is suffering from "the swing." Carmen, the
4-year-old catís owner, says Frankie has developed
excess skin under her belly after being spayed three
years ago. When Frankie walks or runs, her belly swings
back and forth. Carmen wonders if something wasnít
done correctly with Frankieís surgery.
me put Carmenís mind at ease: That "swing"
is belly fat.
is common for dogs and cats to gain weight after they
have been neutered or spayed.
a dog or cat is neutered, there are resultant metabolic
changes that will ultimately reduce the metabolic needs
of the animal. This means the dog or cat needs fewer
calories to maintain body weight. What often happens is
that owners continue to feed their pet the same amount
as before the neutering. As a result, the animalís
caloric intake is in excess of its newly reduced
metabolic needs. This results in weight gain over time
and the "swing."
if youíve been to a zoo and observed some of the
captive big cats, you might have recognized the same fat
deposits under their abdomens. This is because these
animals are not exercising enough to justify their
calorie intake, and not necessarily because theyíve
been neutered. The excess body fat causes these big cats
to demonstrate the "swing." Fortunately, zoos
monitor nutritional needs and, as a result, the big cats
are less likely to show excess body fat.
Frankieís case, Carmen needs to reduce her catís
caloric intake, and Frankie will gradually lose the
"swing." Schedule Frankie for a physical exam
and weight consultation with her veterinarian and, from
there, a diet program can be outlined that will allow
Frankie to methodically lose her "pouch," and
thus her swing. In the long term, she will be better for