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All you Need to Know About Pet Obesity

Is your pet obese? Here are ways to tackle pet obesity

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Pet obesity
Pet obesity is a direct result of changing pet lifestyles. Pixabay

BY SIDDHI JAIN

An extra treat here, a lazy day-in there, all this can lead to your pet being obese. It is hard to ignore that puppy face your pet makes while he or she watches you eat, but as per experts, pet obesity is a direct result of changing pet lifestyles.

“Pets and pet owners have evolved in the last couple of decades. More food options, reduced open spaces for pets and busy work culture for pet parents have all contributed to a very different lifestyle for pets in the country. All these factors contribute significantly to pet obesity which is very much a cause of concern,” Gaurav Kwatra, Director, PURINA Petcare India, told IANSlife.

The pet nutrition brand, which developed a nine-stage Body Conditioning system to assess pets, has also done a 14-year lifespan study with dogs. Results show that dogs that maintain a lean muscle mass live a life upto 15 per cent longer with better quality of life.

It’s almost a natural instinct to feed our furry companions whatever you are eating. What goes ignored is the fact that, pets also prone to obesity and overindulgence may be harmful to the pet’s health in the long run.

Pet obesity
Extra treat or a lazy day could lead to pet obesity. Pixabay

“Apart from the overindulgence, there are plenty of factors that can cause obesity in pets. Sometimes, obesity in pets could be caused by thyroid problems. However, in most cases, obesity is linked to lifestyle and the nutrition intake,” Kwatra adds.

What could be the ill-effects of obesity in pets?

Obesity in pets can not only be highly detrimental to their health but also cause discomfort for them in performing day to day activities. Obese pets are usually far less active and are susceptible to conditions like arthritis, diabetes mellitus, cardio-pulmonary problems, constipation, cancer and even premature death.

Can this be cured or reversed by administering a certain kind of food only?

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While the emergence of specialized diets would play a vital role in countering the epidemic, together with the veterinarians we need to raise awareness on pet obesity and educate pet owners/parents on how they can help their pets lead a healthier and happier life with proper nutrition. Proper exercise is also crucial in maintaining a pet’s health and it is imperative that pet parents take them out for regular walks. (IANS)

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All You Need to Know About Parkinson’s Disease

10 early signs of Parkinson's Disease

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parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease and related disorders is common in people above 60 years of age. Pixabay

While the focus remains on the pandemic its easy to forget that there are many other illnesses which patients are struggling with.

Parkinson’s disease and related disorders is common in people above 60 years of age. Parkinson’s disease is a disorder where most tests including MRI Brain are not very helpful in diagnosis or non-contributory (except dopamine scans). So, an understanding of its clinical symptoms and signs is as vital as a diagnosis.

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Dr. Praveen Gupta, Director & HOD, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram shares some early signs to keep a look out for.

parkinson's disease
Parkinson disease responds very well to treatment and response may last up to more than a decade, so it is very useful to diagnose it early to restore a patient’s quality of life. Pixabay

1. A pill rolling type of tremor visible in the resting position usually in one hand which improves intruding to move the hand.

2. There is change in handwriting with the writing becoming small and cramped called micrographia.

3. There is sudden quickening of steps which the patient cannot control called shuffling; it is also accompanied by difficulty in maintaining posture.

4. There is shortening of steps leading to short stepped walk and overall time to cover a small distance increases significantly.

5. There is decreased movement of arms while walking and the arm swing is reduced, a sign of slowing.

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6. There are sleep problems with increased dreaming and enacting dreams called REM Sleep Behaviour disorder.

7. There are abnormal limb movements in sleep called PLMS and current like pain in legs called restless legs syndrome.

parkinson's disease
Parkinson’s disease is a disorder where most tests including MRI Brain are not very helpful in diagnosis or non-contributory (except dopamine scans). Pixabay

8. A gradual loss of smell and difficulty detecting or identifying doors called hyposmia during conversation

9. There is a clear lack of expression on face with significant lack of emotive expressions called mask-like face.

10. There is a forward bending of posture leading to early stooping and bending forward.

These early signs are a feature of decreased dopamine in the brain which interferes with sleep and changes in motor function leading to slowness of activities (Bradykinesia medically), stiffness of muscles (rigidity), loss of posture sense and trembling. These features usually affect one side of the body initially and respond very well to levodopa replacing treatments. There may also be some mental and behaviour changes and some patients there is an unexplained loss of weight.

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If the patient walks in the clinic the physician can often start diagnosing based on these early symptoms. Tests are done to rule out other disorders mimicking Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson disease responds very well to treatment and response may last up to more than a decade, so it is very useful to diagnose it early to restore a patient’s quality of life. (IANS)