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Small Animal Obesity Clinic

Over 60% of vets say obesity is the biggest health and welfare concern for UK pets.  Obesity is increasingly common in pet dogs and has a real impact on the health and welfare of affected dogs – often overweight dogs die sooner and have higher rates of diseases including arthritis, breathing difficulties, skin disease, and cancer. 

Many owners struggle to keep a healthy balance between the energy dogs eat as food and burn up during exercise, which leads to their pets gaining weight.  Recently Cambridge vet and geneticist Dr Eleanor Raffan has studied the genetics of obesity and shown that dogs’ genes can affect their tendency to gain weight (you can read more about Eleanor’s research here). 

Now Dr Raffan, a European and RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Internal Medicine for dogs and cats, is setting up a specialist obesity referral clinic at the Queen’s Veterinary School Hospital.

Owners often get the blame for their dogs getting fat but as Dr Raffan explains, ‘it sounds simple to cut down food and exercise more – but many owners struggle to turn this into reality because of the challenges posed by their dogs’ health, behaviour and household.’  At the new clinic, Dr Raffan will provide tailored advice for each patient to turn those good intentions into the reality of slimmer and happier dogs.  

The new clinic is a referral service that will assess dogs’ obesity in the context of their general health and their owners’ requirements.  ‘We are happy to receive referrals at any stage – from severely obese patients resistant to prior weight management to dogs ‘at risk’ of gaining excess weight whose owners would like in depth advice on averting a weight problem,’ Dr Raffan comments.  Follow up can be at the QVSH or at local practices with continued telephone support from the clinic team. 

If you are an interested owner, speak to your vet for a referral.  Referrals should be made by a veterinary surgeon by email to

General contact details:

01223 337621

For all enquiries during office hours and for emergency referrals at any time


Address: Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ES

How to find us

Refer a case

Reception staff will try to contact the clinician immediately for you. In the case of an emergency we will do our utmost to get a response at the time and in all cases within the day.

Please use our referral form

Obesity Clinic Landscape

Looking for a few more willing volunteers with medium sized dogs (15-25kg) for a short food project at the QVSH. Do you live close to Cambridge and own a medium sized dog (any breed or cross weighing 15-25 kg)? If so we would like to invite you and your 4-legged friend to participate in one of our current experiments investigating food preferences in dogs. The test will take place at the Queen’s Veterinary Hospital in Cambridge (some days in Feb & Mar) and will take about 30 min per dog. If you are interested please send an email to Marie ( to receive more information.