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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
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Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My Staffordshire Bull Terrier is looking a bit overweight and

Resolved Question:

My Staffordshire Bull Terrier is looking a bit overweight and her legs are not so steady after walks anymore. She will be 8 years in November. I have tried weighing her on my scales with me and have tried converting it from 3.3/4 stone and make it 21kg or 46lbs. Does that sound about right for a dressed female of her age?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Now if she is 3.75 stone that actually works out to 23.8 kgs, which is going to be more then the average Staffie should weigh. Generally speaking, we tend to want spayed females to be closer to 15kg. That said, some Staffies do have larger conformations then others and therefore can hold more weight than others.

Therefore, we only use weight as a guide with dogs and instead look at their body condition and score this to determine if they are overweight. Now this is something you can do at home to appreciate if Sammy is overweight. To do so, I advise comparing her to this chart (HERE) and descriptions for each weight score. A dog should fall within the 3rd or "ideal" category. Of course, do note that Staffies never quite have the waist line that we see in other breeds.

If you check this, and Sammy is over a 3 out of 5, then we'd want to think about a diet. To diet dogs, it often helps to restrict treats, feed based on the dog's foods advise on the label. If you have been overfeeding, then try to feed for her weight. Once you have done that, you can start to taper her food ration, slowly lowering it to a kilogram or two below what she currently weighs. Once she reaches that goal, you do so again until you get her down to a proper body condition for her size. If restricting the diet leads to too little food, then it is worth considering offer a lower calorie/lower fat diet so that you can balance her intake without starving her. There are a range of low calorie diets on the market (ie Royal Canin Obesity, Hill's W/D and R/D) that can be considered if need be.

Furthermore, I would note that if you are struggling with determining her body condition or with a weight loss program for her, many veterinary practices do offer free weight clinics with the practice nurse. These can be very helpful to get you started. A nurse can aid you in determining what her body condition score is and help you set up a weight loss plan for Sammy. So, if she is overweight or you are in doubt, this would be a good option.

Finally, just to comment on her issues during walks, carrying extra weight will be putting more strain on her joints. Therefore, if she is showing a wee bit of a struggle, do consider supplementing her with glucosamine and chondroitin. These are a nutrient supplement that is available at your vets, pet shops, and health food stores (as capsules, liquids, and even treats). There are a range of products on the markets and the ones we typically use for dogs in this situation would be Cosequin, Seraquin (LINK), and Flexivet. THey work by aiding joint suppleness by helping cartilage replenish itself and blocking enzyme destruction of cartilage in the joint. Often we can find this helpful in animals with early signs of arthritis and if her joints are under strain from her weight, this could help her.. Normally we give dogs 300mg glucosamine + 50mg chondroitin a day per 10 pounds of body weight. So, this would be something to try here for Sammy.

Overall, I am concerned that Sammy is carrying more weight then she should be. Therefore, do consider checking a body condition score just now to appreciate if that is the case for her. If she is, then a diet would be something to consider here. And while you are addressing that weight, do consider glucosamine/chondroitin to try to support those struggling legs.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 17065
Experience: General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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