Assessing body condition scores assigned to images of dogs by veterinary nurses working in urban, rural and suburban settings in New Zealand

Laura C Harvey, SJ Fontaine
Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Background: Canine obesity is a growing problem, both in New Zealand and overseas. Veterinary nurses play a vital role as part of the veterinary healthcare team in ensuring clients are provided with timely, accurate, and consistent advice, and this includes advice relating to a pet's nutritional status and body condition. Aim: To investigate if there were any differences in body condition scores assigned to images of canines by veterinary nurses working in urban, suburban, and rural settings. Methods: Veterinary nurses (restricted to those with a minimum of 2 years formal training) in New Zealand were recruited online and asked to complete a short, online survey providing a body condition score for 10 dogs of varying morphology, via a photograph. Results: There were 77 useable responses and results showed no significant difference to the score assigned by veterinary nurses in different geographical settings. Conclusion: These results provide assurances to the consistency of body condition score being assigned by veterinary nurses in New Zealand, showing that geographical setting is not a confounding factor in a veterinary nurse's interpretation of body condition. While this result is optimistic, further research is needed to determine if this consistency is present across other members of the healthcare team.

Figure 1.
Figure 1.

Subscribe to get full access to The Veterinary Nurse

Thank you for vising The Veterinary nurse and reading our archive of expert clinical content. If you would like to read more from the leading peer-reviewed journal for veterinary nurses, you can start your subscription today for just £26.

Subscribing will enable you to:

  • Stay up-to-date with current thinking and best practice in veterinary medicine
  • Enhance your knowledge and understanding of all key clinical topics
  • Achieve the mandatory requirement of 45 hours' documented CPD over a three-year period
Subscribe now

Already registered? - Sign in here

Keep up to date with The Veterinary Nurse!

Sign up to The Veterinary Nurse's regular newsletters and keep up-to-date with the very latest clinical research and CPD we publish each month.