Effect Measure

We have a lap dog. She is bred to be a companion to people and she excels at it. We were going to name her “EPA” after her function (lapdog), but chose a more human name instead. After all, she’s a dog. Despite the fact that she doesn’t get much exercise, she isn’t fat. But obesity is a problem for dogs, too, it seems. So a drug for obesity in dogs is a potential ATM. Nobody sees an ATM like Big Pharma. And their lapdog, the FDA.

A drug specifically designed to treat canine obesity has been approved for the first time by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The drug’s developer, New York-based Pfizer, says the prescription medication will slim dogs, thereby reducing their risk of diseases such as arthritis and cancer. But veterinarians stress that any weight-loss programme for pets must also include lots of exercise and restricted food intake. (New Scientist)

Slentrol comes from Pfizer. I’m glad they are re-investing their hard earned R&D dollars in our nation’s most pressing health problems. You feed your dollars, sorry I mean the drug, directly into your fat pet’s food and it apparently makes them feel full. The FDA’s announcement sounds like the TV ads for prescription drugs:

A veterinarian will determine whether the dog should be treated, based on the dog’s weight and general health. (FDA Press Release)

Then there follows the usual delightful side effects:

Adverse reactions associated with treatment with Slentrol include vomiting, loose stools, diarrhea, lethargy and loss of appetite.

Hmmmm.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand how hard it is for people to lose weight. But how hard is it to exercise a little portion control on your dog? Shows you what I know:

“A lot of people will take their dog to the fast food joint or drive-through for an ice cream cone or hamburger,” says Bonnie Beaver, former president of the American Veterinary Medical Association. (New Scientist)

I had to read it twice. Is this a great country, or what?

Comments

  1. #1 DeadAhead
    January 8, 2007

    Revolting, revere, and it’s the same with cats in my fair city: People get one, feel guilty about leaving it alone all day, overfeed it, wind up with a sickly pudgy mess.
    Soon, thanks to a malfunctioning technological ethos, they can have an expensive, smelly, sticky, sickly mess.
    Me, I got 2 cats so one is never alone, and they exercise each other. They are funnier that way, too; I am always a guest in their world. Cats love it that way, even when sneering at one another.
    Of course, I have to cut their kibble rations as they age, same as I cut my own portions. That’s too much for most Americans, who would rather poison everything in sight.
    Keep posting in all dimensions!
    Best, DA

  2. #2 Victoria
    January 8, 2007

    Revere you have sunk to a new, some what surprising, and disgusting low. However, I believe, that many human weight loss drugs also have the side effects.

  3. #3 Victoria
    January 8, 2007

    When will I ever learn to read my blurbs before I Post.

    It should read “many human weight loss drugs also have the SAME side effects”.

    When I said that you had sunk to a new, some what surprising, and disgusting low – I meant it in the nicest way.

    @ @
    [--]

  4. #4 revere
    January 8, 2007

    Victoria: I got it. Nice to see you down here.

  5. #5 M. Randolph Kruger
    January 8, 2007

    Send dog to Korea. No really fat dogs there… Comes from running away from cooks.

  6. #6 bc
    January 8, 2007

    So won’t you tell us what you named your dog after you gave up on the name EPA?

  7. #7 Victoria
    January 8, 2007

    Randy – I lived in S. Korea for 5 years. The family had a lovely dalmation that disappeared one day. Kept looking for black & white fur collared coats for years.

  8. #8 revere
    January 8, 2007

    bc: She’s named after my mother-in-law.

  9. #9 revere
    January 8, 2007

    As Mrs. R. pointed out to me, “loss of appetite” seems like kind of a strange side effect. Isn’t that what it’s supposed to do? Like the sleeping pill adds that say, “Might cause drowsiness.”

  10. #10 attack rate
    January 8, 2007

    As a vet, I know how hard it is to get clients to give their pets pills (or any medication) reliably.

    I also know that many (in practices I worked in, anyway) refused to spend money on things that they knew WOULD help their pet (medication for diabetes or cardiomyopathy, special diets, vaccinations) let alone something airy fairy like this.

    Most pet owners don’t even recognise their pets are overweight. Most people, when seeing a labrador that is the correct weight for its frame, think that the poor dog has been starved – that’s how used they are to seeing obese pets.

    Personally, I could not in good conscience prescribe this drug – but I don’t think it would have a big market, anyway.

    I would like to note, however, that many of these drugs, whilst marketed to pet owners, are developed initially for humans. Their registration for animal use is a side effect of their registration for human use, as animal trials are often done preceding human ones. We have a lot of useful drugs for animals that way. This one, perhaps not so useful.

  11. #11 SCWAZ Gilmore
    January 8, 2007

    When viewed with hindsight, I think the fall of the US empire will be seen as having begun when we approved of a weight loss drug for dogs. . .

  12. #12 Lea
    January 8, 2007

    And I thought all of you were watching football tonight, just like our newly elected officials are doing. Opps! Hey, that’s okay, they just decided to start tomorrow, what’s one day anyway.

    revere: named after the mother-in-law, what’s the first letter of the dogs name?

    Victoria, you are great, keep posting.

    attack rate: could this be considered another way for big pharma to keep their bread and butter escalating?

  13. #13 revere
    January 8, 2007

    Lea: Ah, Lea. That would be telling.

  14. #14 Lea
    January 8, 2007

    Love the laughter, it’s a welcome change. Thank you … .

  15. #15 kiwi
    January 8, 2007

    attack rate,you might be surprised by the huge popularity of such a product.10 years ago I was FORCED(by means of payment) to promote a new healthy “dog drinking water” in a pet store.Sure,there was derision and hilarity,as some people still have a brain,but heck,I sold litres of this muck.I also drank plenty of it to show that it was at least safe for humans.The next day I was
    urgently phoned to say the demo was off because the water failed all immediate safety checks and was likely toxic.
    My lesson learned?…. $$$$$$ .Pets’ products make money.

  16. #16 cougar
    January 8, 2007

    My sister used to take her dog Bunky to McDonalds for a Happy Meal. She lost him a few years back to diabetes. And yes, he was spoiled and overweight. No Happy Meals for her current three dogs though.
    My two dogs – lab mix and chow mix – get two home-cooked meals each day. They’re both healthy and in great shape per my vet. And beautiful dogs, both of them. They run security around the farm and are much appreciated for the work they do. Dinner for them tonight was fresh-cooked turkey, pasta and green beans. (Max the outside cat and Chief of Pest Control got fresh turkey too, inside cats got Starkist tuna and what’d I eat? Frozen pizza. Go figure.)

  17. #17 Victoria
    January 9, 2007

    Talking with and about Veterinarians – my husband comes from Rhodesia/Zimbabwe – he met a wonderful Vet in Zimbabwe who had a rather unusual name. As his name was so unusual, people have tried to abbreviate it – the Vet still insists that he is called by the name he was given, he is very proud of it.

    The Name : Everard Koch

    I think that I have just made him the most famous vet in the world.

  18. #18 Victoria
    January 9, 2007

    Reading back on my last post. Was I too rude? Well it is not really rude. After all we all have to have a name. Oh! I had better get off before I get into any more trouble.

    Lesson here – be careful what you post.

  19. #19 revere
    January 9, 2007

    Victoria: LOL. You don’t have to worry about humor rudeness here. Lack of civility is more of a problem but it happens a lot, too. I am myself guilty when I skip alll the niceties in muy replies because I am so horribly short of time. It’s a blog. Lots of things go here that wouldn’t in other forms of discourse. I’m not encouraging anyone to be sloppy or not careful, just not to worry about it too much. We’re all in this together and we can argue with each other and be short with each other and then move on to the next topic without too much damage if we keep that in mind.

  20. #20 crfullmoon
    January 9, 2007

    So, is lapdog’s name Bea, or Kay? :-D arf! arf!

  21. #21 Chuck
    January 9, 2007

    “Fat Pets” is an infectious idea, and as far as dogs go, judges in dog shows are the host reservoir. Even when judging ‘working dogs’, they pick the ones that are a bit overweight as oustanding examples of the breed. So, who can blame the pet owners if they want their dog to look like the ‘best of show’ winner.

    The manufacturer’s of pet foods recommend outrageous portion sizes for your pets too. But, then they have a financial interest in our fat little Fido.

    Opps! It wouldn’t hurt me to lose a few too! Gotta lay off the dog food and treats for awhile.

  22. #22 rnnp
    January 9, 2007

    When Pfizer sent out the announcement about this drug, I noticed that the side effects in humans were severe and the drug was not recommended for human consumption. Why do I think this drug was originally developed for humans and then Pfizer had to find something to market it for?

    I hate being cynical…

  23. #23 Victoria
    January 9, 2007

    Revere – What a relief! One can never be too sure. Sometimes (on some American blogs) there is a distinct scent/stench of Eau de Mayflour.

  24. #24 Victoria
    January 9, 2007

    Not that being a puritan is a bad thing of course. It is just not my thing.

  25. #25 diana
    January 9, 2007

    Will dogs sue, or must their humans do so for them?I wonder who will institute the first law suit when the pill proves to be detrimental to fido’s well being.

  26. #26 Susan Och
    January 9, 2007

    Ten bucks says that pretty soon we’ll hear of people who swear by their dog’s weight loss pills. Remember the popularity of horse liniment a few years ago?

  27. #27 Lea
    January 9, 2007

    ***** Still want to know the dogs name ***** If it was named after the mother-in-law then it’s female. Dolores?

  28. #28 NJ
    January 11, 2007

    ***** Still want to know the dogs name ***** If it was named after the mother-in-law then it’s female. Dolores?

    Mulva?

  29. #29 revere
    January 11, 2007

    NJ, Lea: Our dog has requested anonymity and I will, of course, honor that.