Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


McLaughlin, Ron M., Jr.

Committee Member

Claudem, Andrew

Committee Member

Brinkman, Erin

Committee Member

Wardlaw, Jennifer L.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Veterinary Medical Science

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Veterinary Medicine


Veterinary Medical Science Program


The current method of quantifying obesity in the veterinary patient is the subjective body condition score; however, scant research has focused on the development of an objective measurement. The present two part study evaluates the ability to create and refine an objective body mass index (BMI) formula for the large breed canine patient. In the first part of this study, seven morphometric measurements were obtained from seventy large breed dogs allowing the creation of five BMI formulas. In the second part of this study, computed tomography images were obtained from twenty-two dogs and the total percent body fat (TBF) was calculated. Results from the five formulas were compared to the calculated TBF to evaluate their accuracy. A final BMI formula was developed that has a very strong correlation with the TBF, and provides an objective measurement of obesity in the large breed canine patient.