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Weight Clinic Success

Helen Charlesworth - RVN

Topaz is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross and is aged 5 years 6 months and was referred for weight clinics by a vet in April. She weighed 21.3kg and her measurements were neck 57cm, chest 70cm and waist 57cm. Topaz was also referred to hydrotherapy as she has problems with her cruciate ligament (knee).

Why Is Keeping Your Pet’s Weight Under Control Important?

It is important to try and keep our pets at their ideal weight and Body Condition Score (BCS) because any excess weight/fat that they carry will cause a strain on their limbs and organs, meaning they will have to work harder to cope with the excess.

What Happens During A Weight Clinic?

In weight clinics we get a recent weight at each visit and have a check of the ribs by feeling to see how much pressure is required to feel the ribs. We check the waistline to see if one is visible and we will see if there is a tummy tuck. We take neck, chest and waist measurements to check for changes in their body shape. This is because if muscle is gained then weight may increase but they will lose inches/centimetres. Their BCS will change as well as their shape.

BCS is a chart used to check that the weight and shape of a patient is correct and the score scale we use goes from 1-9 with 4-5 being the ideal score. 

Topaz’s Weight Loss Journey

Topaz’s first appointment was in April, this was to get her current weight, take her measurements, discuss her diet and exercise routine, before making changes to these and coming up with a plan, which is individually tailored to each patient.

I saw Topaz 2 weeks later to see how she was getting on with her new routine and to check her weight and measurements. Her weight at this point was 22.4kg, she had gained 1.1kg but her neck was 44cm, chest 67.5cm and waist 56cm. She had also been doing hydrotherapy and had been to 4 sessions between her first and second visit to see me for a weight check. She had built up some muscle which weighs more than fat accounting for the weight increase, but she had still lost centimetres so going in the right direction with her weight programme.

As with all weight clinics, Topaz continued to see me for monthly weight checks where her weight fluctuated a little, but her measurements continued to reduce.

Six Months Later

Her final weight check for weight loss was six months later. Her final weight was 21.6kg and her measurements were neck 42.5cm, chest 68.5cm and waist 53cm.

Her waistline is easily visible, with easily palpated ribs and a tummy tuck. Through going to hydrotherapy Topaz has gained muscle and become more toned.

Now at her target BCS, we have increased her food by 5%as we want to maintain her weight.

Topaz came for her 1-month weight check in November, her weight has increased slightly to 22.2kg but her body condition score was still 5/9 and her measurements decreased to neck 39.5cm, chest 67cm and waist 54cm. Although she has gained weight, we’re pleased the centimetres are still reducing.

We will see her again in 2 months time to assess her again (she is continuing with her hydrotherapy hence her muscle is still being built up).