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Abdominal obesity and heart disease in dogs

N. Thengchaisri, W. Theerapun, S. Kaewmokul, A. Sastravaha

doi: 10.1136/vr.g5971

THE relationship between fat distribution and heart disease in dogs is not completely clear. Visceral fat is fat that exists within the abdominal cavity and is stored around a number of vital organs. While measures of obesity can include body condition score, bodyweight and morphometric analysis, visceral fat cannot be measured by these means but is best measured using CT. This study aimed to compare body condition score, body shape and visceral fat between dogs with heart disease and those without.

Eighty-seven dogs that were patients in a university teaching hospital were evaluated over a two-year period. Of these, 43 were physically healthy and 44 had heart disease. A range of measures were taken from each dog, including modified BMI (bodyweight/truncal length2) and waist circumference. Seventeen overweight and obese dogs (nine healthy, eight with heart disease) were randomly selected to have a CT scan in which intra-abdominal (visceral) fat and subcutaneous fat were measured.

Average body condition score was slightly higher in dogs with heart disease, but the difference was not significant; however, average modified BMI was significantly higher among …

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