Doggie Diet Pills - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Doggie Diet Pills

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Many of our pets are not just fat, local vets say they are morbidly obese! But there is some relief for Fidos who are fat: the first ever doggie diet pill is going to be on the market soon to help combat the epidemic. But once you hear about the side-effects, you may be wondering is it worth it?

"It's okay, sit...good girl."

If Haley knew how much she weighed, she might not want to get on that scale. At 22 pounds, this pomeranian weighs double what she should.

Maxine Heckroth/Haley's Owner: "Problem is, she's getting too much food."

"It's my own fault."

Dr. Iyampillai Arun says we have a serious problem in this country... we're obese and so are our pets. He's putting Haley on a low-fat diet immediately.

"We need to lose some weight. Now that she's feeling better we can, we'll put her on a diet."

But coming this spring there is going to be another option for obese dogs like Haley. It's the first diet pill for dogs called Slentrol.

"I'm excited, because some of our patients really need help."

Since the drug is not on the market yet, we couldn't put it to the test. Pfizer, the drug's maker, did send us these pictures of a dog that had gone through the Slentrol trials. He lost some significant weight, but there are some serious side-effects with this drug. Some of them so serious pet owners may consider Slentrol not worth it.

1 in 4 dogs will experience vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.

"What he's saying about stomach cramps. I mean a dog cannot tell you my stomach hurts because you just gave me medication, so you need to take that into consideration as well, I think."

Dr. Arun agrees, this is not for every dog. He's only recommending it to his morbidly obese patients who don't have any other serious medical problems.

"If your pet is morbidly obese, yes it's worth it."

Haley may not be right for this drug but Maxine says if she is, she'll try it.

"I'll try anything really, because this is brought to a head right now and she is 22 pounds and she is much heavier than she should be."

Slentrol was originally developed to be used in humans, but the side-effects were so severe, Pfizer even has a warning on the label "not for human use". The pill is expected to cost up to $2 a day - and just like any diet pill, your dog also has to eat less and exercise to lose weight.
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