Muscle condition score - a new tool for patient assessment!

Animals which have lost muscle mass but retained fat can be challenging to body condition score so, to help us assess companion animals more accurately, the Nutrition Service at Tufts University, led by Dr Lisa Freeman, has developed a unique WSAVA Muscle Condition Score system which now forms part of our Nutrition Toolkit, developed by the Global Nutrition Committee (GNC).   A Muscle Condition Score is based on the palpation of skeletal muscle over the skull, scapulae, spine and pelvis. 

Marge Chandler, Co-Chair of the GNC, explains:  "The value of the Muscle Condition Score (MCS) to the veterinarian is to enable them to better evaluate the health status of their patient.  While the Body Condition Score (BSC) evaluates body fat,  it is possible for a pet to be overweight but still have muscle loss, indicating a potential underlying problem, especially in diabetic, otherwise ill or elderly patients. 

"For example, in some diabetic cats the inguinal fat pads still exist but the cat has lost the epaxial muscles.  Muscle mass is also lost with diseases such chronic kidney disease, cancer, hyperadrenocorticism, osteoarthritis, and with corticosteroid administration.  Acute and chronic disease may cause loss of muscle mass disproportionate to the loss of fat due to the cytokine and neurohormonal effects on metabolism.  There is also muscle mass loss (sarcopenia) associated with ageing. 

 "Our Muscle Condition Score system is just one element of the GNC's Nutrition Toolkit which contains a whole range of practical aids for the veterinary healthcare team and educational materials for pet owners."

Check out the Muscle Condition Score system here:

Check out the full GNC Nutrition Toolkit here: 

Both Marge Chandler, Co-Chair of the GNC and Lisa Freeman, former GNC Chair and developer of the Muscle Condition Score system, will be speaking at WSAVA World Congress 2014 - check out the nutrition-related talks here:

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