Vets Warn Diet Pill Not Miracle Cure - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/11/07-Tyler

Vets Warn Diet Pill Not Miracle Cure

This is Ender, a 12 pound 'min-pin' most vets would consider a relatively 'healthy' weight. She's slender through the ribs without a lot of extra fat. .

This is Ender's girlfriend, Petra. Petra weighs in at 20 pounds, nearly twice what she should.

Her owner, Beverly Carter says, "Ender has so much more energy than Petra. She would just rather lay around and be petted. He wants to get outside and play with the other dogs."

Recently, the vet told Beverly the extra weight could be causing Petra's joint pain and could lead to heart problems and diabetes. She was told to put her on a diet immediately.

"At first we just had her on just regular adult dog food, kibble.  Now, we have her on a weight maintenance diet," says Beverly.

According to the FDA, about 20 to 30 percent of all dogs are overweight and 5 percent are considered seriously obese. Traditionally, the solution has been a low calorie diet and exercise program.

When that doesn't work, Dr. Paul Gainer of Flint Veterinary Clinic says he would consider prescribing the new dog diet pill for some of his patients. However, he warns this should not be viewed as a miracle drug.

"It's designed to get an animal down to the weight that's normal for that animal, and then educate the owner on how to maintain that weight, and that's a valid thing to do," says Gainer.

Beverly hopes changing Petra's eating habits will bring her girlish figure back. If not, she says she will check into the medication as a last resort. Either way, she wants her to lose the weight so she can keep up with Ender for a long time to come.  

Lindsay Wilcox, Reporting lwilcox@kltv.com

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