Dealing with the owner who is reluctant to accept that their pet is obese

01 Nov 2020

Roberts, A.

In Practice Image

The dilemma

You are a newly qualified veterinary surgeon working in a small animal first-opinion practice. Your next client is bringing in her pug, Max, who needs his annual vaccinations. As you read their notes, you see they are new clients to the practice and when you call them into the consulting room, Max pants heavily as he walks in, immediately lies down on the floor and is visibly obese. The owner, who also appears to be overweight, tells you the reason she recently left her old veterinary practice was because they had told her Max was ‘fat’ and was unhappy with their statements on his condition. On palpation, you can’t feel Max’s ribs and you assess that he has a body condition score of five out of five. You continue with your clinical exam while thinking about how to proceed. What should you do?

Issues to...