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NOT FOR NUTHIN’: Extra dog bones or else!

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Not for nothing, but what were they thinking -- diet pills for dogs and cats? Why not just limit the doggie and kitty treats while adding an extra walk or two? It’s not like Fido or Tabby can call the local pizza parlor for a late-night delivery or raid the fridge while you’re at work. From prosthetic testicles for dogs that have been neutered (it gives them back their woof ) to designer togs for that must-have fashion look, pet owners in this country have taken their daily walk right into the ridiculous. Where do we go next? Million-dollar condos for goldfish? This new diet pill, Slentrol, is a prescription drug that reduces your pudgy pup’s desire to binge on that extra helping of Kibbles n’ Bits and fat absorption. Although it has been proven to help your dog shed a few pounds, the downside of the pill, in some patients, is vomiting, loose stools, diarrhea, lethargy, and lack of appetite (isn’t that the point?). Wow, just what every pet owner wants to come home to – one big whoops on the hallway floor. For all of you folks who are thinking, hey, if this works for Fido, why not for me, think again. The FDA has warned that humans who consume Slentrol may suffer abdominal distention, abdominal pain, diarrhea, flatulence, headache, nausea, and vomiting. Pfizer developed Slentrol. It targets dogs that are 20 percent overweight and is not recommended for cats, as it can cause liver damage. What, were their quarterly profits in the human market down so low that they needed to jump on the pet obesity wagon? Pfizer produces such meds as Celebrex, Lipitor and Viagra, just to name a few, as well as a slew of over-the- counter drugs like Benedryl, Listerine, Rogain and Zantac. According to an article that ran in USA Today last July, “Spiraling prices for new cancer therapies — up to $10,000 a month for a single drug — are causing alarm among patients and insurance companies.” It further says, “The cost of a cancer drug prescription rose nearly 16% last year, compared with 3% for other prescriptions.” As stated in a June report by Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit manager, “The average cost of a 30-day prescription for cancer drugs is now nearly $1,600.” Okay, so Celebrex helps people manage the pain of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, and who can debate the benefits of Lipitor. But diet pills for dogs? It kind of makes you wonder where the common sense has gone. Let’s just get it together…whatever happened to that old adage, a little goes a long way? You can get that diamond-studded dog collar and eat your cake too, as long as the cake is sugar and fat free. E-mail “Not for Nothin’” at JoannaD@courierlife.net. All letters become the property of Courier-Life Publications and are subject to publication unless otherwise specified; please include your name, address and daytime telephone number for verification.

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