Last night the Pfizer company broke the news about their amazing weight-loss drug for dogs. They have put nothing out in the veterinary journals, no teasers from their representatives who call on us, no nothing. Then it’s suddenly on CNN. Generally speaking, drug news that hits the fan in this manner has been less than good in my past experience. Naturally it’s blog fodder, and I’m far from the first (see this cute intro; the guy’s funny, I must admit).
I’ll be the first to admit that we have lots of obese dogs and they certainly need help. It’s easy to make fun of "diet pills for dogs" (though Slentrol is a liquid). Sure, the cheap answer is to feed the dog fewer calories and give it more exercise. That would mean that we would have to have just a little more will-power than the dog does, though. The dog has no money, he has no can-opener. If he’s too fat, we did it. The least we can do now is give him drugs along with his treats. Maybe they’ll soon make Slentrol in a delicious chewy treat instead of yucky liquid.
As Americans, I’m not sure when we jettisoned the pioneer spirit and decided that the lazy way is the American way. It sure happened sometime, though. "Say NO to drugs" only applies to drugs from South America. For everything else, it’s "take a pill, take a pill, take a pill". Not happy? Not thin? Can’t sleep? Take a pill. We make Huxley’s Brave New World look tame. Heaven help us.
Slentrol can produce side effects of vomiting (most common), diarrhea, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Sort of sounds like getting an eating disorder by prescription. No wonder you lose weight. What it’s SUPPOSED to do is to interfere with fat metabolism. While Pfizer admits that the mechanism of the weight loss (in the absence of the above side-effects) is uncertain, dogs do lose weight while they take it. If they stop taking it, the effect is lost immediately. Their research indicates that the obese dog could lose up to twenty percent of its excess body weight.
If you give it to other species (like people) you only get side-effects, no good effects, so taking the dog medicine is a no-no.
So, you can blow off diet and exercise, give two dollars worth of medicine every day, and reduce your dog’s weight somewhat. Depending on how big he is, he could still be obese even with that.
I can hardly wait for the testimonial pictures, complete with the little asterisk *. I wonder if the newly skinny dogs will get breast implants, too, like the skinny ladies do.
* Results not typical.