Appetite and Eating

Overeating -- What Your Vet Can Do

It is not always easy for vets to tell if pets are truly eating too much. Before going into the office, it is a good idea to write down exactly how much you are feeding your pet and whether he has been gaining any weight. Is he eating more than usual? Is he drinking more water? Has he been vomiting or having diarrhea? "The best client is the one who comes in and whips out a piece of paper," says Dr. Gebroe.

Since parasites may cause pets to overeat, it is a good idea to take in a recent stool sample -- one that is less than 24 hours old. In addition, your vet will check for hormonal problems, such as an overactive thyroid gland. Hormonal conditions can be serious without treatment, but they are usually easy to control with medications or, in some cases, with surgery.

When your pet's overeating has caused him to put on a few pounds, your vet will probably recommend that you begin a long-term weight-loss plan, says Dr. Bauer. A customized plan is especially important for cats since unsupervised dieting can result in liver problems that can be even more serious than the overeating was. See also: Weight gain

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Copyright 1999 Rodale Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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