Obesity, Exercise and Orthopedic Disease

Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2016 Sep;46(5):831-41. doi: 10.1016/j.cvsm.2016.04.006. Epub 2016 Jun 9.


Osteoarthritis is common among aging canine and feline patients. The incidence and severity of clinical lameness are closely correlated to body condition in overweight and obese patients. Excessive adiposity may result in incongruous and excessive mechanical loading that worsens clinical signs in affected patients. Data suggest a potential link between adipokines, obesity-related inflammation, and a worsening of the underlying pathology. Similarly, abnormal physical stress and generalized systemic inflammation propagated by obesity contribute to neurologic signs associated with intervertebral disc disease. Weight loss and exercise are critical to ameliorating the pain and impaired mobility of affected animals.

Keywords: Canine; Exercise; Feline; Obesity; Osteoarthritis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / pathology*
  • Cats
  • Dog Diseases / pathology*
  • Dogs
  • Lameness, Animal
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / veterinary*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / etiology
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / pathology
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / veterinary*
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal