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Obesity and diabetes mellitus are reaching epidemic proportions in humans throughout the world, and this crisis is reflected in the pet population. The prevalence of overweight and obese cats in the United States has increased almost 30% during the past 25 to 30 years. 1,2 This dramatic increase in obesity coincides with an increase in the rate of diabetes mellitus among pet cats. In North America, prevalence of diabetes in cats has increased from 8 cases/10,000 cats in 1970 to 124 cases/10,000 cats in 1999. 3 Because more pet cats are becoming overweight, it is important for researchers

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the influence of acidifying or alkalinizing diets on bone mineral density and urine relative supersaturation (URSS) with calcium oxalate and struvite in healthy cats.

Animals—6 castrated male and 6 spayed female cats.

Procedures—3 groups of 4 cats each were fed diets for 12 months that differed only in acidifying or alkalinizing properties (alkalinizing, neutral, and acidifying). Body composition was estimated by use of dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, and 48-hour urine samples were collected for URSS determination.

Results—Urine pH differed significantly among diet groups, with the lowest urine pH values in the acidifying diet group and the highest values in the alkalinizing diet group. Differences were not observed in other variables except urinary ammonia excretion, which was significantly higher in the neutral diet group. Calcium oxalate URSS was highest in the acidifying diet group and lowest in the alkalinizing diet group; struvite URSS was not different among groups. Diet was not significantly associated with bone mineral content or density.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Urinary undersaturation with calcium oxalate was achieved by inducing alkaluria. Feeding an alkalinizing diet was not associated with URSS with struvite. Bone mineral density and calcium content were not adversely affected by diet; therefore, release of calcium from bone caused by feeding an acidifying diet may not occur in healthy cats.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) reduces urinary calcium excretion in dogs with calcium oxalate urolithiasis.

Design—Original study.

Animals—8 dogs with calcium oxalate urolithiasis.

Procedure—4 treatment protocols were evaluated in each dog (a low calcium, low protein diet designed to prevent calcium oxalate urolith formation with and without administration of HCTZ [2 mg/kg (0.9 mg/lb) of body weight, PO, q 12 h] and a maintenance diet with higher quantities of protein and calcium with and without administration of HCTZ). At the end of each 2-week treatment period, 24-hour urine samples were collected. Blood samples were collected during the midpoint of each urine collection period. Analysis of variance was performed to evaluate the effects of HCTZ and diet on urine and serum analytes.

Results—Hydrochlorothiazide significantly decreased urine calcium and potassium concentration and excretion. Hydrochlorothiazide also significantly decreased serum potassium concentration. Compared with the maintenance diet, the urolith prevention diet significantly decreased urine calcium and oxalic acid concentration and excretion. Dogs consuming the urolith prevention diet had significantly lower serum concentrations of albumin and urea nitrogen.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administration of HCTZ decreased urine calcium excretion in dogs with a history of calcium oxalate urolith formation. The greatest reduction in urine calcium concentration and excretion was achieved when dogs received HCTZ and the urolith prevention diet. Results of this study suggest that the hypocalciuric effect of HCTZ will minimize recurrence of calcium oxalate urolith formation in dogs; however, long-term controlled clinical trials are needed to confirm the safety and effectiveness of HCTZ. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:1583–1586)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To develop morphometric equations for prediction of body composition and create a body fat index (BFI) system to estimate body fat percentage in overweight and obese cats.

Design—Prospective evaluation study.

Animals—76 overweight or obese cats ≥ 1 year of age.

Procedures—Body condition score (BCS) was determined with a 5-point scale, morphometric measurements were made, and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) was performed. Visual and palpation-based evaluation of various body regions was conducted, and results were used for development of the BFI system. Best-fit multiple regression models were used to develop equations for predicting lean body mass and fat mass from morphometric measurements. Predicted values for body composition components were compared with DEXA results.

Results—For the study population, prediction equations accounted for 85% of the variation in lean body mass and 98% of the variation in fat mass. Values derived from morphometric equations for fat mass and lean mass were within 10% of DEXA values for 55 of 76 (72%) and 66 of 76 (87%) cats, respectively. Body fat as a percentage of total body weight (ie, body fat percentage) predicted with the BCS and BFI was within 10% of the DEXA value for 5 of 39 (13%) and 22 of 39 (56%) cats, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The BFI system and morphometric equations were considered accurate for estimation of body composition components in overweight and obese cats of the study population and appeared to be more useful than BCS for evaluation of these patients. Further research is needed to validate the use of these methods in other feline populations. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2014;244:1285–1290)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To develop morphometric equations for prediction of body composition and create a body fat index (BFI) to estimate body fat percentage in overweight and obese dogs.

Design—Prospective evaluation study.

Animals—83 overweight or obese dogs ≥ 1 year of age.

Procedures—Body condition score (BCS) was assessed on a 5-point scale, morphometric measurements were made, and visual and palpation-based assessments and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) were performed. Equations for predicting lean body mass, fat mass, and body fat as a percentage of total body weight (ie, body fat percentage) on the basis of morphometric measurements were generated with best-fit statistical models. Visual and palpation-based descriptors were used to develop a BFI. Predicted values for body composition components were compared with DEXA-measured values.

Results—For the study population, the developed morphometric equations accounted for 98% of the variation in lean body mass and fat mass and 82% of the variation in body fat percentage. The proportion of dogs with predicted values within 10% of the DEXA values was 66 of 83 (80%) for lean body mass, 56 of 83 (68%) for fat mass, and 56 of 83 (67%) for body fat percentage. The BFI accurately predicted body fat percentage in 25 of 47 (53%) dogs, whereas the value predicted with BCS was accurate in 6 of 47 (13%) dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Morphometric measurements and the BFI appeared to be more accurate than the 5-point BCS method for estimation of body fat percentage in overweight and obese dogs. Further research is needed to assess the applicability of these findings to other populations of dogs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2014;244:1279–1284)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

In December 2005, 2 dogs died of acute hepatic failure after consuming a commercially available food formulated for dogs. Food toxicosis was suspected. The product manufacturer a was notified by the attending veterinarian, and necropsy of the dogs was performed by a university pathology service. Product date codes for the product consumed by the dogs were not provided to the manufacturer, and the FDA was not notified of potential product contamination. Screening of raw ingredients and finished product to detect aflatoxin by the manufacturer yielded negative results.

However, additional dogs in the eastern United States developed clinical signs of

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare blood glucose concentrations measured with 2 portable blood glucose meters (PBGMs) validated for use in dogs (PBGM-D) and humans (PBGM-H) and an automated chemistry analyzer.

Design—Validation study.

Sample Population—92 samples of fresh whole blood and plasma from 83 dogs with various diseases.

Procedures—Each PBGM was used to measure whole blood glucose concentration, and the automated analyzer was used to measure plasma glucose concentration. Passing-Bablok linear regression and Bland-Altman plots were used to determine correlations and bias between the PBGMs and the automated analyzer. Calculated acceptability limits based on combined inherent instrument imprecision were used with Bland-Altman plots to determine agreement. Clinical relevance was assessed via error grid analysis.

Results—Although correlation between results of both PBGMs and the standard analyzer was > 0.90, disagreement was greater than could be explained by instrument imprecision alone. Mean difference between PBGM-H and chemistry-analyzer values was −15.8 mg/dL. Mean difference between PBGM-D and chemistry-analyzer values was 2.4 mg/dL. Linear regression analysis revealed proportional bias of PBGM-H (greater disagreement at higher glucose concentrations); no proportional bias was detected for PBGM-D. No constant bias was detected for either PBGM. Error grid analysis revealed all measurements from both PBGMs were within zones without an anticipated effect on clinical outcome.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Neither PBGM had exact agreement with the automated analyzer; however, the disagreement detected did not have serious clinical consequences. Our findings stressed the importance of using the same device for monitoring trends in dogs and using instrument-specific reference ranges.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
History

A 10-year-old castrated male Labrador Retriever was referred to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine with a 1-month history of weight loss, anorexia, labored breathing, a dry nonproductive cough, and pleural effusion. The whereabouts of the dog were unknown for 3 days prior to the onset of clinical signs. Treatment by the referring veterinarian had consisted of furosemide administration and repeated thoracocentesis.

At the time of admission, the dog was quiet and thin (body condition score, 3/9). Clinical examination revealed increased respiratory rate (44 breaths/min), muffled heart sounds, and dull sounds on percussion of the ventral aspect

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify dietary factors associated with the increase in occurrence of calcium oxalate (CaOx) uroliths and the decrease in occurrence of magnesium ammonium phosphate (MAP) uroliths in cats.

Design—Case-control study.

Animals—173 cats with CaOx uroliths, 290 cats with MAP uroliths, and 827 cats without any urinary tract diseases.

Procedure—Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were performed.

Results—Cats fed diets low in sodium or potassium or formulated to maximize urine acidity had an increased risk of developing CaOx uroliths but a decreased risk of developing MAP uroliths. Additionally, compared with the lowest contents, diets with the highest moisture or protein contents and with moderate magnesium, phosphorus, or calcium contents were associated with decreased risk of CaOx urolith formation. In contrast, diets with moderate fat or carbohydrate contents were associated with increased risk of CaOx urolith formation. Diets with the highest magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, chloride, or fiber contents and moderate protein content were associated with increased risk of MAP urolith formation. On the other hand, diets with the highest fat content were associated with decreased risk of MAP urolith formation.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that diets formulated to contain higher protein, sodium, potassium, moisture, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium contents and with decreased urine acidifying potential may minimize formation of CaOx uroliths in cats. Diets formulated to contain higher fat content and lower protein and potassium contents and with increased urine acidifying potential may minimize formation of MAP uroliths. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;219:1228–1237)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify factors in dry diets associated with the occurrence of calcium oxalate (CaOx) uroliths in dogs.

Animals—600 dogs with CaOx uroliths and 898 dogs without urinary tract diseases.

Procedure—Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were performed.

Results—Compared with diets with the highest concentrations of sodium, dry diets with the lowest concentrations of sodium, phosphorus, calcium, chloride, protein, magnesium, or potassium were linearly associated with increased risk of CaOx urolith formation. Significant nonlinear associations between increased occurrence of CaOx uroliths and urine acidifying potential and low moisture content were observed. Significant nonlinear associations between decreased occurrence of CaOx uroliths and carbohydrate and fiber contents were observed. A significant association between the occurrence of CaOx uroliths and dietary fat was not observed.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that dry diets formulated to contain high concentrations of protein, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and chloride may minimize formation of CaOx uroliths. In addition, comparison of risk and protective factors of various diet ingredients fed to dogs with CaOx uroliths suggests that although similar findings were observed in canned and dry formulations, in general, greater risk is associated with dry formulations. However, before these hypotheses about dietary modifications are adopted by food manufacturers, they must be investigated by use of appropriately designed clinical studies of dogs with CaOx urolithiasis. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:330–337)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research