Doggie metabolic syndrome a cause for concern

When you think of metabolic syndrome, you typically don't associate it with the family pet.

But new research from the University of Liverpool suggests overweight dogs can develop this life-threatening disease that, for humans, puts them at risk for diabetes, heart disease and other dangerous conditions.

Risks of canine obesity

According to Science Daily, obesity in dogs has already been linked to a host of problems, including insulin resistance, higher levels of blood cholesterol and hypertension. But up until now, metabolic syndrome did not make that list. Dr. Alex German, from the University's Department of Obesity and Endocrinology, says the study has far-reaching implications for the health of our pets:

"This new research creates a lot of new questions for us. It suggests that dogs develop metabolic syndrome, similar to humans with obesity-related health problems. We now need to investigate, however, what health consequences this may have for dogs. The key point for us is that the problem can be resolved with successful weight loss, and this must be a priority for pet owners with obese dogs."

Of the 35 obese dogs in the study, 20 percent had metabolic syndrome. And while researchers aren't sure whether metabolic syndrome poses the same health risks for dogs as it does for humans, the dogs did show increased blood insulin and low levels of adiponectin--a protein in the blood which helps regulate fats and sugars.

The good news? Dogs who were able to lose weight seemed to experience diminished symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

Source: Science Daily

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