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Dinah's on a pet topic – fat patients and their equally fat dogs


Late for PCT meeting. Had to take cat to

vet – tail hanging by a thread, blood everywhere (violent mouse chase). Tail had been injured before Christmas but cat seemed to recover, although wound might have been a bit infected...

Vet saw me as an 'extra' – I waited 10 minutes. Said he would amputate tail, although it might have been saved if infection had been treated sooner. Guilty, I asked if he would report me to the RSPCA: if fat dogs are now illegal, what about neglected cats? He said GMC might be more appropriate in view of missed infection!

Calmed down when I realised he was joking so we exchanged views on the UK epidemic of obese dog owners who also inflict it on their pets and kids. Agreed to e-mail diet sheet for him to give owners.

In the rush to get to PCT meeting, forgot to collect cat.


Picked up cat – extra charge for overnight stay. Now wish I'd gone for the insurance.

Surgery. Trying to set up clinic for CHD primary prevention scheme; we'd signed up to LES to screen obese smokers' BPs and cholesterol but practice nurse wants to cut hours (interviewing potential replacement this afternoon). Managed to see a few fatties who all require a statin according to JBS2, plus nicotine replacement. Can already see the prescribing budget going up in smoke.

Brainwave: as pet owner's BMI is obviously key to whole family obesity, could we set up weight management service for pets with vet doing outreach clinic in back of surgery? Might attract extra clients for both parties. Children could take dogs to local park with youth worker while parents wait for GTT results.

Good news – new nurse is keen to start soon: she will fit in well and has a dog.

Ask my kids for advice on obese pets:

boys keen to participate, designing mini-Olympics. Daughter says I should lead by example and shed several kg – and can she have the green top I can't get into? Retire to study with red wine to think about it.


PBC group meeting (wear green top). Commissioning for Heath Improvement. Apparently, obesity costs the NHS at least £5m per year; not sure how that is reflected in PBC budgets or who will get savings! We are dangerously near UK obesity epicentre (Easington) and there are hundreds of patients on our lists whose weight/BMI is not even recorded. If 22 per cent of the population is obese I have 600 on my list alone (but only 150 on the obesity register).

Realise I'm fighting a losing battle. Give green top to daughter.

Dinah Roy is a GP in Spennymoor, chair of Sedgefield PBC group and co-PEC chair of County Durham PCT

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