Weight Loss Pill for Dogs Approved

Health officials at the Food and Drug Administration have approved the first prescription weight-loss drug aimed at treating America's overweight canines. The drug decreases the dog's appetite and fat absorption.

The weight loss drug, named Slentrol (or dirlotapide) and manufactured by Pfizer Inc., is aimed at clinically obese dogs rather than those just considered ‘overweight’. Approximately 5% of the 65 million dogs in the United States are in the obese category and a further 25% are considered overweight. The drug is administered as a once-daily liquid.

Like their human counterparts, overweight dogs are also at risk for developing diabetes, heart trouble, joint problems and other complications. However, this new drug can cause various side effects including vomiting, loose stools, diarrhea and lethargy.

Humane Society spokeswoman Stephanie Slain said while dog owners can have busy schedules they should first work with a vet to curb food portions and increase exercise before using drugs.

"If you’re going to spend 15 minutes, spend it walking your dog instead of cleaning up diarrhea," she said.

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