Mumbai: In a first-of-its-kind, Laparoscopic Bariatric surgery was performed on a dog in 2014 at the Bombay Veterinary Hospital, Parel. According to doctors, over 20 per cent dogs in the city are obese due to excessive intake of food and less physical exercise.
Doctors say that in the last 3 years, 15 dogs (10 pets and the rest were strays) underwent bariatric surgery to reduce excess weight, since like human beings they too face difficulties. “Due to lack of awareness, very few people in the city know that even dogs can undergo bariatric surgery by which their lives can be saved,” added Colonel JC Khanna, Dean of the hospital.
According to the doctors, two breeds of dogs — Labrador and the Indian strain — are largely prone to obesity. “Usually Labradors are more prone,” said a doctor.
The lifespan of dogs reduces by five to six years if they suffer from obesity. “Their normal lifespan is 12 years but if they are not treated in time, they may die earlier,” said Dr Dinesh Lokhande, Head Professor, Bombay Veterinary college.
Like humans, even dogs show the same symptoms when they are suffering from obesity like arthritis, diabetes, breathing problems, spondolysis, etc. “The joints of dogs get degenerated due to obesity and since they are not able to move from one place to another due to their being over-weight, they get less physical activity,” said Dr Santosh Tripathi, Surgeon and Assistant Professor at Bombay Veterinary college.
The dogs have to undergo various medical tests like humans in which the fat percentage of dogs is revealed by measuring the ratio of their stomach and hind legs. “Based on this ratio, the diet and medication of the dog will be decided,” said the doctor.
He further added that they do not outright begin with bariatric surgery when a dog is admitted to the hospital. “Once obese dogs are admitted for treatment we keep them under observation and look after their diet. If their weight reduces with a proper diet, then there is no need for bariatric surgery,” added Dr Tripathi. He said that during surgery, 30 per cent of their weight gets reduced and after that the dogs are kept under observation for three months and given a proper diet accordingly. “The total cost for bariatric surgery is around Rs 10,000 – Rs 15,000,” added the doctor.
Reasons for obesity
- Excessive intake of food
- Less physical activity
- Improper diet