Supplementing five-point body condition score with body fat percentage increases the sensitivity for assessing overweight status of small to medium sized dogs
Gebin Li,1 Peter Lee,1 Nobuko Mori,1 Ichiro Yamamoto,1 Koh Kawasumi,1 Hisao Tanabe,2 Toshiro Arai1
1Department of Veterinary Science, School of Veterinary Medicine, Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University, 2Komazawa Animal Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
Background and methods: Currently, five-point body condition scoring (BCS) is widely used by veterinarians and clinicians to assess adiposity in dogs in Japan. However, BCS score assignment is subjective in nature, and most clinicians do not score with half points, instead preferring to round off values, thereby rendering less accurate assessments. Therefore, we sought to determine whether assessing body fat percentage using simple morphometric measurements and supplementing this with five-point BCS can have increased sensitivity for detecting increasing adiposity in overweight small-medium sized dog breeds via plasma metabolite validation.
Results: Overall, lean body fat percentage was determined to be 15%–22% for male (non-neutered/neutered) dogs and 15%–25% for female (nonspayed/spayed). Dogs categorized as overweight by BCS had significantly higher levels of nonesterified fatty acids (P = 0.005), whereas animals categorized as overweight by BCS + body fat percentage were observed to have significantly higher levels of nonesterified fatty acids (P = 0.006), total cholesterol (P = 0.029), and triglycerides (P = 0.001) than lean animals. The increased sensitivity due to body fat percentage for gauging alterations in plasma metabolite levels may be due to increased correlation strength. Body fat percentage correlated positively with plasma insulin (r = 0.627, P = 0.002), nonesterified fatty acids (r = 0.674, P < 0.001), total cholesterol (r = 0.825, P < 0.0001), triglycerides (r = 0.5823, P < 0.005), blood urea nitrogen (r = 0.429, P < 0.05), creatinine (r = 0.490, P = 0.021), and total protein (r = 0.737, P< 0.0001) levels, which all tend to increase as a result of increasing adiposity.
Conclusion: Supplementing body fat percentage with five-point BCS appears to increase the likelihood of validating overweight status in small-medium sized dog breeds by detecting changes in plasma metabolite levels, especially lipids, induced as a result of increasing adiposity.
Keywords: body condition score, body fat percentage, cholesterol, dog, nonesterified fatty acid, triglycerides
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