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Abstract

Objective—To investigate whether an accelerometer-based activity monitor could be used in pet dogs to differentiate among and delineate the amount of time spent in activities of differing intensity.

Animals—104 dogs.

Procedures—For the first phase of the study, each dog (n = 104) wore an accelerometer-based activity monitor and was led through a series of standard activities (recumbency [sedentary], walking, and trotting). Receiver operating characteristic curves were generated to determine the optimal activity counts for predicting whether a dog was sedentary, walking, or trotting. For the second phase of the study, dogs (n = 99) wore an activity monitor on their collars continuously for 14 days at home; intensity of activity for each dog was classified by use of cut points determined on the basis of results obtained during the first phase of the study.

Results—Analysis of receiver operating characteristic curves indicated that there was 100% specificity and 100% sensitivity in distinguishing sedentary activity from walking activity and 92% specificity and 92% sensitivity in distinguishing trotting activity from walking activity. Analysis of data collected during the 14-day period at home indicated that dogs were sedentary most of the time (median, 87%; range, 65% to 95%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Counts recorded by an accelerometer-based activity monitor could be used to discriminate effectively among standardized activities in pet dogs. There is potential for use of the method to improve the ability of clinicians and researchers to accurately estimate a pet dog's daily energy requirement.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To identify and determine the concentrations of phytoestrogens in commercial dog foods.

Sample Population—24 commercial dog foods, including 12 moist or dry extruded commercial dog foods that contained soybeans or soybean fractions and 12 foods without any soybean–related ingredients listed on the label.

Procedure—Foods were analyzed for phytoestrogen content, including 4 isoflavones (genistein, glycitein, daidzein, and biochanin A), 1 coumestan (coumestrol), and 2 lignans (secoisolariciresinol and matairesinol) by use of acid-methanol hydrolysis and high-pressure liquid chromatography with UV-absorbance detection. Phytoestrogens were identified and quantified by reference to authentic standards.

Results—Isoflavones, coumestans, and lignans were undetectable in diets that did not list soybean–related ingredients on the label. Only 1 of the 12 diets that included soybean or soybean fractions had undetectable concentrations of phytoestrogens and that product contained soy fiber. The major phytoestrogens were the isoflavones daidzein (24 to 615 µg/g of dry matter) and genistein (4 to 238 µg/g of dry matter).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Soybean and soybean fractions are commonly used ingredients in commercial dog foods. Dietary intake of phytoestrogens may have both beneficial and deleterious health effects. Our results indicated that certain commercial dog foods contain phytoestrogens in amounts that could have biological effects when ingested longterm. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:592–596)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine by use of an accelerometer the sampling interval that has the least variable total activity counts from one week to the next in companion (ie, nonlaboratory) dogs.

Animals—80 dogs.

Procedures—Dogs wore an accelerometer continuously for 2 weeks. Between-dog and within-dog day-to-day variability in total activity counts were evaluated. The changes in counts between week 1 and week 2 were compared for weekdays, weekends, and full weeks.

Results—Significant between-dog variability in total activity counts was detected. Within dogs, there was significant day-to-day variability, with highest counts recorded on weekends. In comparison of data from the first week with data from the second week, the greatest differences were in weekend counts (median difference, 21%; range, 0% to 154%) and the smallest differences were in full 7-day counts (median difference, 10%; range, 0% to 74%). Comparison of weekday counts revealed a median change of 12% (range, 0% to 104%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Significant between-dog variability in total daily activity counts was detected. Within dogs, a full 7-day comparison of total activity counts from one week to the next provided the least variable estimate of the dogs' activity. For dogs in their home environment, the activity monitor may be most useful in following changes in activity over time. For dogs that have no change in routine according to the owner's report, the least variable estimates of activity can be collected by comparing activity in 7-day intervals.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effect of signalment and body conformation on activity monitoring in companion dogs.

Animals—104 companion dogs.

Procedures—While wearing an activity monitor, each dog was led through a series of standard activities: lying down, walking laps, trotting laps, and trotting up and down stairs. Linear regression analysis was used to determine which signalment and body conformation factors were associated with activity counts.

Results—There was no significant effect of signalment or body conformation on activity counts when dogs were lying down, walking laps, and trotting laps. However, when dogs were trotting up and down stairs, there was a significant effect of age and body weight such that, for every 1-kg increase in body weight, there was a 1.7% (95% confidence interval, 1.1% to 2.4%) decrease in activity counts and for every 1-year increase in age, there was a 4.2% (95% confidence interval, 1.4% to 6.9%) decrease in activity counts.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—When activity was well controlled, there was no significant effect of signalment or body conformation on activity counts recorded by the activity monitor. However, when activity was less controlled, older dogs and larger dogs had lower activity counts than younger and smaller dogs. The wide range in body conformation (eg, limb or body length) among dogs did not appear to significantly impact the activity counts recorded by the monitor, but age and body weight did and must be considered in analysis of data collected from the monitors.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine effects of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) on canine colonic smooth muscle.

Sample Population—Colonic tissue obtained from 14 healthy dogs.

Procedure—Short-chain fatty acid (SCFA; acetate, propionate, and butyrate; 1 to 100 mmol/L)-induced contractions were compared with responses obtained with acetylmethylcholine (AMCh; 10-4 mol/L). Roles of enteric neurons, cholinergic receptors, calcium stores in the sarcoplasmic reticulum, and extracellular calcium in the SCFA-induced responses were investigated by incubating muscle strips with tetrodotoxin (1 µmol/L), atropine (1 µmol/L), ryanodine (10 µmol/L), nifedipine (1 µmol/L), ethylene glycol-bis (β-aminoethylether)-N,N,N',N'-tetra-acetate (EGTA; 0.1 mmol/L), or an extracellular calciumdepleted (zero extracellular calcium) solution prior to the addition of propionate or butyrate.

Results—Incubation with SCFA elicited isometric stress responses (0.25 to 2.15 × 104 N/m2) in colonic longitudinal smooth muscle. Maximal responses to butyrate and propionate (50 mmol/L) were 37 and 23%, respectively, of the maximal AMCh response. Acetate was least effective in stimulating contractile responses. Tetrodotoxin and atropine did not affect SCFA-induced contractions. Nifedipine and zero extracellular calcium solution abolished responses to butyrate and propionate, whereas EGTA attenuated (> 60%) but did not abolish those responses. Ryanodine did not affect SCFA-induced contractile responses. The SCFA did not affect colonic circular smooth muscle.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The SCFA stimulate longitudinal but not circular colonic smooth muscle contractions via a direct effect on smooth muscle. The mechanism of the SCFA effect appears to involve the influx of extracellular calcium. These findings may account for some of the effects of canine colonisc motility. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:295–300 )

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare muscle condition scores (MCSs) and muscle ultrasonographic measurements in cats with and without muscle loss and to evaluate repeatability and reproducibility of MCS assessment.

ANIMALS

40 cats of various ages, body condition scores (BCSs), and MCSs.

PROCEDURES

A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted. Body weight, BCS, MCS, epaxial muscle height (EMH), vertebral epaxial muscle score (VEMS), and forelimb epaxial muscle score (FLEMS) were assessed in each cat. The MCS for each cat was assessed 3 separate times by each of 5 raters.

RESULTS

The MCS was significantly correlated with EMH (r = 0.59), VEMS (r = 0.66), and FLEMS (r = 0.41). For MCS, the overall value of the κ coefficient for interrater agreement (reproducibility) was 0.43 and the overall value of the κ coefficient for intrarater agreement (repeatability) ranged from 0.49 to 0.76.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Ultrasonographic measurements of muscle may be useful for assessing muscle loss in individual cats over time. However, for the cats of this study, no advantage was observed for assessment of VEMS or FLEMS over EMH. Substantial repeatability and moderate reproducibility were shown when MCS was used for assessment of muscle mass in cats. Prospective ultrasonographic studies are warranted to evaluate the usefulness of MCS and EMH assessment for evaluation of changes in muscle mass of cats over time.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate repeatability and reproducibility of muscle condition score (MCS) in dogs with various degrees of muscle loss; to compare MCS, muscle ultrasonographic measurements, and quantitative magnetic resonance (QMR) measurements; and to identify cutoff values for ultrasonographic measurements of muscle that can be used to identify dogs with cachexia and sarcopenia.

ANIMALS

40 dogs of various age, body condition score (BCS), and MCS.

PROCEDURES

A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted. Body weight, BCS, QMR measurements, thoracic radiographic measurements, and muscle ultrasonographic measurements were assessed once in each dog. The MCS for each dog was assessed 3 separate times by 4 separate raters.

RESULTS

For the MCS, overall κ for interrater agreement was 0.50 and overall κ for intrarater agreement ranged from 0.59 to 0.77. For both interrater and intrarater agreement, κ coefficients were higher for dogs with normal muscle mass and severe muscle loss and lower for dogs with mild and moderate muscle loss. The MCS was significantly correlated with age (r = −0.62), vertebral epaxial muscle score (VEMS; r = 0.71), forelimb epaxial muscle score (FLEMS; r = 0.58), and BCS (r = 0.73), and VEMS was significantly correlated (r = 0.84) with FLEMS. Cutoff values for identification of mild muscle loss determined by use of VEMS and FLEMS were 1.124 and 1.666, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

MCS had substantial repeatability and moderate reproducibility for assessment of muscle mass in dogs. Prospective studies of MCS, VEMS, and FLEMS for assessment of muscle mass in dogs are warranted.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To evaluate whether the nutritive quality of Tenebrio molitor larvae and Zophobas morio larvae, which are commonly cultured as live food sources, is influenced by 4 commercially available diets used as nutritional substrates; identify which diet best improved calcium content of larvae; and identify the feeding time interval that assured the highest calcium intake by larvae.

ANIMALS 2,000 Zophobas morio larvae (ie, superworms) and 7,500 Tenebrio molitor larvae (ie, mealworms).

PROCEDURES Larvae were placed in control and diet treatment groups for 2-, 7-, and 10-day intervals. Treatment diets were as follows: wheat millings, avian hand feeding formula, organic avian mash diet, and a high-calcium cricket feed. Control groups received water only. After treatment, larvae were flash-frozen live with liquid nitrogen in preparation for complete proximate and mineral analyses. Analyses for the 2-day treatment group were performed in triplicate.

RESULTS The nutrient composition of the high-calcium cricket feed groups had significant changes in calcium content, phosphorus content, and metabolizable energy at the 2-day interval, compared with other treatment groups, for both mealworms and superworms. Calcium content and calcium-to-phosphorus ratios for larvae in the high-calcium cricket feed group were the highest among the diet treatments for all treatment intervals and for both larval species.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE A 2-day interval with the high-calcium cricket feed achieved a larval nutrient composition sufficient to meet National Research Council dietary calcium recommendations for nonlactating rats. Mealworm calcium composition reached 2,420 g/1,000 kcal at 48 hours, and superworm calcium composition reached 2,070g/1,000 kcal at 48 hours. These findings may enable pet owners, veterinarians, insect breeders, and zoo curators to optimize nutritive content of larvae fed to insectivorous animals.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research