Vets: Why Accurate Animal Weighing is Important
Why is it important for vets to know an animal’s weight?
Veterinarians rely on weight measurements and other vital statistics to monitor the health and well-being of animals. They prescribe and mix medications for animals based upon the animal’s weight. Reliable animal scales provide information to help determine if the animals need more exercise or a change in diet, and can even help ascertain pregnancy. After the mother gives birth, veterinarians can use weight measurement to track growth in baby animals such as puppies, piglets, calves and kittens. For livestock owners, an animal’s weight is an important consideration when choosing feed formulations or specifying amounts.
Ask any veterinarian – weighing animals is not an easy task. It can be as difficult as … herding kittens.
Generally speaking, animals can be a little distressed about being captured, even if you’re dealing with a friendly domestic pet. Once you accomplish that (and if you don’t require stitches or a tetanus shot from your efforts), the next challenge is to position the animal on the scale. And if that wasn’t hard enough, now get that squirming, disgruntled critter to stay still. You stand a better chance of being struck by lightning, which might actually sound more appealing at this point.
To collect an accurate weight of a moving animal, you need a weighing scale that not only accommodates the animal’s size, but also one that is durable, easy to clean and equipped with functions to help produce the most accurate weighing results.
Any type of movement can prevent a scale from registering a stable weight. That’s why weighing scale manufacturers have developed specialist weighing equipment that is well-suited for weighing all types of animals from small dogs and cats to large livestock and cattle. For the most accurate results, it’s important to use a weighing scale with an animal/dynamic weighing function. This means the scale has the ability to provide an average weight based on the force exerted by the animal or liquid over an extended period of time. Once the scale completes the internal calculation, it displays an accurate weight.
Puppy weighing image courtesy of Adam Equipment.
The best types of animal weighing scales for vets
There are many types of veterinary scale on the market that can be used weigh anything from small insects large livestock. The best veterinary scale for your practice will depend on your specialism, if you solely work with pets or domestic animals such as dogs and cats, then bench or floor scales will work in most cases. Larger animals such as livestock and animals found in zoos require pallet beams and platform scales with larger weight capacities which may need to be customised with cages for more volatile animals.
Compact precision balances
Compact precision balances are multi-purpose, portable scales that can be used for accurately weighing small animals and insects. They tend to feature smaller weight capacities and have a higher readability (up to 0.001g).
Pallet beams are versatile weighing equipment that can be combined with platforms, cattle crush or cages and make ideal cattle weighing scales for sheep, pigs and other livestock in farming. Due to the pallet beams large weighing capacity and adaptable nature, they allow for more complex animal weighing such as the weighing of lions, monkeys and elephants in zoos and wildlife sanctuaries. Pallet beams offer dynamic animal weighing applications and can be used to weigh multiple animals at once.
Looking for livestock scales? See our article on how to choose the best cattle weighing scale for farming.
Platform scales incorporate a variety of scales from large pallet scales to portable bench scales. These scales utilise dynamic animal weighing features to carefully take the weight imprint of an animal for calculating an accurate weight. Platform washdown scales tend to be constructed from stainless steel bases that are easy to clean down after use.
Inscale's recommended veterinary scales
Scales with a hold function can retain the weight on the display. This allows you to pay attention to the animal and then record the weight after removing him from the scale. Adam Equipment’s CPWplus platform scales are an excellent choice, as they offer a hold function retains the weight results on the screen so the user is able to focus attention on the animal.
CPWplus scales can accommodate animals up to 660lbs and are available in a selection of stainless steel platform sizes and configurations to meet the weighing needs for most animals, whether they fly, walk, slither or hop. Battery operation means they’re suitable for use in the veterinarian’s office, at the zoo, on the farm or in the field
Certain balances are ideal for veterinarians who perform lab tests, measure liquids, mix compounds for medicines, or need to portion small quantities of food. Inscale offers Adam Equipment Nimbus precision balances, which come in a wide selection of capacities and readabilities.
Nimbus balances are designed with a compact footprint, so they occupy minimal space in a veterinary office or lab. Veterinarians who mix compounds and medications will appreciate the solid metal construction throughout the balance, because it can withstand chemicals and rigorous use. The dynamic weighing function allows accurate liquid measurement, so compounding medications is fast, easy and accurate.
For smaller veterinary weighing tasks, the Kern PCD compact precision balance features a separate base and removable display. This allows the display to be placed away from the animal on the platform, helping to eliminate the chance of it getting bumped or damaged during weighing. With its vibration-free weighing feature, disturbances and movements are filtered out, resulting in a stable weight. The large back-lit LCD display is simple to read from a distance.
For animals that need to be weighed in containers, such as reptiles or insects, the PCD’s pre-tare function allows the weight of the container to be manually subtracted.
The MTB20 animal scale from Adam Equipment is a versatile weighing scale that can be used to weigh small animals. An easy to read LCD display with a hold feature enables users to capture the animal's weight. A removable tray allows the scale to be converted for larger animals when needed, whilst he rubber mat ensure the animal's safety during weighing.
The MTB works on both mains and battery power, and is supplied with a mains adaptor as standard. The weighing tray is made from smooth material, making it easy to clean any spills. This vet scale can be used in either kg or lbs mode.
If you would like more information about our range of animal weighing scales including our recommended dog scale, pet scales or livestock scales, please see our veterinary markets page or Get In Touch.