Today's Veterinary Practice

JAN-FEB 2018

Today's Veterinary Practice provides comprehensive information to keep every small animal practitioner up to date on companion animal medicine and surgery as well as practice building and management.

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ESSENTIALS 23 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 ■ Show, don't tell. Oftentimes, it is difficult for cat owners to recognize that their pet is overweight. This may be due to the distribution of fat on a cat's body, the amount of fur present, or misconceptions about ideal weight. A graphic of body condition scoring ( FIGURE 1 ) can be a useful tool as you have these conversations. ■ Give treats in moderation. Advise clients to take note of how many treats they give their cat per day. Treats should not make up more than 10% of a cat's daily caloric consumption. ■ Encourage exercise. Getting cats to exercise can be a challenge. Determining the right strategy is important—even increasing exercise by 10 minutes every day can have a positive impact on a cat's overall well-being. Some options include: Using a laser pointer Playing with a feather toy; or Increasing mealtime activity by dividing meals into multiple dishes and placing throughout the house. FIGURE 1. 2016 overweight prevalence in cats. 1 VERY THIN Severely defined ribs and waist 2 THIN Easily visible ribs and waist 4 OVERWEIGHT Ribs not easily seen or felt Waist barely visible 5 OBESE Cannot feel ribs Waist absent 3 IDEAL WEIGHT Ribs easily felt, but not seen Obvious waist Body condition scoring is a way to determine if a pet is underweight, ideal weight or overweight. Discuss your pet's current and ideal weight with your veterinarian. DOGS CATS top view | side view top view | side view BODY CONDITION SCORE HOW CAN I TELL IF MY PET IS OVERWEIGHT? TO LEARN MORE, VISIT US ONLINE AT: STATEOFPETHEALTH.COM View the State of Pet Health For more client education tools, as well as a host of other resources, visit . Kirk J. Breuninger Kirk J. Breuninger, VMD, MPH, is a member of the Banfield Applied Research and Knowledge (BARK) team, where he performs and disseminates research that contributes to advancing medical quality, patient safety, and medical decision making. He received his veterinary degree from University of Pennsylvania and his Master of Public Health degree from Temple University. He is an inaugural member of the AVMA Early Career Development Committee, was awarded the 2009 George B. Wolff Legislative Leadership Award, and was recognized as the 2015 Pennsylvania Veterinarian of the Year by the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association.

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