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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

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Wildlife presenter to deliver keynote speech at BVA Congress

News Story 1
 The BVA has confirmed wildlife presenter Mike Dilger will deliver the keynote speech at this year’s congress. Mike is known as ‘Britain’s most diseased man’, having contracted a number of exotic diseases on his travels, including malaria, bilharzia and leishmaniasis. His talk, ‘My diseases and other animals’, promises to be an amusing and inspiring lecture on his travels in the tropics and his thoughts on how the mass media is influencing human engagement with wildlife and nature. The lecture will take place at 1pm on 16 November, in the BVA Congress Theatre at London’s ExCeL. 

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Vet school runs event for aspiring vets and nurses

Bristol Veterinary School is hosting an event for aspiring vets and vet nurses, to allow them to experience life as a student and find out what it’s like to work in veterinary medicine. The one-day event, called VetQuest, will be held at the Langford Campus and includes a tour, talks on admissions and work experience, and the chance to take part in practical sessions. Taking place on Saturday 27 October, the event is primarily aimed at 11-12 year olds and costs £50, including lunch. There are a limited number of subsidised tickets for £10. To book, visit VetQuest 2018