at any sudden changes.

I designed Narm’s weight loss programme around her owner’s day-to-day commitments and saw her for monthly check ups. At the end of her weight loss programme Narm had lost 17% of her body weight and she now weighs 17.85kg with a body condition score of 3/5. Narm’s owners have seen a big difference in her behaviour and are extremely happy that she is now very active 9 ½ year old - and acting like a puppy again!

Jo is Larkmead Didcot’s Head Veterinary Nurse.

Jo has been with Larkmead since 2007 where she began as a student nurse.

She is currently studying towards a diploma in Feline Behaviour and Psychology.

In her spare time Jo likes to travel back to her home town on the Isle of Wight, to spend time with family, friends and her two dogs.