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  • Author or Editor: Juha T. Junttila x
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The main objective of the study reported here was to determine whether signs typical of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (epi) are alleviated when affected dogs are fed a diet with low fat content, compared with feeding ordinary commercial dog food or food prepared by the owner. The most cost-effective amount of enzyme supplement also was estimated. The study consisted of 6 test periods. Duration of the first and third periods was 4 weeks, and that of the others was 2 weeks. During the first 2 periods, the dogs were fed their original diet. The amount of enzyme supplement was reduced by half between the first and the second period. During the last 4 periods, the dogs were fed only the low-fat diet, and amount of the enzyme supplement was reduced stepwise. During the entire study, owners were asked to assess daily the severity of 9 signs typical of epi. A new index was established by adding the daily scores of each individual epi sign. This index was designated the epi index and was used as a measure of the general well-being of the dog. When the mean epi indexes of the original diet periods were compared with those of the corresponding low-fat diet periods, there were no statistically significant differences by use of Tukey's test or the paired t-test. There was considerable variability between dogs, however. The fat content of the original diet did not correlate with the difference in epi signs when the dogs were fed the low-fat diet. According to our study, feeding a low-fat diet to dogs with epi did not significantly alleviate clinical signs of the disease.

Decreasing the enzyme supplementation by 50% of the recommended dose did not significantly increase severity of the cumulative epi score. Decreasing the enzyme supplement by three-fourths of the recommended dose was excessive, and the severity of the clinical signs increased significantly (P < 0.05). The cost of the low-fat diet, compared with that of the original diet, was high.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research