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Veterinary Forum July 2007 (Vol 24, No 7)

Doggy diet drug now available

by Kim Rager, DVM

    Slentrol (dirlotapide, Pfizer), the first veterinary medication for canine obesity, is now available.

    The drug decreases the dog's ap­­petite and food intake and should be used with the Slentrol Treatment Plan to achieve weight loss of about 3% per month, according to Pfizer Animal Health. The plan considers the dog's breed, age, genetics and diet and adjusts the monthly dose accordingly. The plan also helps owners develop better feeding and exercise habits. Slentrol can be used with any balanced canine diet.

    "For long-term success, Slentrol should be used as part of an overall weight management program that includes diet and exercise," said Georgette Wilson, DVM, manager of vet­erinary operations at Pfizer.

    In a 4-month study of client-owned obese dogs, 97.8% of dogs that finished the study lost weight. Half lost at least 11% of their body weight.

    Pfizer also developed the Body Assessment Rating for Canines (StopCanineObesity.com), an online tool to help owners assess their dog's weight. Owners are encouraged to visit their veterinarian to discuss the problem if the dog is overweight. Many owners have problems recognizing overweight dogs, according to two Pfizer surveys that found that 17% of owners believe their dogs are overweight or obese, but nearly 47% of veterinarians think their canine patients are overweight or obese.

    Slentrol is not indicated for cats or for dogs that have liver disease or have been on long-term steroid treatments. Reported adverse events include vomiting, diarrhea, malaise and anorexia.

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