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

Abstract

Dietary fiber describes a diverse assortment of nondigestible carbohydrates that play a vital role in the health of animals and maintenance of gastrointestinal tract homeostasis. The main roles dietary fiber play in the gastrointestinal tract include physically altering the digesta, modulating appetite and satiety, regulating digestion, and acting as a microbial energy source through fermentation. These functions can have widespread systemic effects. Fiber is a vital component of nearly all commercial canine and feline diets. Key features of fiber types, such as fermentability, solubility, and viscosity, have been shown to have clinical implications as well as health benefits in dogs and cats. Practitioners should know how to evaluate a diet for fiber content and the current knowledge on fiber supplementation as it relates to common enteropathies including acute diarrhea, chronic diarrhea, constipation, and hairball management. Understanding the fundamentals of dietary fiber allows the practicing clinician to use fiber optimally as a management modality.

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

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Nutrition plays a fundamental role in the management of canine chronic enteropathies (CCEs). Dog owners may elect to feed home-cooked diets (HCDs) rather than veterinary commercially prepared diets (CPDs) because of perceived lower costs. There is a paucity of data comparing costs of these options. We hypothesize there will be differences in costs between complete and balanced HCDs and nutritionally comparable CPDs.

SAMPLE

6 Home-cooked diets.

PROCEDURES

Six HCD recipes (2 highly digestible, 2 limited antigen, 2 low-fat) were formulated by 2 board-certified veterinary nutritionists to mimic the nutritional and ingredient profiles of veterinary CPDs for management of CCEs. The cost (in US$ on a per 100 kilocalorie [kcal] basis) of each recipe was determined via collection of ingredient prices from 3 grocery stores combined with supplement prices from online retailers. Prices of CPDs were obtained from a national online retailer. Maintenance energy requirements of 1.6 X (70 X BWkg 0.75), where BWkg represents body weight in kilograms, were calculated for 3 dog sizes (5, 20, and 40 kg), and costs of feeding maintenance energy requirements with HCDs versus dry and canned CPDs were compared with a Kruskal–Wallis test and post hoc testing.

RESULTS

The median costs of all dry and canned CPDs and HCDs were $0.29 (range, $0.18 to $0.46), $1.01 (range, $0.77 to $1.20), and $0.55 (range, $0.35 to $1.14), respectively. Feeding complete and balanced HCDs cost more than feeding dry CPDs (P < .001), but not canned CPDs (P > .99).

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Dry CPDs cost the least for nutritional management of CCEs. There is a wide range of costs for both CPDs and HCDs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective

To characterize clinician preferences and justification for preferred methods for managing canine idiopathic acute diarrhea (IAD) and compare results to evidence-based literature.

sample

284 surveys from veterinarians in small animal first-opinion practice.

Methods

Veterinarians were asked to complete a survey (61 questions) including background demographic information, practice type and location, duration in practice, and management questions for canine IAD pertaining to nutritional, probiotic, antimicrobial, antidiarrheal, benign neglect, and other therapies. The survey was available between May 5, 2021, and August 30, 2021.

Results

Respondents reported that their preferred first-line therapy for canine IAD included dietary modification (41.3% of respondents), probiotics (20.1%), antimicrobials (21.2%), antidiarrheal medications (13.0%), and benign neglect (4.3%). The percentage of respondents who reported each therapy as either extremely effective or very effective for canine IAD varied by treatment, as follows: antimicrobials (75.2%), dietary modification (59.13%), antidiarrheal medications (42.5%), probiotics (35.5%), and benign neglect (6.52%). Perceptions of effectiveness, efficiency of treatment, and clinician justification for use were variable among treatments. Reported practice styles were occasionally in disagreement with evidence-based methods of canine IAD management.

Clinical Relevance

Current clinical management of IAD is not consistently in agreement with evidence-based recommendations. The results of this study underscore the continued need to evaluate veterinary prescribing practice trends compared to evidence-based recommendations and promote dissemination of new information.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Assess the accuracy of predicted daily energy requirement (pDER) reported by a triaxial accelerometer and activity monitor for dogs (FitBark 2; FitBark Inc) and determine whether the activity monitor accurately estimates the observed daily energy requirement (oDER). We hypothesized that the activity monitor would accurately estimate oDER in dogs and meet standards established for human devices.

ANIMALS

23 dogs between the ages of 1 and 10 years and variable sex, breed, and body weight were enrolled from May 5, 2021, through July 23, 2021.

METHODS

Dogs were weighed before and after the study period to ensure stable body weights. Owners recorded their dogs’ daily caloric intake for the entire 28-day study period while the device monitored physical activity and calculated pDER. oDER was defined as the reported caloric intake required to maintain a stable body weight over a 28-day period. pDER and oDER were compared using Bland-Altman graphs, Passing-Bablock analysis, and Lin’s Concordance correlation analysis. P ≤ .05 was considered significant.

RESULTS

23 apparently healthy dogs completed the study. There was no significant difference between starting body weights and ending body weights (P= .5). The activity monitor overpredicted 28-day pDER compared to 28-day oDER in the majority (18/23, 78.3%) of dogs. Based on Bland-Altman analysis, Passing-Bablok regression, and Lin’s concordance correlation analysis, there was poor agreement between the pDER and oDER.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The activity monitors consistently reported inaccurate pDER compared to oDER. Its usability for estimating pDER is of limited clinical and research utility based on the results of this study.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To measure effects of oral Akkermansia muciniphila administration on systemic markers of gastrointestinal permeability and epithelial damage following antimicrobial administration in dogs.

ANIMALS 8 healthy adult dogs.

PROCEDURES Dogs were randomly assigned to receive either A muciniphila (109 cells/kg; n = 4) or vehicle (PBS solution; 4) for 6 days following metronidazole administration (12.5 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h for 7 d). After a 20-day washout period, the same dogs received the alternate treatment. After another washout period, experiments were repeated with amoxicillin-clavulanate (13.5 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h) instead of metronidazole. Fecal consistency was scored, a quantitative real-time PCR assay for A muciniphila in feces was performed, and plasma concentrations of cytokeratin-18, lipopolysaccharide, and glucagon-like peptides were measured by ELISA before (T0) and after (T1) antimicrobial administration and after administration of A muciniphila or vehicle (T2).

RESULTS A muciniphila was detected in feces in 7 of 8 dogs after A muciniphila treatment at T2 (3/4 experiments) but not at T0 or T1. After metronidazole administration, mean change in plasma cytokeratin-18 concentration from T1 to T2 was significantly lower with vehicle than with A muciniphila treatment (−0.27 vs 2.4 ng/mL). Mean cytokeratin-18 concentration was lower at T1 than at T0 with amoxicillin-clavulanate. No other significant biomarker concentration changes were detected. Probiotic administration was not associated with changes in fecal scores. No adverse effects were attributed to A muciniphila treatment.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Detection of A muciniphila in feces suggested successful gastrointestinal transit following oral supplementation in dogs. Plasma cytokeratin-18 alterations suggested an effect on gastrointestinal epithelium. Further study is needed to investigate effects in dogs with naturally occurring gastrointestinal disease.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To investigate the prevalence of Escherichia coli contamination and E coli virulence gene signatures consistent with known E coli pathotypes in commercially available conventional diets and raw-meat–based diets (RMBDs).

SAMPLE

40 diets in total (19 conventionally cooked kibble or canned diets and 21 RMBDs) obtained from retail stores or online distributors.

PROCEDURES

Each diet was cultured for E coli contamination in 3 separate container locations using standard microbiological techniques. Further characterization of E coli isolates was performed by polymerase chain reaction-based pathotype and virulence gene analysis.

RESULTS

Conventional diets were negative in all culture based testing. In RMBDs, bacterial contamination was similar to previous reports in the veterinary literature, with 66% (14/21) of the RMBDs having positive cultures for E coli. Among the 191 confirmed E coli isolates from these diets, 31.9% (61/191) were positive for virulence genes. Categorized by pathotype, isolates presumptively belonging to the neonatal meningitis E coli pathotype (15.7% [30/191]) were the most common, followed by enterohemorrhagic E coli (10.5% [20/191]), enteropathogenic E coli (5.8% [11/191]), uropathogenic E coli (2.1% [4/191]), and diffusely adherent E coli (1.6% [3/191]).

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The results of this study reaffirmed the bacteriologic risks previously associated with RMBDs. Furthermore, potential zoonotic concerns associated with identified pathotypes in these diets may have significant consequences for owners in the animals’ home environment. Potential risk associated with bacterial contamination should be addressed in animals fed RMBDs.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe the outcome of dietary management of canine noninfectious acute colitis with or without concurrent oral administration of metronidazole using a randomized controlled clinical trial.

ANIMALS

59 client-owned dogs with noninfectious acute colitis.

PROCEDURES

Dogs with acute noninfectious colitis were enrolled in a 30-day diet trial after exclusion of parasitic infectious etiologies (fecal centrifugation floatation, Giardia/Cryptosporidium antigen testing) and systemic disease (CBC, biochemistry, urinalysis). Dogs were randomized into 3 placebo-controlled groups: group 1, easily digestible diet + placebo tablet; group 2, easily digestible diet + metronidazole tablet; and group 3, psyllium-enhanced easily digestible diet + placebo tablet. Dogs were evaluated serially using fecal scoring for time to remission, average fecal score, relapse after remission, and dysbiosis index.

RESULTS

Median remission time was significantly different among the 3 groups (P < .01) with median times of 5 days (range, 4 to 10) for group 1, 8.5 days (range, 7 to 12) for group 2, and 5 days (range, 3 to 6) for group 3. Metronidazole addition affected the fecal dysbiosis index negatively at days 7 to 10. No adverse effects or complications were noted throughout the study.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

For canine noninfectious acute colitis, dietary management with an easily digestible diet with or without psyllium enhancement proved a superior management strategy compared to metronidazole. The omission of metronidazole reduced the adverse impact significantly on intestinal microbiota. Longitudinal clinical trials are necessary to compare the long-term response, stability, and complications associated with dietary management alone versus combined dietary and antimicrobial therapy for canine acute colitis.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association