Canine Body Condition Scoring - Ohio 4

Report
Ohio State University Extension
Canine Body Condition Scoring
Assuring Quality Care for Animals Signature Program
Monday, November 4, 2013
Penne Smith, Extension Educator
Ohio State University Extension
What is body condition scoring?
• Body condition scoring was developed as
a way to standardize the assessment of
whether animals are underweight or
overweight.
• It is based on a scale running from 1-5
where 1 is an emaciated animal and 5 is
grossly obese.
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What is body condition scoring?
• The place on the scale on which the
animal falls is determined by assessing
several criteria. These are:
• How easily are ribs felt
• How obvious are the waist and abdominal
tuck
• How much excess fat is beneath the skin
• How much muscle mass is present
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Why is body condition scoring
useful?
• Body condition scoring allows vets and
animal owners to easily share this
information with one another.
• It has been shown that the body condition
score is related to the percentage above
which dogs are overweight and
consequently can be used to suggest a
target weight.
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Why is body condition scoring
useful?
• Since even within individual breeds there are a
range of shapes and sizes that dogs come in,
body condition score allows target weights to be
tailor made rather than just suggesting the breed
average.
• There are a number of diseases that dogs can
get where the risk or severity is worsened if the
animal is obese. Body condition scoring can be
used to define those animals at risk.
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Why is body condition scoring
useful?
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1 = Emaciated
Ribs, lumbar vertebrae,
pelvic bones and all
body prominences
evident from a distance.
No discernible body fat.
Obvious absence of
muscle mass.
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1 = Emaciated
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2 = Thin
Ribs easily palpated and may
be visible with no palpable
fat.
Tops of lumbar vertebrae
visible.
Pelvic bones less prominent.
Obvious waist and abdominal
tuck.
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2 = Thin
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3 = Moderate
Ribs palpable without
excess fat covering.
Abdomen tucked up when
viewed form side
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3 = Moderate
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4 = Stout
General fleshy appearance.
Ribs palpable with difficulty.
Noticeable fat deposits over
lumbar spine and tail base.
Abdominal tuck may be
absent.
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4 = Stout
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5 = Obese
Large fat deposits over
chest, spine and tail base.
Waist and abdominal tuck
absent.
Fat deposits on neck and
limbs.
Abdomen distended.
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5 = Obese
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Rib Palpation
• Place both thumbs near the backbone
and spread both hands across the rib
cage.
• In dogs with an ideal BCS individual
ribs are palpable with no excess fat
covering.
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Rib Palpation
• In dogs with a BCS of 1/2, there is no
discernible fat over the ribs.
• In dogs with a BCS of 3/4, the individual
ribs are difficult to palpate due to the
moderate level of fat covering them.
• In a dog with a BCS of 5, individual ribs
are barely or not at all palpable.
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Waist Palpation
• Place both thumbs near the backbone and
fingers right behind the last rib.
• The width of the abdomen directly behind
the last rib should be smaller than the
width of the ribs, and should slightly
increase near the pelvic region
• (hour-glass appearance).
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Tail-Base Area Palpation
• Place the thumb on one hip bone and all
other fingers except the index finger on the
opposite hip bone.
• Use the index finger to palpate the dorsal
spinous processes of the vertebrae in the
region.
• Dogs with an ideal BCS should have a
smooth contour in that area, but bones
can be felt under a thin layer of fat.
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Tail-Base Area Palpation
Continued
• The hip bones and dorsal spinous
processes become more prominent and
may actually protrude in dogs that are
underweight, and may not be palpable as
the dog becomes obese.
• Obese dogs can also develop rolls of fat in
the tail-base region that give the
appearance of a dimple.
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Dorsal Spinous Process
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What are the signs of an
overweight dog?
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•
•
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Is it difficult to feel his ribs or spine?
Is it difficult to see your dog's waist?
Is his abdomen sagging?
Does his face look more round with larger cheeks?
Often appear tired and lazy?
Lag behind on walks?
Pant constantly?
Need help getting in the car?
Resist playing games?
Bark without getting up?
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Body Condition Scoring
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Body Condition Scoring
Ohio State University Extension

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