Growth standard charts for monitoring bodyweight in dogs of different sizes

Salt, Carina, Morris, Penelope J, German, Alexander J ORCID: 0000-0002-3017-7988, Wilson, Derek, Lund, Elizabeth M, Cole, Tim J and Butterwick, Richard F
(2017) Growth standard charts for monitoring bodyweight in dogs of different sizes. PLOS ONE, 12 (9). e0182064-.

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Limited information is available on what constitutes optimal growth in dogs. The primary aim of this study was to develop evidence-based growth standards for dogs, using retrospective analysis of bodyweight and age data from >6 million young dogs attending a large corporate network of primary care veterinary hospitals across the USA. Electronic medical records were used to generate bodyweight data from immature client-owned dogs, that were healthy and had remained in ideal body condition throughout the first 3 years of life. Growth centile curves were constructed using Generalised Additive Models for Location, Shape and Scale. Curves were displayed graphically as centile charts covering the age range 12 weeks to 2 years. Over 100 growth charts were modelled, specific to different combinations of breed, sex and neuter status. Neutering before 37 weeks was associated with a slight upward shift in growth trajectory, whilst neutering after 37 weeks was associated with a slight downward shift in growth trajectory. However, these shifts were small in comparison to inter-individual variability amongst dogs, suggesting that separate curves for neutered dogs were not needed. Five bodyweight categories were created to cover breeds up to 40kg, using both visual assessment and hierarchical cluster analysis of breed-specific growth curves. For 20/24 of the individual breed centile curves, agreement with curves for the corresponding bodyweight categories was good. For the remaining 4 breed curves, occasional deviation across centile lines was observed, but overall agreement was acceptable. This suggested that growth could be described using size categories rather than requiring curves for specific breeds. In the current study, a series of evidence-based growth standards have been developed to facilitate charting of bodyweight in healthy dogs. Additional studies are required to validate these standards and create a clinical tool for growth monitoring in pet dogs.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animals, Dogs, Body Weight, Body Size, Cluster Analysis, Breeding, Growth and Development, Models, Theoretical, Databases as Topic, Growth Charts
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2017 15:33
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 06:50
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182064
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