The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the abdominal fat distribution in toy breed dogs using computed tomography (CT) in relation to the breed, age, and sexual status. In 140 dogs (52 Maltese, 33 Poodles, 32 Shih-Tzus, and 23 Yorkshire Terriers), the total fat area (TA), visceral fat area (VA), subcutaneous fat area (SA) and body area (BA) were measured at the third and sixth lumbar vertebral level on non-contrast transverse CT images. The differences in the TA/BA and VA/SA according to the breed, age, and sexual status, and correlations with the age were analysed. The differences in the TA/BA and VA/SA among the breeds were revealed (P < 0.05). There was no difference for the TA/BA among the sexual statuses, but the VA/SA was higher in spayed females than in intact females (P = 0.001). Positive correlation of the age with the TA/BA in the Maltese, Poodles, and intact females, and the age with the VA/SA in the Maltese, Shih-Tzus, Yorkshire Terriers, neutered males, and spayed females were found. The results showed that the abdominal fat composition varied according to the breed, age, and sex, which may have implications on defining obesity-related disease risks in different populations. Careful monitoring of the VA/SA in the breed (Maltese, Shih-Tzu, and Yorkshire Terrier), age (senior dogs), and sexual status (neutered dogs) may be required.
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