Novartis steps in to help dogs lose weight
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Novartis Animal Health US, Inc. launched a novel nationwide initiative to get senior and arthritic canine patients up and playing.
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Novartis Animal Health US, Inc. launched a novel nationwide initiative to get senior and arthritic canine patients up and playing.
The coordinated effort of thousands of U.S. veterinarians is called "Steps to Play More" and revolves around a simple device — a dog pedometer. Pedometers specifically calibrated for dogs can help motivate exercise in arthritic dogs by way of owners who monitor their pets' daily activity levels. The accuracy of similar pedometers was investigated and validated in the June 2005 edition of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Novartis Animal Health is spearheading the effort with veterinarians who are interested in helping the dogs that need activity the most: senior and arthritic dogs. An estimated 20 percent of adult dogs are afflicted with canine osteoarthritis (OA), and many more are considered "high risk" for developing arthritis because of their age, breed or body condition.
Steven M. Fox, MS, DVM, MBA, PhD, director of pain management for Novartis, said that his company is taking the lead on best medicine practices for OA by focusing on multi-modal therapy, including Deramaxx® (deracoxib), chondroprotectants (drugs that slow the progression of the disease), exercise, weight management, diet and physical rehabilitation.
"In canine OA cases, pain and inflammation should be controlled first with Deramaxx as part of a multi-modal treatment plan," said Fox. "Once comfortable movement of the joint is achieved, add other modalities onto therapy. Dog pedometers are an easy way veterinarians can motivate their clients to take care of the exercise piece of the equation at home." It's this combination of therapy that makes the campaign and the pedometers so relevant for veterinarians and to the health of pets.
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