Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

Obesity prevalence in young dogs ‘concerning’ - survey
Out of 1,100 adult dogs, 65 per cent were overweight (with a BCS of 6/9 to 9/9).
Body condition of pet dogs assessed at UK pet shows

Vets are being urged to proactively monitor pet bodyweight and body condition, beginning at initial vaccinations, after a recent study found high rates of obesity in juvenile dogs examined at UK pet shows.

Veterinary nurses assessed the body condition scores of more than 1,600 dogs at seven family pet shows, held across the UK between June 2016 and October 2017.

The findings have been reported in Vet Record letters by the University of Liverpool and Crown Pet Foods.

Out of 1,100 adult dogs, 65 per cent were overweight (with a BCS of 6/9 to 9/9), while nine per cent were obese (with a score of 8/9 or 9/9).

Most concerning, researchers said, was the level of obesity in dogs under two years. Out of 516 juvenile dogs, 37 per cent were overweight and three per cent were overweight and obese. The prevalence increased steadily during the growth phase, from 21 per cent in dogs under six months, to 52 per cent in dogs aged 18-24 months.

The last study to report the prevalence of dog obesity in the UK was published in 2010. It found 59 per cent of dogs were overweight or obese.

Obesity in dogs was officially classified as a disease at a recent WSAVA One Health meeting. It is associated with shortened life span and predisposition to other conditions, such as osteoarthritis, diabetes and certain types of neoplasia.

Authors of the letter said that weight and body condition is ‘infrequently’ recorded. Veterinary surgeons can help to reverse the trend by focusing on prevention, as well as managing obesity where it has already developed, they wrote.

‘Proactive monitoring of body weight and body condition throughout life would be fundamental to any such preventative plan. Given the prevalence of being overweight in growing dogs, body weight monitoring should start at initial vaccination and continue throughout the early life phase.’

Such an approach, the authors added, is facilitated by evidence-based growth charts, which are freely available at www.waltham.com/resources/puppy-growth-charts

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”