MSD Manual

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Parameters Used to Assess Body Condition Score

Parameters Used to Assess Body Condition Score

Body Condition


Overhead View

Side View

Tail Base

Very thin

Ribs easily felt with no fat cover; prominent visibility of individual ribs in dogs with short hair coats

Accentuated hourglass shape

Severe abdominal tuck

Bones are raised with no tissue between the skin and bone


Ribs easily felt with slight fat cover; individual ribs not visible

Lumbar waist well-proportioned

Abdominal tuck present

Smooth contour but bones can be felt under a thin layer of fat


Ribs difficult to feel under thick fat cover

Lumbar waist not visible

No abdominal tuck; fat hangs from abdomen

Thickened and difficult to feel under prominent layer of fat; dimple may be visible at tail base