The Royal Canin Weight Management Clinic
Established in 2005, the clinic is the first specialist weight loss clinic for pets anywhere in the world. We are the world-leading experts in the field and, therefore, can provide a more comprehensive service than would normally be available through your usual veterinary practice. We aim to provide an outstanding service to clients and referring veterinary practices alike. The service includes:
- A thorough consultation and clinical evaluation. The initial consultation usually lasts 60 to 90 minutes, and covers all aspects of your pet's lifestyle and previous medical history
- Blood tests and urine analysis. These tests check the health status of your pet, and assess’ whether there may be related problems (e.g. hypothyroidism: an under-active thyroid gland).
- Blood pressure measurement. All pets have their blood pressure checked at the time of the consultation.
- DEXA scan. Not available at standard veterinary practices, a DEXA scanner accurately measures the amount of adipose (fatty) tissue present in the patient and therefore calculates exactly how overweight they are. This is more precise than the standard estimates of obesity.
- Regular follow-up contact. Because a veterinary nurse runs the clinic full-time, we are able to maintain regular contact to ensure that the weight loss programme is a success. This includes telephone contact and regular ‘weigh-in' sessions, all of which are free-of-charge.
- Reports to your normal veterinary practice. We keep your usual veterinary surgeon and nurse informed: writing reports after the initial and final visits.
- Subsidised service. All the consultations and tests directly related to the weight problem are free-of charge. In addition, you also get the first bag specifically formulated weight-loss food free!
Why are we helping pets in this way?
It is estimated that about half of all UK pets are either overweight or obese and, as in people, rates appear to be increasing over time. Like human obesity, weight problems in pets pose a serious threat to health, and can lead to many other health disorders such as diabetes, arthritis, breathing problems and incontinence, to name just a few.
Obesity can also decrease your pet’s life span. A pet is classed as “clinically obese” when 20% above their normal body weight and we strive to know more about these individuals. Unfortunately, limited data still exist on the causes and consequences of weight gain, and control of obesity remains problematic. At the ROYAL CANIN® Weight Management Clinic, we encourage owners to recognise this problem and take action. Weight loss is a journey, and we share this with you, helping to improve your pet’s quality of life. By understanding and studying the weight loss process, we hope to improve management and prevention of companion animal obesity globally.
We are willing to accept any case that needs our help, including cases that have other medical problems; no challenge is too big!
What will happen during the initial appointment at the clinic?
The two people who you will see during your appointment are Professor Alex German and Mrs Georgia Woods, the co-ordinators of this project. There are four aspects to the initial appointment:
1) Georgia will discuss your pet’s current diet and lifestyle, weigh your pet, measure your pet with a tape measure, conduct a body condition score and take photographs.
2) The second part of the consultation is with Alex. He will perform a full medical examination of your pet and take a full clinical history.
3) Your pet will then be admitted into the hospital for blood pressure measurements, taking blood samples and urine testing. A sedation will be given to perform a DEXA (Dual-Energy A-ray Absorptiometry) scan. This is a low-dose x-ray scan which allows precise measurement of your pet’s body composition.
4) The final part will include discussion of the DEXA scan results.
We will also provide you with a full weight loss plan for your pet including the recommended diet to help you achieve weight loss (free of charge). We will also talk you through the ideal exercise plan for your animal.
All information discussed will be given to you in writing for future reference, enabling you to discuss the plan with other members of your household and with anyone who helps care for your pet. You will also be given diaries to track your pet’s progress on a daily basis.
What are the benefits to taking part?
The staff that run the clinic are world-leading experts in cat and dog weight management. Successful, sustained weight loss on the programme will improve the health and wellbeing of your pet. Further, due to the generous support of ROYAL CANIN®, you will not be charged for any of the investigations performed that are related to the weight clinic, for the follow-up weight check appointments, and for the first bag of food we supply. We hope you agree that this complete health assessment and ongoing veterinary attention is a valuable gift, to both you and your pet.
How does the Weight Management Clinic benefit?
By agreeing to register with the clinic and participate in the work that we do, information relating to your pet and their health will be used to examine current obesity trends. The data we collect will be analysed alongside information from many other pets with similar problems. This helps us to spot key aspects in terms of common causes, problems and reasons for positive and negative outcomes. We can also assess the success of current management strategies to determine what works best and improve on methods which are less successful. This information is vital in establishing a ‘best practice’ in weight management.
In addition, with your permission, any surplus clinical samples (e.g. blood and urine) we have taken for diagnostic procedures will be stored rather than being discarded. They will be archived and may be used in future projects which will further benefit pet health. Rest assured that samples will be anonymised, and your personal details will remain completely protected.
If you would like to have your pet referred to our Weight Management Clinic, please contact your local Veterinary Practice and relevant arrangements will be made.