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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
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.

Restricted access
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.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

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.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

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 characterize uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) in cases of clinical feline urinary tract infection (UTI) and subclinical bacteriuria and investigate the in vitro effects of E coli strain Nissle 1917 on isolate growth.

ANIMALS

40 cats with positive E coli culture results for urine collected during routine evaluation.

PROCEDURES

Characterization of UPEC isolates was performed by PCR-based phylotype analysis and serotyping. Nissle 1917 effects on growth inhibition and competitive overgrowth against UPEC isolates were evaluated in vitro using a plate-based competition assay.

RESULTS

Feline phylogroups were similar to previous human and feline UPEC studies, with most of the isolates belonging to phylogroup A (42.5%), B2 (37.5%), and D (15.0%). Fifty-two percent of isolates were found to be resistant to antimicrobials, with 19% of these being multidrug resistant (MDR). Nissle 1917 adversely affected the growth of 82.5% of all isolates and 100% of MDR isolates in vitro. The median zone of inhibition was 3.33 mm (range, 1.67 to 10.67 mm). Thirteen isolates were affected via competitive overgrowth and 20 via growth inhibition.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

UPEC isolates from cats were similar in phylogroup analysis to human and dog isolates. The in vitro effects of Nissle 1917 on UPEC warrant additional studies to determine if similar results can be duplicated in vivo.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research