Skip to Content

Obesity & Body Condition

Slentrol is a new drug to aid in weight loss for obese dogs. It is not a magic drug, but is used to aid in appetite reduction so owners can feed less, and increase exercise to help their pet lose weight. Obesity is a serious problem we see on a daily basis in our pets. Overweight and obese dogs account for around 50 % of our patients. Many of these animals are so overweight that exercise is difficult due to muscle weakness and joint pain. Overweight animals are also at much higher risk for osteoarthritis, cardiac disease, respiratory difficulties, heat or exercise intolerance, insulin resistance leading to diabetes, and cruciate ligament rupture.

It is often difficult to tell what a dogs ideal weight should be due to variabilities within a breed. Using a Body Condition Scoring System is a much better way to evaluate an animals weight. The following scoring system was developed by Purina.

Too Thin

  • Ribs, lumbar vertebrae, pelvic bones and all bony prominences evident from a distance. No discernible body fat. Obvious loss of muscle mass.
  • Ribs, lumbar vertebrae and pelvic bones easily visible. No palpable fat. Some evidence of other bony prominence. Minimal loss of muscle mass.
  • Ribs easily palpated and may be visible with no palpable fat. Tops of lumbar vertebrae visible. Pelvic bones becoming prominent. Obvious waist.


  • Ribs easily palpable, with minimal fat covering. Waist easily noted, viewed from above. Abdominal tuck evident.
  • Ribs palpable without excess fat covering. Waist observed behind ribs when viewed from above. Abdomen tucked up when viewed.

Too Heavy

  • Ribs palpable with slight excess fat covering. Waist is discernible viewed from above but is not prominent. Abdominal tuck apparent.
  • Ribs palpable with difficulty; heavy fat cover. Noticeable fat deposits over lumbar area and base of tail. Waist absent or barely visible. Abdominal tuck may be present.
  • Ribs not palpable under very heavy fat cover, or palpable only with significant pressure. Heavy fat deposits over lumbar area and base of tail. Waist absent. No abdominal tuck. Obvious abdominal distension may be present.
  • Massive fat deposits over thorax, spine and base of tail. Waist and abdominal tuck absent. Fat deposits on neck and limbs. Obvious abdominal distention.

What you don’t see…

Back to top