Back to top


One hears of wellness for human health frequently but many of the same problems affect our companion animals.  Chronic diseases are those that develop and persist over long periods, such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and metabolic disease.  Genetics plays a large role in these diseases but diet, exercise, oxidative stress and inflammation are also very important.

Diet and obesity in dogs is related to diabetes, insulin resistance and can complicate arthritis.  Additional factors such as increased blood glucose, cholesterol, and triglycerides has been termed obesity related metabolic dysfunction and is similar to human metabolic disease. 

Oxidative stress is an important factor for all animals and is an imbalance between reactive oxygen and the body’s natural protective antioxidants.  It is an underlying cause of many chronic diseases.  Reactive oxygen is a byproduct of normal metabolism and animals possess numerous ways of countering this risk. Dietary vitamins and minerals as well as enzyme systems work to prevent damage. However, if the reactive oxygen in not quickly countered, damage to proteins, lipids and DNA can occur. There are several ways of measuring markers of oxidative stress including TBARS and MDA.  Similarly there are methods to determine antioxidant levels.

Chronic, low grade inflammation is well known to be involved in multiple diseases including diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.  While acute inflammation is the well known response to injury resulting in swelling and increased blood flow, chronic inflammation has a long term damaging effect and can be related to diet, sedentary lifestyle and the immune system.

Suggested Presentations

Suggested Publications