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  • Author or Editor: Lisa M. Freeman x
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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate clinically applicable methods of assessing lean body mass in dogs and compare muscle mass and inflammatory markers in healthy young and old dogs.

Animals—9 healthy young (1 to 5 years old) and 10 old (> 8 years old) Labrador Retrievers with a body condition score of 5 to 6 of 9.

Procedures—Radiography of the thoracolumbar region was performed for measurement of epaxial muscle height at the level of T13–L1. Computed tomographic images were obtained for the measurement of the epaxial and temporal muscles. Ultrasonography also was performed for regional muscle measurements at these same sites and the quadriceps muscle. Serum C-reactive protein, insulin-like growth factor-1, and tumor necrosis factor-α concentrations also were measured, and dogs' activity for 14 days was assessed with an activity monitor.

Results—Mean epaxial muscle area measured by ultrasonography was significantly lower in the old group, compared with the young group, whereas epaxial muscle area measured by CT was only significantly lower in the old group after normalization for vertebral height. Neither temporal and quadriceps muscle measurements nor serum C-reactive protein or insulin-like growth factor-1 concentrations were significantly different between age groups. Tumor necrosis factor-α concentrations were undetectable in all dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—This study documented reduced epaxial muscle area in healthy old Labrador Retrievers, consistent with the syndrome of sarcopenia. Ultrasonography and CT were feasible methods of measuring epaxial muscle area, but much additional research is required to assess this method. A better understanding of underlying mechanisms of sarcopenia as well as methods for slowing progression is needed.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) and serum vitamin E concentrations in dogs with immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA) and healthy control dogs.

Sample Population—Serum and plasma samples from 36 dogs with IMHA and 40 healthy control dogs.

Procedure—Blood samples were collected from all study dogs. Plasma MDA concentrations were measured by use of a commercial colorimetric assay, and serum vitamin E concentrations (α-, γ-, and δ-tocopherol concentrations) were measured via high-performance liquid chromatography.

Results—Plasma MDA concentrations were significantly higher in the dogs with IMHA than in the control dogs. Compared with control dogs, serum α-, γ-, and δ-tocopherol concentrations were significantly lower in the IMHA-affected dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated a state of oxidative stress and reduced antioxidant reserve in dogs with IMHA; this finding provides support for further investigation of the potential benefits of antioxidant treatment in dogs with this disease. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1621–1624)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine nutrient intake and dietary patterns in cats with cardiac disease.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—95 cats with congenital cardiac disease or primary cardiomyopathy.

Procedures—Owners completed a standardized telephone questionnaire regarding their cat's diet and a 24-hour food recall to determine daily intake of calories, fat, protein, sodium, magnesium, and potassium.

Results—Of the 95 cats, 18 (19%) had a history of congestive heart failure and 73 (77%) had no clinical signs of cardiac disease. Fifty-five percent (52/95) of cats had concurrent disease. Inappetance was reported in 38% (36/95) of all cats and in 72% (68/95) of cats with a history of congestive heart failure. Most (57% [54/95]) cats received treats or table scraps on a regular basis. Approximately half the cats were receiving orally administered medications, supplements, or both. Only 34% (32/68) of owners used food to administer medications to cats. Cats consumed more than the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) minimums for protein, sodium, potassium, and magnesium, and nearly all cats consumed more than the AAFCO minimum for fat. Daily nutrient intake was variable for all of the nutrients assessed.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dietary intake in cats with cardiac disease was variable, but results for dietary supplement use, food use for medication administration, and treat feeding were different from those found in a similar study of dogs with cardiac disease. This information may be useful for treating and designing nutritional studies for cats with cardiac disease.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To test the quality, disintegration properties, and compliance with labeling regulations for representative commercially available taurine and carnitine dietary products.

Design—Evaluation study.

Sample Population—11 commercially available taurine and 10 commercially available carnitine products.

Procedures—For each product, the amount of taurine or carnitine was determined and compared with the label claim. All products were evaluated for concentrations of mercury, arsenic, and selenium. Disintegration properties of 5 taurine and 8 carnitine products were determined in vitro. Labels were evaluated for compliance with FDA guidelines.

Results—10 of 11 taurine and 10 of 10 carnitine products were within 10% of the stated label claim. Three of 11 taurine and 6 of 10 carnitine products were within 5% of the stated label claim. The median percentage difference between laboratory analysis and label claim was −5.7% (range, −26.3% to 2.5%) for taurine and 3.6% (range, −2.6% to 8.8%) for carnitine. No substantial amount of contamination with mercury, arsenic, or selenium was found in any of the products. During disintegration testing, 1 of 5 taurine products and 5 of 8 carnitine products did not disintegrate within 45 minutes during at least 1 test. Disintegration time for those that did disintegrate ranged from 1.7 to 37.0 minutes. All product labels conformed with FDA regulations.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Taurine and carnitine products evaluated in this study closely adhered to manufacturer claims and labeling guidelines. However, disintegration testing suggested high variability in some products, possibly limiting uptake and use by animals that receive them.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate marketing claims, ingredients, and nutrient profiles of over-the-counter diets marketed for skin and coat health of dogs.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Sample—24 over-the-counter dry and canned diets marketed for skin and coat health of dogs.

Procedures—Data on marketing claims and ingredients were collected from diet packaging and manufacturer websites. Concentrations of selected nutrients were obtained by contacting the manufacturers and were compared against minimum values for Association of American Feed Control Officials Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for adult dog maintenance based on calorie content.

Results—Most diets incorporated marketing terms such as digestive health, sensitive, or premium that are poorly defined and may have limited relevance to skin, coat, or general health. The types and numbers of major ingredients (ie, potential to contribute protein to the diet) differed. The total number of unique major ingredients in each diet ranged from 3 to 8 (median, 5.5), but the total number of unique ingredients in each diet ranged from 28 to 68 (median, 38). Concentrations of nutrients associated with skin and coat condition also differed widely.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that the large variation among over-the-counter diets marketed for skin and coat health may cause confusion for owners during diet selection. Owners of a dog with dermatologic problems should consult their veterinarian to select a good-quality diet that meets specific nutrient goals. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2015;246:1334–1338)

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To evaluate use of an ultrasonographically and radiographically determined value, the vertebral epaxial muscle score (VEMS), for assessing muscle mass in cats.

ANIMALS 30 healthy neutered cats of various body weights and between 1 and 6 years of age.

PROCEDURES Mean epaxial muscle height was calculated from 3 transverse ultrasonographic images obtained at the level of T13. Length of T4 was measured on thoracic radiographs, and the VEMS (ratio of epaxial muscle height to T4 length) was calculated and compared with body weight. Ratios of epaxial muscle height to various anatomic measurements also were compared with body weight as potential alternatives to use of T4 length.

RESULTS 1 cat was excluded because of a heart murmur. For the remaining 29 cats, mean ± SD body weight was 5.05 ± 1.40 kg. Mean epaxial muscle height was 1.27 ± 0.13 cm, which was significantly correlated (r = 0.65) with body weight. The VEMS and value for epaxial muscle height/(0.1 × forelimb circumference) were not significantly correlated (r = −0.18 and −0.06, respectively) with body weight, which is important for measures used for animals of various sizes.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The VEMS and value for epaxial muscle height/(0.1 × forelimb circumference) can both be used to normalize muscle size among cats of various body weights. Studies are warranted to determine whether these values can be used to accurately assess muscle mass in cats with various adiposity and in those with muscle loss.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To compare myocardial concentrations of fatty acids in dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) with concentrations in control dogs.

Sample Population—Myocardial tissues from 7 dogs with DCM and 16 control dogs.

Procedure—Myocardial tissues were homogenized, and total fatty acids were extracted and converted to methyl esters. Myocardial concentrations of fatty acids were analyzed by use of gas chromatography and reported as corrected percentages.

Results—The amount of docosatetraenoic acid (C22:4 n-6) was significantly higher in myocardial samples from dogs with DCM (range, 0.223% to 0.774%; median, 0.451%), compared with the amount in samples obtained from control dogs (range, 0.166% to 0.621%; median, 0.280%). There were no significant differences between DCM and control dogs for concentrations of any other myocardial fatty acids.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although concentrations of most myocardial fatty acids did not differ significantly between dogs with DCM and control dogs, the concentration of docosatetraenoic acid was significantly higher in dogs with DCM. Additional investigation in a larger population is warranted to determine whether this is a primary or secondary effect of the underlying disease and whether alterations in fatty acids may be a target for intervention in dogs with DCM. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1483–1486)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare metabolomic profiles of dogs eating grain-free (GF) versus grain-inclusive (GI) diets (1) for healthy dogs at baseline and (2) for dogs with subclinical cardiac abnormalities at 12 months after a diet change.

SAMPLE

Serum samples from 23 dogs eating GF diets and 79 dogs eating GI diets, of which 17 (8 eating a GF diet and 9 eating a GI diet) were reevaluated 12 months after a diet change.

PROCEDURES

Metabolomic profiles were developed by means of ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectroscopy of serum samples. Baseline results for the GF group were compared with those for the GI group. Dogs from both groups with subclinical cardiac abnormalities were transitioned to a GI, pulse-free, intervention diet, and samples collected 12 months later were compared between diet groups. Statistical significance for biochemical group differences was defined as P < .05 with a false discovery rate (q) < .10.

RESULTS

Baseline differences in lipid metabolism and amino acid metabolism were found between the GF and GI diet groups. There were 46 metabolites that were higher and 82 metabolites that were lower in the GF group (n = 23), compared with the GI group (79). Comparison of the GF (n = 8) and GI (9) groups 12 months after the diet change showed only 6 metabolites that were higher and 11 metabolites that were lower in the GF group, compared with the GI group.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Metabolomic pathway differences between dogs eating GF versus GI diets highlight the important effect of diet in metabolomics analyses. The clinical importance of these differences and how they might relate to cardiac disease in dogs remains undetermined.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research