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The Growing Problem of Obesity in Dogs and Cats3


Abstract and Figures

Obesity is defined as an accumulation of excessive amounts of adipose tissue in the body, and is the most common nutritional disorder in companion animals. Obesity is usually the result of either excessive dietary intake or inadequate energy utilization, which causes a state of positive energy balance. Numerous factors may predispose an individual to obesity including genetics, the amount of physical activity, and the energy content of the diet. The main medical concern of obesity relates to the many disease associations that accompany the adiposity. Numerous studies demonstrated that obesity can have detrimental effects on the health and longevity of dogs and cats. The problems to which obese companion animals may be predisposed include orthopedic disease, diabetes mellitus, abnormalities in circulating lipid profiles, cardiorespiratory disease, urinary disorders, reproductive disorders, neoplasia (mammary tumors, transitional cell carcinoma), dermatological diseases, and anesthetic complications. The main therapeutic options for obesity in companion animals include dietary management and increasing physical activity. Although no pharmaceutical compounds are yet licensed for weight loss in dogs and cats, it is envisaged that such agents will be available in the future. Dietary therapy forms the cornerstone of weight management in dogs and cats, but increasing exercise and behavioral management form useful adjuncts. There is a need to increase the awareness of companion animal obesity as a serious medical concern within the veterinary profession.
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The WALTHAM International Nutritional Sciences Symposia
The Growing Problem of Obesity in Dogs and Cats
Alexander J. German
Departm ent of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, University of Liverp ool, Small Animal Hospital, Liverpool,
L7 7EX, UK
ABSTRACT Obesity is defined as an accumulation of excessive amounts of adipose tissue in the body, and is the
most common nutritional disorder in companion animals. Obesity is usually the result of either excessive dietary
intake or inadequate energy utilization, which causes a state of positive energy balance. Numerous factors may
predispose an individual to obesity including genetics, the amount of physical activity, and the energy content of the
diet. The main medical concern of obesity relates to the many disease associations that accompany the adiposity.
Numerous studies demonstrated that obesity can have detrimental effects on the health and longevity of dogs and
cats. The problems to which obese companion animals may be predisposed include orthopedic disease, diabetes
mellitus, abnormalities in circulating lipid profiles, cardiorespiratory disease, urinary disorders, reproductive disorders,
neoplasia (mammary tumors, transitional cell carcinoma), dermatological diseases, and anesthetic complications.
The main therapeutic options for obesity in companion animals include dietary management and increasing physical
activity. Although no pharmaceutical compounds are yet licensed for weight loss in dogs and cats, it is envisaged that
such agents will be available in the future. Dietary therapy forms the cornerstone of weight management in dogs and
cats, but increasing exercise and behavioral management form useful adjuncts. There is a need to increase the
awareness of companion animal obesity as a serious medical concern within the veterinary profession. J. Nutr. 136:
1940S–1946S, 2006.
adipose tissue
Obesity is defined as an accumulation of excessive amounts of
adipose tissue in the body (1). In humans, the application of this
definition is based upon epidemiologic data, which demonstrate
increased morbidity and mortality risk with increasing body fat
mass. Criteria have been established for what constitutes
‘overweight’ and what constitutes ‘obesity’; such criteria are
usually based on measures of adiposity such as the BMI [weight
(kg) divided by height
(m)]; Caucasians, for example, are
defined as overweight when BMI is .25 kg/m
, and obese when
BMI exceeds 30. In contrast, one report classified cats and dogs
as overweight when their body weight is .15% above their
‘optimal body weight,’ and as obese when their body weight
exceeds 30% of optimal (1). However, these criteria have not
been confirmed with rigorous epidemiologic studies, and limited
data exist on the nature of an optimal body weight.
Obesity is an escalating global problem in humans (2), and
current estimates suggest that almost two-thirds of adults in the
United States are overweight or obese (3). Studies from various
parts of the world have estimated the incidence of obesity in the
dog population to be between 22 and 40% (4). The most
recently published data come from a large study in Austr alia in
which 33.5% of dogs were classed as overweight, whereas 7.6%
were judged to be obese (4). The incidence of feline obesity is
similar (1,5,6). Most investigators agree that, as in humans, the
incidence in the pet population is increasing.
Measurement of obesity in companion animals
All measures of adiposity involve defining body composition,
or the ‘relative amounts of the various biological components
of the body.’ The main conceptual division of importance is
between fat mass (FM,
the triglyceride component in adipose
tissue) and lean body mass (LBM) (7). Various techniques are
available to measure body composition (Table 1), and these
differ in applicability to research, referral veterinary practice,
and first-opinion practice. Whatever method is used, investi-
gators should be aware of both its precision and accuracy.
The accuracy of a test is defined as the closeness with which
Published in a supplement to The Journal of Nutrition. Presented as part of
The WALTHAM International Nutritional Sciences Symposium: Innovations in
Companion Animal Nutrition held in Washington DC, September 15–18, 2005. This
conference was supported by The WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition and
organized in collaboration with the University of California, Davis, and Cornell
University. This publication was supported by The WALTHAM Centre for Pet
Nutrition. Guest editors for this symposium were D’Ann Finley, Francis A. Kallfelz,
James G. Morris, and Quinton R. Rogers. Guest editor disclosure: expenses for
the editors to travel to the symposium and honoraria were paid by The WALTHAM
Centre for Pet Nutrition.
Author disclosure: Expenses for the author to travel to the symposium and
honoraria were paid by WALTHAM.
Supported by grants from the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, Royal Canin,
and BBSRC. A.J. German’s lectureship is currently funded by Royal Canin.
To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:
Abbreviations used: CLA; conjugated linoleic acid; cTSH, canine thyroid-
stimulating hormone; DM, diabetes mellitus; DXA, dual-energy X-ray absorptiom-
etry; FM, fat mass; HDL-C, HDL cholesterol; LBM, lean body mass; LIM, limb index
measurement; T3, triiodothyronine; T4, thyroxine; USMI, urethral sphincter
mechanism incompetence.
0022-3166/06 $8.00 Ó 2006 Americ an Society for Nutrition.
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a measurement of the variable represents its true value, whereas
precision is the ability to yield the same estimated result on
repeated analysis (irrespective of accuracy). Ideally, a test that
is both accurate and precise should be used; however, many
tests for body composition are precise but not accurate, whereas
some lack both precision and accuracy. Ot her important
aspects of a test are cost, ease of use, acceptance by vet-
erinarians and clients, and invasiveness. Currently, there is no
method that cannot be criticized; therefore, the perfect tool for
analysis does not yet exist.
Potential research techn iques include chemical analysis,
densitometry, total body water measurement, absorptiometry
[including dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)], ultraso-
nography, electrical conductance, and advanced imaging tech-
niques (computed tomography and MRI; Table 1). In the
clinical setting, there is a need for quick, inexpensive, and
noninvasive methods of body composition measurement. The
most widely adopted quantitative procedures include measure-
ment of body weight and morphometry.
Morphometry. This is defined as the measurement of ‘‘form’’;
in relation to body composition analysi s, it refers to a variety of
measured parameters that are used to estimate body composi-
tion. The 3 main approaches are measurement of skin fold thick-
ness, dimensional evaluations (in which various measures of
stature are combined with weight), and body condition scores.
Dimensional evaluations. Such evaluations are usually
performed by tape measure, and a number were reported in
dogs and cats. Measurements of ‘length’ (e.g., head, thorax, and
limb) are correlated with lean body components (8), whereas
measurements of girth were shown to correlate with both LBM
(8) and FM (9). Segmental limb measures and (likely) truncal
length are thought to be better measures of stature and thus
correlate best with LBM. By combining .1 measure (usually
1 that correlates with FM, and 1 correlating with LBM),
equations can be generated to predict different body compo-
nents. The best examp le of such a measure is the feline BMI
(9), where:
Body fatð%Þ5f½ðRibcage= 0 :7067Þ2LIM=0:9156g2LIM ½1:
Here, the ribcage measurement is the circumference measured
at the 9th rib, and LIM stands for the ‘limb index measure-
ment,’ which is the distance between the patella and calcaneus
of the left hindlimb. All measurements are made in centime-
ters, and measurements are made with the cat in a standing
position, with the legs perpendicular to the ground and the
head upright.
Such techniques do provide a more objective measure of
body composition than body condition scoring (see below), but
problems exist when similar schemes are extrapolated to the
many breeds of dog. Despite this, a BMI has been suggested for
dogs (10).
Body condition scoring. This is a subjective, semiquanti-
tative method of evaluating body composition. A number of
schemes were devised, with a 9-point scheme being the most
widely accept ed (11,12). All systems assess visual and palpable
characteristics that correlate subcutaneous fat, abdominal fat,
and superficial musculature (e.g., ribcage, dorsal spinous pro-
cesses, and waist). A new 7-point algorithm-based approach,
specifically designed to be used by owners to assess their own
pets, was developed recently. A recent study demonstrated
good correlation between the system and body fat measure-
ments made by DXA and excellent agreement among experi-
enced operators (13). Most importantly, good agreement was
found between measurements by the experienced operators and
the owners, suggesting that the method is reliable when used
without prior training.
Causes of obesity
Although some diseases (e.g., hypothyroidism and hyper-
adrenocortism in dogs), pharmaceuticals (e.g., drug-induced
polyphagia caused by glucocorticoids and anticonvulsant drugs),
and rare genetic defects (in huma ns) can cause obesity, the
main reason for the development of obesity is having a positive
mismatch between energy intake and energy expenditure.
Therefore, either excessive dietary intake or inadequate energy
utilization can lead to a state of positive energy balance; numer-
ous factors may be involved, including genetics, the amount of
physical activity, and the energy content of the diet (1).
The effect of genetics is illustrated by recognized breed
associations in both dogs (e.g., Labrador Retriever, Cairn Terrier,
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Scottish Terrier, Cocker Spaniel)
and cats (e.g., D omestic Shorthair) (14,15).
Neutering is an important risk factor for obesity in both
species; many studies suggested that this is due to a decrease
in metabolic rate after neutering (16–19). However, increased
FM is usually present in neutered animals; when energy
expenditure is expressed on a lean mass basis, no difference in
metabolic rate is noted between neutered and entire individ-
uals (20–23). Alternative explanations for the effect of neuter-
ing on obesity is an alteration in feeding behavior leading to
increased food intake (17,18,21–25), and decreased activity
without a corresponding decrease in energy intake (26,27).
Gender itself is also a predisposing factor in some canine
studies, with females overrepresented (14,28). Other recognized
Methods for body composition analysis in dogs and cats
Common research techniques
Chemical analysis
Total body water
Isotope dilution
Total body potassium
Photon absorptiometry
Single-photon absorptiometry (SPA)
Dual-photon absorptiometry (DPA)
X-ray absorptiometry
Single-energy X-ray absorptiometry (SXA)
Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA)
Electrical impedance
Common clinical methods
Body weight
Morphometric methods (zoometry)
Body condition score
9-Point scale
5-Point scale
6-Point scale
Tape measurements
Other methods
Muscle metabolite markers
Neutron activation analysis
Electrical conductance (bioelectrical impedance)
Near infrared interactance (NIRI)
Computed tomography
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associations in dogs include indoor lifestyle and middle age
(4,14,15). In cats, middle age and apartment dwelling are
possible risk factors (6).
Dietary factors can also lead to the development of obesity in
both species. For instance, obesity in dogs is associated with the
number of meals and snacks fed, the feeding of table scraps, and
the dog’s presence when its owners prepared or ate their own
meal (29). Interestingly, the type of diet fed (prepared pet food
vs. homemade) does not appear to predispose to obesity
(14,15,29). However, the price of the pet food does have a
notable effect, i.e., obese dogs are more likely to have been fed
inexpensive rather than more expensive foods. Further, obese
cats more commonly have a free choice of food intake (30).
Behavioral factors also play a part in the development of
obesity. For cats, possible factors involved in the development
of obesity include anxiety, depression, failure to establish a
normal feeding behavior, and failure to develop control of
satiety (31). The human-animal relationship is also of impor-
tance and was shown to be more intense in the owners of obese
cats (30). Further, misinterpretation of feline behavior on the
part of the owner is also of importance; in this regard, many
owners misread signals about the behavior of their cat asso-
ciated wth eating. In contrast to humans and dogs for whom
eating is a social function, cats do not have any inherent need
for social inter action during feeding times. When the cat
initiates contact, owners often assume that they are hungry and
are asking for food when they are not (31). Nevertheless, if food
is provided at such times, the cat soon learns that initiating
contact results in a food reward. For dogs, owner factors that
are of importance include the duration that the owner observed
the dog eating (more likely to be longer in obese dogs), interest
in pet nutrition, obesity of the owner, health consciousness of
the owner (both for their pet and themselves), and lower
income (29).
The pathological importance of obesity
In humans, obesity is important because it increases mor-
tality risk and can predispose to a variety of diseases. Obese
humans, on average, do not live as long, and are more likely to
suffer from diseases such as type II diabetes mellitus (DM),
hypertension, coronary heart disease, certain cancers (e.g.,
breast, ovarian, prostate), osteoarthritis, respiratory disease,
and reproductive disorders. Similarly, obesity has detrimental
effects on the health and longevity of dogs and cats (Table 2),
although data are more limited. Problems to which obese
companion animals may be predisposed include orthopedic
disease, DM, abnormalities in circulating lipid profiles, cardio-
respiratory disease, urinary disorders, reproductive disorders,
neoplasia (mammary tumors, transitional cell carcinoma), derma-
tological diseases, and anesthetic complications. Human obesity
is associated with an increased risk of type II DM, cancer,
cardiac disease, hypertension, and decreased longevity (32).
Some studies do suggest an increase in morbidity in sick
patients with poorer body condition (33,34).
Clinical evaluation, physiology and anesthesia. Overall,
obesity makes clinical evaluation more difficult; techniques
that are more problematic in obese patients include physical
examination, thoracic auscultation, palpation and aspiration of
peripheral lymph nodes, abdominal palp ation, blood sampling,
cystocentesis, and diagnostic imaging (especially ultrasonogra-
phy). Anesthetic risk is reportedly increased in obese compan-
ion animals, most likely due to recognized problems with
estimation of anesthetic dose, catheter placement, and
prolonged operating time (35,36). Finally, decreased heat
tolerance and stamina were also reported in obese animals (1).
Longevity. Dietary restriction can increase longevity in
other species (37–39), and a recent prospective study con-
firmed a similar effect in dogs (40–45). Labrad or retrievers (24
pairs, 48 in total) participated in the study, and 1 dog in each
pair was randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups (43). The dogs in
one group consumed food ad libitum, whereas the dogs in the
other group were fed 75% of the amount consumed by their
counterparts. In the energy-restricted group, the body condi-
tion score was closer to ‘optimal’ (e.g., group mean 4.5/9) than
in the ad libitum feeding group (e.g., group mean 6.8/9).
Although causes of death did not differ between the 2 groups,
the lifespan was increased in the energy-restric ted group (e.g.,
median 13 y with energy restriction vs. 11.2 y with ad libitum
consumption) (45). Additional beneficial effects of feed
restriction (and thus maintenance of body condition) included
a reduced risk of hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis, and improved
glucose tolerance (40–45).
Diseases associ ated with obe sity
Endocrine and metabolic diseases. Hormonal diseases with
a reported association with obesity include DM, hypothyro id-
ism, hyperadrenocorticism, and insulinoma (1). Some condi-
tions predispose to obesity, whereas others arise more commonly
Diseases reported to be associated with obesity in
companion animals
Metabolic abnormalities
Insulin resistance
Glucose intolerance
Metabolic syndrome
Hepatic lipidosis (cat)
Diabetes mellitus
Hypothalamic lesions
Orthopedic disorders
Humeral condylar fractures
Cranial cruciate ligament rupture
Intervertebral disk disease
Cardiorespiratory disease
Tracheal collapse
Brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome
Laryngeal paralysis
Urogenital system
Urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence
Urolithiasis (calcium oxalate)
Transitional cell carcinoma
Transitional cell carcinoma
Functional alterations
Joint disorders
Respiratory compromise, e.g., dyspnea
Exercise intolerance
Heat intolerance/heat stroke
Decreased immune functions
Increased anesthetic risk
Decreased lifespan
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in animals that are obese. Acromegaly can lead to a generalized
increase in tissue mass, and is thus a differential diagnos is for
obesity. However, in this condition, lean tissue and bone
mineral are likely to be deposited in addition to adipose tissue.
Insulin resistance, DM, and the metabolic syndrome. Insulin
secreted by pancreatic b cells controls the uptake and use of
glucose in peripheral tissues. In humans, tissues become less
sensitive to insulin (i.e., become ‘insulin resistant’’) with
excessive energy intake (46), and plasma concentrations of
insulin increase in direct proportion to increasing BMI in both
men and women (47). Thus, obesity, particularly abdominal
obesity, is a major determinant of insulin resistance and
hyperinsulinemia (48). Cats most often suffer from DM, which
resembles ‘type II’ DM in humans; therefore, obesity is a major
risk factor in this species (49). Indeed, it was proven
experimentally that diabetic cats have significantly lower
sensitivity to insulin than cats without DM (50). In contrast,
dogs more commonly suffer from DM resembling human type I
DM. Obesity causes insulin resistance (45), and obesity is a risk
factor for DM in this species (51). However, because type II
DM is uncommon in dogs, obesity rarely leads to overt clinical
signs of DM (52).
In humans, the metabolic syndrome was originally termed
‘syndrome of insulin resistance’’; in fact, it is a group of risk
factors associated with both insulin resistance and cardiovas-
cular disease (53). The main characteristics of metabolic
syndrome are as follows: 1) fasting plasma glucose . 110 mg/dL
(6.10 mmol/L); 2) visceral obesity (e.g., waist circu mference .
90 cm in women and . 102 cm in men; 3) Hypertension e.g.,
blood pressure . 130/85 mm Hg; and 4) low concentrations of
HDL cholesterol (HDL-C; ,40 mg/dL in men, , 50 mg/dL in
Additional features may include systemic inflammation,
prothrombotic state, and increased oxidant stress (54). Further,
in ;20% of cases of metabolic syndrome, there is concurrent
pancreatic b-cell dysfunction leading to DM (53). Some of
these criteria were applied to dogs, an d this species is often used
as a model for human metabolic syndrome (55).
Hypothyroidism and thyroid function. Although hypothyroid-
ism is co mmonly cited as an underlying cause for obesity, such
cases are the exception rather than the rule. The prevalence of
hypothyroidism in dogs is estimated at 0.2%, with less than half
of these dog s reported to be obese (56). In contrast, the
proportion of dogs that are obese is much greater (25–40%) (4).
Hypothyroidism is extremely rare in cats. Thus, although hypo-
thyroidism should always be considered, it is rarely the reason
for obesity. Obesity itself has a subtle, but likely clinically
insignificant effect on thyroid function (57); obese dogs had
higher concentrations of both total thyroxine (T4) and total
triiodothyronine (T3) than nonobese controls, although such
concentrations remained within the reference range and other
parameters [e.g., free T4, canine thyroid-stimulating hormone
(cTSH), TSH stimulation test] did not differ. Further, weight
loss caused significant decreases in total T3 and cTSH. Thus,
although obesity and subsequent weight restriction may have
some effects on energy balance and thyroid homeostasis, such
changes are unlikely to affect the interpretation of thyroid
function tests.
Hyperlipidemia and dyslipidemia. Limited data exist for
dogs with naturally occurring obesity, and most information was
derived from experimental studies. Published data suggest that
lipid alterations can occur in obese dogs, with increases in
cholesterol, triglycerides, and phospholipids all noted, albeit
often not exceeding the upper limit of the ref erence range (58–
60). M aking laboratory dogs obese by feeding a hyperenergetic
diet was shown to increase plasma nonesterified fatty acid and
triglyceride concentrations by increasing concentrations of
VLDL and HDL, while decreasing those of HDL-C (59). Such
changes were associated with insulin resistance and, interest-
ingly, were also described in insulin-resistant humans. Whether
lipid alterations account for the increased incidence of
pancreatitis in obese dogs requires further studies (61). Thus,
additional work is warranted to assess further the significance of
lipid abno rmalities in dogs.
Orthopedic disorders. Obesity is a major risk factor for
orthopedic diseases in companion animals, especially dogs. An
increased incidence of both traumatic and degenerative ortho-
pedic disorders was reported (14,62). One study reported body
weight to be a predisposing factor in humeral condylar frac-
tures, cranial cruciate ligament rupture, and intervertebral disc
disease in cocker spaniels (63). A recent study in boxers re-
ported a link between neutering and hip dysplasia (64);
although the effect of obesity was not assessed directly in that
study, this association was attributed to an increased incidence
of obesity in neutered dogs. Further, a number of studies
highlighted the association between obesity and the develop-
ment of oste oarthritis (41,42), whereas weight reduction can
lead to a substantial improvement in the degree of lameness in
dogs with hip osteoarthritis (65).
Cardiorespiratory disease and hypertension. Obesity can
have a profound effect on respiratory system function. Most
notably, obesity is an important risk factor for the development
of tracheal collapse in small dogs (66). Obesity can exacerbate
heatstroke in dogs; other respiratory diseases that can be
exacerbated by obesity include laryngeal paralysis and brach-
ycephalic airway obstruction syndrome. Obesity can also affect
cardiac function; increased body weight can result in effects on
cardiac rhythm and increased left ventricular volume, blood
pressure, and plasma volume. The effect of obesity on
hypertension is controver sial in dogs. One study suggested
that obesity was significantly associated with hypertension, but
its effect was only minor (67). In contrast, many experimental
studies utilized the obese dog as a model for the pathogenesis of
hypertension and insulin resistance (68). Obesity may also be
associated with portal vein thrombosis (69) and myocardial
hypoxia (70).
Urinary tract and reproductive disorders. There is evi-
dence from experimental dogs that the onset of obesity is
associated with histologic changes in the kidney, most notably
an increase in Bowma n’s space (as a result of expansion of the
Bowman’s cap sule), increased mesangial matrix, thickening of
glomerular and tubular basement membranes, and an increased
number of dividing cells per glomerulu s (71). Functional
changes were noted in the same study and included increases in
plasma renin concentrations, insulin concentrations, mean
arterial pressure, and plasma renal flow. As a consequence, the
authors speculated that these changes, if prolonged, could
predispose to more severe glomerular and renal injury. An as-
sociation between obesity and some cases of urethral sphincter
mechanism incompet ence (USMI) was reported. Obesity is not
the only risk factor, with ovariohysterectomy (and consequent
lack of sex hormones) itself also playing a major role.
Nevertheless, the effect of obesity is clear in some dogs that
become incontinent only when they become obese. Further,
weight reduction in overweight dogs with USMI can often be
all that is required for continence to be restored. The
mechanisms that predispose obese animals to USMI are not
known, although it was suggested that the effect is purely
mechanical, e.g., increased retroperitoneal fat leading to caudal
displacement of the bladde r (72). The risk of developing
calcium oxalate urolithiasis is also reported to be increased in
obese dogs (73). Finally, obese animal s are reported to suffer
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from an increased risk of dystocia, likely related to excess
adipose tissue in and around the birth canal (14,74,75).
Neoplasia. In humans, obesity predisposes to a number of
different types of cancer; the International Agency for Research
on Cancer found a signific ant link between obesity and cancers
of the female breast (postmenopausal), colon/rectum, kidney
(renal cell), and esophagus (47). It is estimated that, if this link
is entirely causal, 1 in 7 cancer deaths in both men and women
in the United States might be the direct result of being
overweight or obese (47). Breast cancer is the most common
form of cancer among women (76), and obesity was shown
consistently to increase rates of breast cancer in postmenopau-
sal women by 30–50% (48). An association between mammary
carcinoma and obesity was also reported in some (74) but not
all (77,78) canine reports. Overweight dogs were also reported
to have an increased risk of developing transitional cell
carcinoma of the bladder (79).
Miscellaneous disorders. Obese animals were reported to
be at increased risk of certain dermatologic disorders. Diffuse
scale is commonly observed (especially in cats), most likely due
to a reduced ability to groom efficiently. Animals that are
severely obese can develop pressure sores. Decreased immune
function has also been documented, with obese dogs showing
less resistance to the development of infections (80,81).
Treatment of obesity
In humans, current therapeutic options for obesity include
dietary management, exerc ise, psychological and behavioral
modification, drug therapy, and surgery. Many of these options
are available for companion animals, although it is not ethically
justifiable to consider surgical approaches. Further, to date,
there are no pharmaceutical compou nds licensed for weight loss
in dogs and cats. Dietary therapy forms the cornerstone to
weight management in dogs and cats, but increasing exercise
and behavioral management comprise useful adjuncts.
Dietary management. It is recommended that the weight
reduction protocol be tailor ed toward the individual patient.
Although total energy restriction (starvation) successfully leads
to weight loss, it has the disadvantages of causing excessive
protein (and thus lean body mass) loss and requiring hospital-
ization for proper monitoring (1). Therefore, it is preferable to
use purpose-formulated weight reduction diets, which generally
are restricted in fat and energy, while being supplemented in
protein and micronutrients. Protein supplementation is impor-
tant because the amount of lean tissue lost is minimized even
though the weightloss is not more rapid (82,83). Supplementation
of micronutrients ensures that deficiency states do not arise
Additional dietary factors that may be of ben efit for weight
loss include
L-carnitine supplementation (to maintain lean
mass), conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and the use of high-fiber
diets (to provide satiety).
L-Carnitine is an amino acid that is synthesized de novo in
the liver and kidneys from lysine and methionine in the
presence of ascorbate. Dietary supplementation of
improves nitrogen retention, increasing lean mass and reducing
fat mass (86). Incorporation of
L-carnitine at a level of 50–300
ppm, in weight reduction diets, was shown to reduce lean tissue
loss during weight loss (86,87). Possible mechanisms for this
protective effect on lean tissue include enhancing fatty acid
oxidation and energy availability for protein synthesis during
times of need.
CLA is a family of fatty acid isomers derived from linoleic
acid. Various studies in experimental animals suggested that it
has an antiadipogenic effect; proposed mechanisms include
inhibition of stearoyl-CoA desaturase activity, which limits the
synthesis of monounsaturated fatty acids for triglyceride
synthesis, and suppression of elongation and desaturation of
fatty acids into long-chain fatty acids (86). At present, data on
the use of CLA as an antiobesity agent in humans and cats are
conflicting, with the most recent data suggesting the lack of a
significant effect (88,89). Therefore, more information is
required before its use can be recommended. There is also
controversy concernin g the effect of fiber satiety; some reports
suggested that feeding up to 12–16% of dry matter as dietary
fiber has no effect (90–92), whereas other work demonstrated
appetite suppression when 21% of the diet was consumed as
dietary fiber (93).
Lifestyle management. Increasing physical activity is a
useful adjunct to dietary therapy; when used in combination
with dietary therapy, it promotes fat loss (94) and may assist in
lean tissue preservation (95). There is also some evidence that
exercise may help prevent the rapid regain in weight that can
occur after successful weight loss (94). The exact program must
be tailored to the individual and take into account any
concurrent medical concerns. Suitable exercise strategies in
dogs include lead walking, swimming, hydrotherapy, and
treadmills. Exercise in cats can be encouraged by increasing
play activity, using cat toys (e.g., fishing rod toys), motorized
units, and feeding toys. Cats can also be encouraged to ‘work’ for
their food by moving the food bowl between rooms before
feeding, or by the use of feeding toys.
Monitoring of weight loss. In addition to the above
strategies, it is essential that the whole weight reduction
regimen be supervised. This is labor intensive, requires some
degree of expertise and training in owner co unseling, and often
requires a dedicated member of staff. Nevertheless, in the
author’s opinion, correct monitoring is the single most impor-
tant component of the weight loss strategy. A recent study
demonstrated that weight loss is more successful if an organized
strategy is followed with regu lar weigh-in sessions (96). It is
essential to continue to monitor body weight after the ideal
weight has been achieved to ensure that weight that was lost is
not regained; as with humans, a rebound effect was demon-
strated after weight loss in dogs (97).
Obesity is a growing concern in companion animals, and the
increasing incidence appears to be mirroring the trend observed
in humans. The main medical concern of obesity relates to the
many disease associations that accompany the adiposity. There
is a need to increase awareness within the veterinary profession
that obesity in companion animals is a serious medical concern.
The author thanks Vivien Ryan and Shelley Holden for assistance
with manuscript preparation.
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... Few cat owners report providing enrichment such as food puzzles or reinforcementbased training for their cats (Grigg and Kogan, 2019;. Insufficient stimulation and exercise have been associated with cat owner reports of behavior problems such as elimination outside the litter box, aggression (Ellis et al., 2013;Strickler and Schull, 2014;Grigg and Kogan, 2019) and health problems such as feline obesity -a frequently observed and J o u r n a l P r e -p r o o f often preventable condition defined as 30% above ideal body weight and equivalent to 8/9 body condition score (German, 2006). ...
... This oversight is particularly important considering the need to balance cats' species-typical feeding patterns, their satiety, and weight management. For example, such information could help address feline obesity, a lowgrade inflammatory disease (German, 2006) considered the most common domestic feline nutritional problem (Colliard et al., 2009;Courcier et al., 2010), which predisposes cats to many J o u r n a l P r e -p r o o f adverse health conditions (Scarlett et al., 1998;Lund et al., 2005). Multiple factors, such as diet composition (nutrient density or nutrients that promote energy expenditure), amount of food offered, single vs. multiple cat households leading to feeding conflict, individual cat characteristics (breed, age, body condition score, and activity level) and feeding frequency can influence food intake and nutrient utilization that create a positive energy balance and result in weight gain (German, 2006;Laflamme, 2006;German et al., 2010). ...
... For example, such information could help address feline obesity, a lowgrade inflammatory disease (German, 2006) considered the most common domestic feline nutritional problem (Colliard et al., 2009;Courcier et al., 2010), which predisposes cats to many J o u r n a l P r e -p r o o f adverse health conditions (Scarlett et al., 1998;Lund et al., 2005). Multiple factors, such as diet composition (nutrient density or nutrients that promote energy expenditure), amount of food offered, single vs. multiple cat households leading to feeding conflict, individual cat characteristics (breed, age, body condition score, and activity level) and feeding frequency can influence food intake and nutrient utilization that create a positive energy balance and result in weight gain (German, 2006;Laflamme, 2006;German et al., 2010). There is a great need to better understand the impacts of these variables and to translate the resulting knowledge into best practices that can be utilized by those who care for cats. ...
Despite the cat's popularity as a companion species, many owners and practitioners lack high quality information about important aspects of their behavior and management. Myths, anecdotes, and narratives of cats as 'low maintenance, self-sufficient' animals are pervasive, and the degree to which these may underlie complacency about fully meeting cats' needs is unknown. Several studies suggest that cat welfare and the human-cat bond may benefit from improved education about how to optimize the domestic cat's management and husbandry needs in homes and elsewhere. This paper is the second of a two-part series addressing common myths about cats. The purpose of this paper is to review and debunk common misconceptions about optimal cat care, feeding behavior, genetics, and training. Replacing these misconceptions with scientifically generated information could have a significant impact on the behavioral management of cats, positively influencing their physical health, mental stimulation, and well-being, and reducing stress for both cats and the people caring for them. Areas where further research is required to address ambiguities, and to better meet cats' needs in homes and other environments, are also identified.
... It also includes ways to modify the behaviors of both the owner and their pet to overcome barriers preventing them from reaching their goal [3]. Individualized weight management programs that provide consistent and healthy rates of weight loss or gain have been known to improve the quality of life for the animal by increasing lifespan and reducing the risk of or combatting already existing diseases or disorders, malnutrition, and certain types of cancers [3][4][5][6][7][8]. ...
... Canine and feline obesity is the most common nutritional disorder within veterinary practice and its prevalence has reached epidemic levels [4,9,10]. It is estimated that between 20 and 60% of adult cats and dogs in developed countries are overweight or obese [6,[9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]. The prevalence of underweight cats and dogs is less reported in the literature. ...
Full-text available
Pet owners rely on information and advice from their veterinary practice to effectively manage their pet’s weight. This study investigated weight management information and services displayed on practice websites in Ontario, Canada. Information collected from the websites of 50 randomly selected small and mixed-animal practices included practice and staff demographics and the type of weight management services, products, and information advertised or displayed. The most frequently advertised weight management service and product were nutritional counselling (34%) and therapeutic diets (25%), respectively. Current bodyweight measurement was advertised on just over half of the websites (54%), while physical therapy counselling was the least-advertised service (16%). Further statistical analyses were performed in an exploratory fashion to determine areas for future research. Binary logistic regression analyses were used to investigate the association between practice demographics and the type of weight management information advertised online. A maximum of two predictor variables were included in each regression model. Exploratory analyses indicated that when controlling for the number of veterinarians in each practice, having a higher number of veterinary technicians was associated with increased odds of a practice website advertising current bodyweight measurement by 80.1% (odds ratio (OR) = 1.80, p = 0.05). Additionally, when controlling the number of veterinary technicians, having a higher number of veterinarians was associated with increased odds of a practice website advertising sales of therapeutic diets by 119.0% (OR = 2.19, p = 0.04). When using corporate practices as reference, independently owned practices had decreased odds of advertising sales of treats and weight management accessories on their practice websites by 78.7% (OR = 0.21, p = 0.03). These preliminary results suggest that advertising weight management information is not prioritized on veterinary practice websites in Ontario, especially those with lower staff numbers. The findings of this study raise awareness on the current state of weight management promotion for pets on veterinary practice websites and highlight ways to improve upon a practice’s online presence.
... Therefore, tools that assess body condition are important in animal management systems, whether in freeliving populations, domestic animals or species kept under human care (Schiffmann et al. 2017). Some methods, such as the body condition score (BCS) and the muscle mass score (MMS), are widely used in dogs (German 2006;German and Martin 2008;Baldwin et al. 2010). ...
... Body condition scoring is an indirect method of assessment, which has become an integral part of the evaluation of nutritional status in veterinary patients (Stringer et al. 2010) and provides an estimation of body fat stores (Freeman et al. 2011;Freeman 2018). It is widely accepted in the assessment of the nutritional status of dogs (Burkholder and Toll 2000;German 2006), and with proper validation, can be applied to any species, identifying animals below and above the ideal weight, to reach the desired body condition (Reppert et al. 2011). ...
Full-text available
This study aimed to evaluate the application of radiography, ultrasonography, and computed tomography (CT) as auxiliaries in the determination of body fat and musculature in crab-eating foxes (Cerdocyon thous). Eight animals were evaluated and classified based on the body condition score (BCS) scale. The total cut volume, total visceral volume, total subcutaneous volume, visceral fat volume, subcutaneous fat volume, and total fat volume were measured. The correlation of the BCS with the other data was determined. In the ultrasound, there was a correlation of the vertebral epaxial musculature score (VEMS) with body weight, BCS, muscle mass score (MMS), animal's height, and height at the withers. In the radiographic analysis, the amount of subcutaneous fat obtained in L3 vertebrae did not present a significant correlation with BCS, as opposed to L6. In the tomographic analysis, TFV/L6, VFV/L6, and SFV/L6 correlated with BCS in L3, and only SFV /L6 in L6. When the ratios between fat volumes were correlated, the correlation with BCS occurred only in L6 in the TFV/TBV, SFV/SVC, and VFW variants. Radiography and CT were effective and had a good association with BCS. With the CT it was possible to demonstrate the distribution of total fat at the level of the L3 slice. The ratio of calculations considering the length of the L6 vertebra was more adequate, while at the level of L6 the ratio between the volumes of the compartments was more effective.
... Several international studies have estimated that the incidence of obesity in the canine population varies between 22% and 40% [14], with the incidence of feline obesity being of similar frequency [15]. Several researchers agree that, similar to the trend in humans, the incidence of obesity in the pet population is increasing [16,17]. ...
Full-text available
In both humans and companion animals, cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Given the increasing incidence in humans and dogs, there is an urgent need to find or improve strategies for diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. Hence, the importance of having very similar study models. Both canine and feline models have advantages over their murine counterparts in the study of breast cancer and cancer in general. Among other things, at the molecular and genetic levels, in terms of risk factors, spontaneous disease onset and tumour heterogeneity, domestic animals share greater similarities with the human species than the murine model. In addition, they share environmental and socioeconomic factors. Another advantage is their similar response to chemotherapy treatment, and rapid imaging results can be obtained with the same screening techniques used in humans. Finally, this chapter discusses the main features that make the canine and feline model the main source for the study of breast cancer in vitro and in vivo.
... Considering the direct correlation between LBM and CO, LBM would be an appropriate scalar of IV drug (Collis et al., 2001;Ingrande et al., 2011). While it is true that LBM can be calculated as the difference between the total BW and the body fat mass, it is not always possible to determine an accurate measurement of body fat mass unless expensive techniques, including deuterium oxide dilution and DEXA scanning, are used (German, 2006). Body condition scoring, which utilizes visual assessment and palpation, is widely accepted as the most reliable method of quantifying and evaluating body composition and fat mass in clinical settings (Burkholder and Toll, 2000). ...
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Background Alfaxalone is commonly used in veterinary anesthesia for the induction of general anesthesia (GA) in dogs. However, it has been associated with dose-dependent cardiovascular depression. Therefore, the administration of liposoluble, intravenous (IV)-administered injectable induction agents, such as alfaxalone, is recommended to be based on the dog’s lean body mass (LBM). Aim To determine the influence of body condition score (BCS) on IV alfaxalone dose requirements to achieve endotracheal intubation in dogs. Methods Prospective clinical study. A group of 34 dogs undergoing GA for diagnostic and/or surgical procedures, body weight (BW) > 4 kg, BCS > 2, age 1–14 years, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASAs) classification I–III. Dogs were allocated to two different groups according to their BCS: non-overweight group (NOW) BCS: 3–5 and over-weight group (OW) BCS: 6–9. All dogs were premedicated IV with methadone 0.2 mg kg⁻¹, and anesthesia was induced by a slow IV infusion of alfaxalone at 1 mg kg⁻¹ minute⁻¹, delivered with a syringe driver, until loss of jaw tone and no/minimal gagging reflex sufficient to allow endotracheal intubation was achieved. The total dose of alfaxalone and the occurrence of post-induction apnoea were recorded. The Shapiro–Wilk test was performed to test for normality. A Chi-square test was performed to compare the incidence of post-induction apnoea between groups, and the Mann–Whitney U test was performed to compare the induction dose of alfaxalone between groups. A p-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results The mean dose ± standard deviation of alfaxalone in NOW was 2.18 ± 0.59 mg kg⁻¹, and in OW, it was 1.63 ± 0.26 mg kg⁻¹ (p = 0.002). The sedation score did not differ between groups. Postinduction apnoea (PIA) occurred in 6 of 17 animals in NOW and 15 of 17 in OW (p = 0.002). Conclusion The dose of IV alfaxalone per kg of total body mass required to achieve endotracheal intubation was lower in overweight dogs, suggesting that LBM should be considered when calculating IV anesthetic doses. The incidence of post-induction apnoea was higher in overweight/obese dogs with alfaxalone administered at a rate of 1 mg kg⁻¹ minute⁻¹.
... Obesity is defined as a disease in which excessive body fat has accumulated to such an extent, that the health of an animal may be adversely affected [6]. The cause of obesity is either excessive dietary intake or inadequate energy utilization, which results in positive energy balance [5]. Canine patients are typically seen as clinically obese when their body weight is at least 15 % above ideal weight of the breed. ...
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Dystocia is a common complication of parturition in the breed of English Bulldogs, where most females are not able to have a natural parturition and many litters are delivered by caesarean section. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diameter of the pelvis of 11 females of English Bulldogs through radiographic pelvimetry and do proper measurements to observe if there are any correlations between a narrow pelvic canal and dystocia detected in the breed. The external parameters were also assessed to look for any differences between weight, height, and length in relation to the dystocia in the breed. The mean weight of the dogs with natural parturition was 21.25 ± 0.91 kg, whereas the females which had undergone caesarean section was 25.16 ± 1.44 kg (P = 0.0004). A P-value shows strong evidence for the hypothesis of this study as a possible factor of dystocia of the breed. The values of height and length in the category of dams which had undergone natural parturition were in cm 44.8 ± 2.48 (length) and 36.1 ± 0.98 (height). In the category of dogs which had undergone caesarean section, the parameters were in cm 45.4 ± 2.60 and 36.0 ± 1.58, respectively. The P-value for length were 0.72 for length and P-value for height were 0.83. Difference between the diameter of the pelvis in the two groups of English Bulldog females was P = 0.12, so there is no significant evidence. However, it could be significant for a possible future study with a higher number of animals for measuring pelvic diameter.
... Obesity has been shown to decrease physical activity in dogs (Chan et al. 2005;Warren et al. 2011;Morrison et al. 2013). Additionally, obesity can worsen signs of BOAS, i.e. compromise breathing and cause exercise and heat intolerance, which can affect dogs' daily physical activity (German 2006;Manens et al. 2012;Packer et al. 2015). It has been previously shown that Pugs in particular tend to be overweight relative to other breeds (Such & German 2015;O'Neill et al. 2016;Liu et al. 2017;Aromaa et al. 2019). ...
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Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) is a major welfare concern in flat-faced dog breeds. As BOAS causes respiratory difficulties and exercise intolerance, it can reduce dogs’ daily quality of life (QOL). However, evaluation of QOL in dogs is difficult, and many owners perceive BOAS signs as ‘normal’ for the breed. Accelerometers that measure frequency, duration and intensity of activities can offer an objective way of evaluating dogs’ daily activity and thereby deliver potential insights into QOL. The aim of this study was to assess habitual physical activity of 48 brachycephalic and 23 non-brachycephalic dogs using accelerometers. The accelerometers were used for one week and owners filled in a questionnaire regarding their dog’s well-being and activities. Veterinary-assessed BOAS grading for brachycephalic dogs was determined. Compared with controls, more severely affected French Bulldogs and Pugs had significantly lower total activity counts and spent less time in high activity. In Pugs, mildly affected dogs were also less active, but age can be a contributing factor here, as older age decreased activity in Pugs and controls showed a wider age range. In French Bulldogs, those dogs with no or mild signs of BOAS did not differ from controls regarding their daily activity. In conclusion, accelerometers were easy to use for objective measurement of daily activity in bracycephalic dogs, although a degree of discomfort due to the collar was reported. Results showed that BOAS signs were associated with decreased habitual physical activity. These findings emphasise the importance of actions taken to reduce incidence of BOAS in brachycephalic breeds.
... As consequências do excesso de peso sobre a saúde dos cães são bastante citadas na literatura, mas pouco investigadas. Dentre eles destacam-se os distúrbios do sistema locomotor (discopatias e ruptura do ligamento cruzado), prejuízos à resposta imunológica, aumento da incidência de endocrinopatias, doenças cardiorrespiratórias, afecções reprodutivas, dermatopatias (piodermite e seborreia) e maior incidência de dislipidemias (GERMAN, 2006;LAFLAMME, 2006;BRUNETTO et al., 2011). ...
A obesidade é uma doença crônica caracterizada por um acúmulo excessivo de gordura corporal, capaz de prejudicar a saúde e o bem-estar animal. Objetivou-se realizar um levantamento de banco de dados, através de indexadores tipo PUBVET; SciElo e Google Scholar, em busca da análise do perfil de algumas variáveis bioquímicas em cães, independente de raça, sexo, idade, coletando informações sobre as alterações ocasionadas no organismo pelo sobrepeso e/ou obesidade através da técnica estatística de metanálise. Dos exames utilizados para analisar a incidência de disfunções hepáticas e renais, 72,7% avaliaram exames bioquímicos e 63,6% utilizaram urinálise para a detecção das disfunções analisadas. Também foram avaliadas as distribuições das médias dos efeitos reportados por 11 estudos através de boxplots como se comporta o nível das variáveis de interesse entre os grupos de tratamento e controle. A mediana da creatinina entre os grupos de tratamento dos estudos foi maior do que nos grupos controle. A mediana dos níveis de colesterol nos grupos de tratamento foi maior do que no grupo controle. No efeito médio da obesidade sobre as disfunções renais hepáticas não foi um consenso. Um número expressivo de trabalhos não observou o efeito da obesidade em variáveis como colesterol e GGT.
Objectives The purpose of this study was to determine changes in urolith trends and factors associated with different urolith types in dogs from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland between 2010 and 2020. Materials and Methods A laboratory database was searched for canine urolith submissions between 2010 and 2020. Trends in urolith composition between 2014 and 2020, and associations between patient characteristics with each urolith type were evaluated. Results A total of 1162 submissions were included. Struvite (39.0%), calcium oxalate (27.8%) and compound (10.2%) were the most prevalent uroliths. Calcium oxalate urolith (CaOx) incidence significantly increased from 27.8% to 31.2% and that of struvite significantly decreased from 41.7% to 33.0% between 2014 and 2020. Struvite uroliths were overrepresented among females compared to males (odds ratio 8.7, 95% confidence interval 6.6 to 11.5). Males (odds ratio 9.6, 95% confidence interval 6.9 to 13.3) and dogs >7 years of age (odds ratio 4.1, 95%, confidence interval 3.0 to 5.4) were more likely to have CaOx while males (odds ratio 9.6, 95% confidence interval 5.3 to 17.8) and dogs ≤7 year of age, purine uroliths (odds ratio 3.0, 95% confidence interval 1.8 to 5.0). Incidence was higher in bichon frise (odds ratio 1.7, 95% confidence interval 1.3 to 2.4) and Yorkshire terrier (odds ratio 2.8, 95% confidence interval 1.9 to 4.1) for CaOx and higher in shih‐tzu for compound uroliths (odds ratio 1.7, 95% confidence interval 1.1 to 2.7) compared to the remaining reported breeds. Clinical Significance Factors associated with different uroliths were similar to the ones previously reported. Proportion of CaOx submissions increased and that of struvite decreased over the study period which was in agreement with the changes identified in other European countries.
The incidence of feline obesity continues to rise despite it being a preventable disease. There are many risks and health perturbations associated with obesity, with several of those impacting a pet’s quality of life, wellness, and longevity. Feline obesity is commonly studied, but most research has been focused on weight loss rather than weight gain. To our knowledge, feline studies have not examined the implications of overfeeding and weight gain on gastrointestinal transit time (GTT) nor the association it has with the fecal microbiota. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the effects of overfeeding and weight gain on apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD), GTT, blood hormones, serum metabolites, hematology, fecal microbiota populations, and voluntary physical activity of cats. Eleven lean adult spayed female cats [body weight (BW) = 4.11 ± 0.43 kg; body condition score (BCS) = 5.41 ± 0.3; age = 5.22 ± 0.03 y] were used in a longitudinal weight gain study. After a 2-wk baseline phase, cats were allowed to overeat for 18 wk. A commercially available complete and balanced diet was fed during the baseline phase to identify intake needed to maintain BW. Cats were then fed the same diet ad libitum to induce weight gain. Fecal samples, blood samples, and voluntary physical activity data were collected at baseline (wk 0) and 6, 12, and 18 wk after weight gain. Fecal samples were collected for microbiota analysis, determination of ATTD, and GTT measurement while blood samples were collected for serum chemistry, hematology, and insulin and leptin measurements. Microbiota data were evaluated using QIIME2. All other measures were evaluated statistically using the Mixed Models procedure of SAS using repeated measures analysis, with time effects being the focus. A P<0.05 was considered significant. The ATTD of dry matter (P=0.0061), organic matter (P=0.0130), crude protein (P<0.0001), fat (P=0.0002) and gross energy (P=0.0002) and GTT (P=0.0418) decreased with overfeeding and weight gain. Fecal bacterial alpha diversity measures were unchanged, but fecal bacterial beta diversity was impacted (P<0.05) with overfeeding and weight gain. The relative abundances of 16 bacterial genera, including Bifidobacterium, Collinsella, Erysipelatoclostridium were affected (P<0.05) by overfeeding and weight gain. In conclusion, overfeeding and subsequent weight gain reduced ATTD, reduced GTT, and caused changes to the fecal microbial community of adult cats.
Background: Dietary conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is known to reduce atherosclerosis, plasma total and LDL-cholesterol concentrations, and body fat accumulation in several animal species. Of the few studies that investigated the effects of CLA supplementation in humans, all used commercially formulated oral supplements made from a mixture of CLA isomers. Objective: We compared the effects on plasma lipoproteins and body composition of the consumption of a modified butter naturally enriched with CLA (CLA-B: 4.22 g CLA/100 g butter fat) by the addition of sunflower oil to the diet of dairy cows with the consumption of a control butter (CON-B) that was low in CLA (0.38 g CLA/100 g butter fat). Design: In a crossover design study including an 8-wk washout period, 16 men [x̄ ± SD age: 36.6 ± 12.4 y; body mass index (in kg/m²): 31.2 ± 4.4] were fed each of the 2 experimental isoenergetic diets, providing 15% of energy as protein, 45% as carbohydrates, and 40% as lipids, of which >60% was derived from experimental fats, for 4 wk. Results: Consumption of the CLA-B diet induced a significantly (P < 0.05) smaller reduction in plasma total cholesterol and in the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol (−0.02 mmol/L and −0.00, respectively) than did consumption of the CON-B diet (−0.26 mmol/L and −0.34, respectively). Abdominal adipose tissue area measured by computed tomography showed no difference in accumulation of either visceral or subcutaneous adipose tissue after the 2 experimental diets. Conclusion: These results suggest that a 10-fold CLA enrichment of butter fat does not induce beneficial metabolic effects in overweight or obese men.
One of the major problems in obesity management has been the lack of a practical method for accurately assessing obesity. The body condition score (BCS) system described in this paper is simple in design requiring only an intellectual addition to a routine physical examination. It has been shown to be repeatable both within scorers and between scorers and may be useful as a tool to obesity management. This paper details of nine points BCS system for cats, including its validation and some clinical applications of this tool.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not body weight is a risk factor for humeral condylar fractures (HCF), cranial cruciate rupture (CCR) or intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) in the American Cocker Spaniel dog. Body weight, age, sex and recorded diagnoses of 854 Cocker Spaniels admitted to the teaching hospital, over a four-year period, were recorded from medical records. Dogs with a diagnosis of HCF (n = 21) weighed significantly more than the general population of Cocker Spaniels seen at the hospital over the same time period. Dogs with CCR (n = 20) were likely to weigh more than the general population. Whereas, dogs with IVDD (n = 47) weighed less than the general population of Cocker Spaniels. From these results, we concluded that body weight is a predisposing factor for HCF in Cocker Spaniels; that there is a tendency for Cocker Spaniels with CCR to be heavier than the general population and that being overweight does not predispose them to IVDD. Body weight, age, sex, and diagnoses of 854 Cocker Spaniels admitted over four years were recorded. Dogs with humeral condylar fractures weighed significantly more than the general population of Cocker Spaniels admitted over the same time period. Dogs with cruciate rupture weighed more, on average, than the general population of Cocker Spaniels, but surprisingly, dogs with intervertebral disc disease weighed less.