Automation of Volumetric Analysis of Adiposity in Canines

Roughly 30-40% of all dogs and cats that are seen by a veterinarian can be classified as obese. Despite this, veterinary practices still utilize a 5 point or 9 point subjective classification system when classifying patients as obese, which can provide difficult when providing accurate nutritional consults to veterinary clients aiming to decrease their pet’s weight. Further, the obesity itself can lead to worsening of comorbid conditions. Thus, an automation of the process of assessing adiposity through CT scan was attempted, looking specifically at the thoracic region of the animal. First, the issues with the current BCS system were highlighted through the manual analysis of thoracic body fat in comparison to assigned BCS scores, with a focus on percent adiposity. Next, this process will be automated to analyze the adiposity of the thoracic region so it does not need to be done by hand for CT scans. To accommodate the average practitioner, this method will be applied en masse to radiographs through the comparison of animals who received radiographs and CT scans on the same day, and mathematically correlated to allow for x-ray utility for this tool. Finally, this will be applied to a variety of diseases to assess if there is a threshold adiposity level at which animals are at risk for a worsened prognosis.