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Comparison of a bioimpedance monitor with dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry for noninvasive estimation of percentage body fat in dogs

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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Leahurst Campus, University of Liverpool, Neston, Wirral CH64 7TE, England
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Leahurst Campus, University of Liverpool, Neston, Wirral CH64 7TE, England
  • | 3 WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition, Freeby Ln, Waltham-on-the-Wolds, Melton Mowbray LE14 4RT, England
  • | 4 Royal Canin Research Center, BP 4, 650 Ave de la Petite Camargue, Aimargues, France

Abstract

Objective—To assess performance of a portable bioimpedance monitor for measurement of body composition in dogs.

Animals—24 client-owned dogs.

Procedures—Percentage body fat was measured via dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) and with a portable bioimpedance monitor, and body condition score (BCS) was measured by use of a 9-integer scale.

Results—Although the precision of the bioimpedance monitor was good, this varied among dogs. Body position (standing vs sternal) had no effect on bioimpedance results. There was a significant association between results determined via DEXA and bioimpedance, but this association was weaker than between DEXA and BCS. When agreement was assessed via Bland-Altman plot, the bioimpedance monitor under- and overestimated values at high and low body fat percentages, respectively. In 9 dogs, body fat measurements were taken before and after weight loss to determine the proportional loss of tissue mass during weight management. There was a significant difference in the estimated percentage of weight lost as fat between the DEXA and bioimpedance methods.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although percentage body fat measured by use of a portable bioimpedance monitor correlated well with values determined via DEXA, the imprecision and inaccuracy in dogs with high percentage body fat could make the monitor inappropriate for clinical practice.

Contributor Notes

Supported by WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition.

Address correspondence to Dr. German (ajgerman@liv.ac.uk).