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Blame it on Opposable Thumbs [Mar. 11th, 2008|11:10 am]
So they've approved a weight loss drug for dogs. I knew it was just a matter of time, but still, I had a tiny Tinkerbell-like belief that this would be too absurd and after the FDA got up off the floor post-laughing-their-asses-off, everyone would clap each other on the back, say "Good one!" and go out and have a beer.

Yes, now, you can give you dog a pill -- and in addition to diet and exercise -- your dog will lose weight. (Nevermind that he'd lose weight if you put him on a diet and exercised him more. It's BETTER if you pay money and feed a pill.)

Look. Your dog is fat because YOU made him fat. Or someone in your family. Or a previous owner.

I am fat because I have opposable thumbs and an ATM card. I put too much food in my bowl, too often. If you lock my food away, I will find a tool to free the food. If there is no food in the house I take money and go get some. Everywhere I turn is food, food and more food. And I have the cerebral cortex to imagine food that isn't even present. And develop all sorts of poor coping strategies that involve being salved by food and eating.

Your dog eats what you put in front of him. And what he can break into. If you don't make the food available, he can't eat it. He doesn't have wire cutters nor the fingertips to operate a key. If you give him apple slices and carrot sticks as snacks, he'll eat them...or not. He won't say "nah, I'm not hungry" and then run out to Dunkin Donuts for a jelly-filled.

If you say "time for a walk" he's going to jump up, tail wagging (okay, if he's a greyhound, he'll open an eye, look at you, judge your seriousness, maybe get up, streeeeeeetch, yawn, stand there a minute to doublecheck you mean it, then trot over. Mostly because he doesn't want to be left behind) and go for a walk. For as long as you can walk. He'll be happy to wear your ass out. He's not going to complain that he really needs to get laundry done, or American Idol is just about to start, or he really needs to get into work early today to work on that proposal, or his back hurts or his sneakers are damp or he exercised yesterday and just doesn't FEEL like it.

Except for the rare metabolic disorder, a dog doesn't make himself fat. And a dog would gladly make himself a healthy weight, if you, Mr. & Ms. Opposable Thumbs and Big Brains would help him out. Without pharmaceuticals. A fat dog is an arthritic dog. I can't imagine a pet owner who would wish pain on their dog, yet so many seem unable to say "no" to treats and tablescraps, thereby condemning their sweet Baboo to early arthritis. Grrrr.

I'll also give a kick in the butt to all of the vets who are so inured to seeing obese dogs that they don't toughen up on the owners. And the labrador retriever breeders and judges who've changed a formerly athletic dog into a chunkola in the show ring.

Oof, grunt, ouch. Pardon me as me, my fat ass, my opposable thumbs, big brains and big mouth, clamber down from my soap box.

[User Picture]From: sestree
2008-03-11 03:51 pm (UTC)
"Yes, now, you can give you dog a pill ..."

She writes comedy she does.

In all honesty, the only time my beloved doberman ever bit and/or drew blood on me was trying to stuff a pain pill down her throat. She just quietly and deliberately closed her mouth on my hand til I gave up. Then she threw up on the floor.

Now if I could only find a way to feed the two cats that *need* the food and not that two that could do with a little less (and no there will be no pills in that future either ;) )
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[User Picture]From: pyratelady
2008-03-11 04:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah. This really is patently ridiculous, for exactly the reasons that you say.
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[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2008-03-11 07:17 pm (UTC)
I recently saw, attached to an article about how wonderful parrots were as pets, how you can now give your parrot anti-depressants. Seems these very social, highly-intelligent and deeply loving animals get sad when they're left alone in a cage all day while their owners are at work. Anti-depressants will supposedly stop the feather pulling, self-mutilating, chronic screaming, mindless weaving or head-bobbing and make a miserable, lonely animal content to wait eight or ten hours locked in a cage for the few minutes the human can spare it at the beginning and end of a day.

I already know several people who are medicating their dogs and cats with anti-depressants (and, interestingly, themselves as well) and I can't say that it's actually working. The crazy dachshund is still crazy and will do her best to kill her dachshund house-mate if left alone with him for more than a few minutes, the cat who hates living with a whole lot of other cats still pees on things and ruins things with his claws. They are just fatter and move more slowly. Much the same as their humans.

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[User Picture]From: lowlandscot
2008-03-11 09:32 pm (UTC)
I'll also give a kick in the butt to all of the vets who are so inured to seeing obese dogs that they don't toughen up on the owners

Or who are so clueless about breed diversity that they have no idea what a dog is supposed to look like. A vet tried to tear me a new orifice once for starving my saluki. He was five pounds over maximum breed standard. He's way too fat now (because he's really old and completely blind and it's impossible to get him to move and I don't think it's possible to control a sighthound's weight with diet alone -- they conserve calories too effectively). Yet every vet that's seen him this way congratulates me on keeping a elderly blind dog's weight down.
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2008-03-12 12:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, I know! The number of times I've confronted adopters about letting the dog that I worked so hard to get for them -- get fat! Only to have them tell me that "the vet says she's fine." or "She's just big-boned."

Five pounds over racing weight. That's what a greyhound gets. Period. As they hit over ten, they can look a little heavier but still be that ideal weight, 'cause they've lost muscle mass. And a little bit at that point isn't horrible -- because if they get sick you want a little bit of reserves -- but a 110 pound female greyhound? Augh. I had to threaten to take the dog away...which made me feel dirty. But gol-lee, she was panting just standing there. It was like she had to carry a whippet on her back everywhere she went. It ain't right!
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