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  • Author or Editor: Lori A. Koehler x
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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate plasma taurine concentrations (PTC), whole blood taurine concentrations (WBTC), and echocardiographic findings in dogs fed 1 of 3 protein-restricted diets that varied in fat and L-carnitine content.

Animals—17 healthy Beagles.

Design—Baseline PTC and WBTC were determined, and echocardiography was performed in all dogs consuming a maintenance diet. Dogs were then fed 1 of 3 protein-restricted diets for 48 months: a low-fat (LF) diet, a high-fat and L-carnitine supplemented (HF + C) diet, or a high-fat (HF) diet. All diets contained methionine and cystine concentrations at or above recommended Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) minimum requirements. Echocardiographic findings, PTC, and WBTC were evaluated every 6 months.

Results—The PTC and WBTC were not significantly different among the 3 groups after 12 months. All groups had significant decreases in WBTC from baseline concentrations, and the HF group also had a significant decrease in PTC. One dog with PT and WBT deficiency developed dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Taurine supplementation resulted in significant improvement in cardiac function. Another dog with decreased WBTC developed changes compatible with early DCM.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Results revealed that dogs fed protein-restricted diets can develop decreased taurine concentrations; therefore, protein-restricted diets should be supplemented with taurine. Dietary methionine and cystine concentrations at or above AAFCO recommended minimum requirements did not prevent decreased taurine concentrations. The possibility exists that AAFCO recommended minimum requirements are not adequate for dogs consuming protein-restricted diets. Our results also revealed that, similar to cats, dogs can develop DCM secondary to taurine deficiency, and taurine supplementation can result in substantial improvement in cardiac function. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1616–1623)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

SUMMARY

Casein has been used as a protein source in diets designed to dissolve canine ammonium urate uroliths and to prevent their recurrence, because it contains fewer purine precursors than do many other sources of protein. However, an important question is whether reduced quantities of dietary casein have any benefit in modifying saturation of urine with urates. To answer this question, activity productd ratios of uric acid, sodium urate, and ammonium urate were determined in 24-hour urine samples produced by 6 healthy Beagles during periods of consumption of a 10.4% protein, casein-based (10.4% casein) diet and a 20.8% protein, casein-based (20.8% casein) diet. Significantly lower activity product. ratios of uric acid, sodium urate, and ammonium urate were observed when dogs consumed the 10.4% casein diet. Significantly lower 24-hour urinary excretions of ammonia and phosphorus were observed when dogs consumed the 10.4% casein diet. Twenty-four-hour urinary excretions of magnesium and 24-hour urine pH values were significantly higher when dogs were fed the 10.4% casein diet. These results suggest that use of the 10.4% casein diet in protocols designed for dissolution and prevention of uric acid, sodium urate, and ammonium urate uroliths in dogs may be beneficial.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research