Objective—To determine the effects of raw meat–based diets with and without inulin or yeast cell-wall (YCW) extract on macronutrient digestibility, blood cell counts, serum metabolite concentrations, and fecal fermentative end-product concentrations in healthy adult dogs.
Procedures—Dogs were fed each of the following 6 diets for 21 days, the order of which was randomly assigned in a Latin square design: beef control, beef and 1.4% inulin, beef and 1.4% YCW extract, chicken control, chicken and 1.4% inulin, and chicken and 1.4% YCW extract. Each diet trial consisted of a phase for diet adaptation (days 0 to 14) and a phase for measurement of urine and fecal output and content (days 15 to 20). On day 21, food was withheld for blood sample collection. Afterward, the next diet trial began immediately.
Results—All dogs maintained desirable fecal quality characteristics and produced low fecal volume. All diets were highly digestible (protein digestibility > 88%; fat digestibility > 97%). Differences in fermentative end-product concentrations among all diets were minor, but a significant increase in fecal short-chain fatty acid concentrations was evident when dogs were fed beef-based diets with inulin and YCW extract. Fecal spermine concentrations were higher with diets containing inulin and YCW extract than with control diets. Blood cell counts and serum metabolite values were within reference limits after each trial. All diets resulted in maintenance of nitrogen balance.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested the raw meat–based diets evaluated were highly digestible in dogs. The increase in fecal short-chain fatty acid concentrations achieved when inulin and YCW extract were included may be beneficial to canine health.
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.
40 cats of various ages, body condition scores (BCSs), and MCSs.
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.
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.
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.
40 dogs of various age, body condition score (BCS), and MCS.
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.
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.