Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Body condition scores

Contributor(s): Marge Chandler, Bill Schoenherr

Intoduction

  • Body condition scores (BCS) provide a subjective semi-quantitative method of evaluating body fat and lean body tissue.
  • Scoring systems for dogs and cats have been developed using systems of one to five, and of one to nine, with lower numbers reflecting a thinner condition and higher numbers being used for fatter animals.
  • The 1-5 system is less comprehensive and centers on "3" as the perfect score.
  • The 1-9 system has been refined and centers on "5" as the ideal score.

The 9 point scoring system

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The scores

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Use of system

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Common causes for low scores

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Common causes for high scores

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers
  • LaFlamme D P (1997)Development and Validation of a Body Condition Score System for Dogs. Canine Practice22(4), 10-15.
  • LaFlamme D P, Schmidt D A & Deshkmukh A (1995)A Correlation of Body Fat in Cats Using Body Condition Scoring or DEXA.Vet Int Med9214.
  • LaFlamme D P, Kealy R D & Schmidt D A (1994)Estimation of Body Fat by Body Condition Score. J Vet Int Med8154A.

Other sources of information

  • Dottie LaFlamme DVM, PhD, DACVN,Nestle Purina PetCare Company, 2 Research North, Checkerboard Square, St Louis, Missouri 63164, USA.


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