Objective—To test the hypothesis that exchange of
medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) for long-chain
triglycerides (LCTs) in the diet of dogs with well-managed
exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) changes
serum biochemical variables and to subjectively
assess the well-being of dogs with EPI in response to
Animals—21 dogs with EPI and 6 healthy control
Procedure—The effects of 3 diets containing 0%,
16%, or 35% of the total fat content as MCTs were
examined in a randomized controlled double-blind
crossover trial. The 3 diets were fed for 12 weeks
each. Dietary effects were evaluated by both subjective
and objective variables.
Results—Analysis of subjective data revealed no significant
difference in appetite, attitude, drinking behavior,
volume of feces, defecation frequency, color of feces,
consistency of feces, flatulence, or borborygmus
among dogs fed the 3 experimental diets. A high MCT
content in the diet was associated with significantly
higher serum vitamin E, cholesterol, triglyceride, retinyl
stearate, retinyl palmitate, and total vitamin A concentrations
in dogs with EPI and significantly higher serum
vitamin E concentrations in control dogs, compared
with low MCT content. High MCT content in the diet
was also associated with significantly lower concentrations
of serum linoleic acid (C18:2[n-6]) in dogs with EPI
and in control dogs, compared with low MCT content.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A high MCT
content in the diet leads to increases in serum concentrations
of cholesterol and certain fat-soluble vitamins.
However, no effect was found on the subjective
well-being of the dogs as evaluated by their owners.
(Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1293–1302)