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Abstract

Objective—To investigate whether an accelerometer-based activity monitor could be used in pet dogs to differentiate among and delineate the amount of time spent in activities of differing intensity.

Animals—104 dogs.

Procedures—For the first phase of the study, each dog (n = 104) wore an accelerometer-based activity monitor and was led through a series of standard activities (recumbency [sedentary], walking, and trotting). Receiver operating characteristic curves were generated to determine the optimal activity counts for predicting whether a dog was sedentary, walking, or trotting. For the second phase of the study, dogs (n = 99) wore an activity monitor on their collars continuously for 14 days at home; intensity of activity for each dog was classified by use of cut points determined on the basis of results obtained during the first phase of the study.

Results—Analysis of receiver operating characteristic curves indicated that there was 100% specificity and 100% sensitivity in distinguishing sedentary activity from walking activity and 92% specificity and 92% sensitivity in distinguishing trotting activity from walking activity. Analysis of data collected during the 14-day period at home indicated that dogs were sedentary most of the time (median, 87%; range, 65% to 95%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Counts recorded by an accelerometer-based activity monitor could be used to discriminate effectively among standardized activities in pet dogs. There is potential for use of the method to improve the ability of clinicians and researchers to accurately estimate a pet dog's daily energy requirement.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine clinical and laboratory findings associated with protein-losing enteropathy, hypomagnesemia, and hypocalcemia in Yorkshire Terriers.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—5 purebred or crossbred Yorkshire Terriers with protein-losing enteropathy, hypomagnesemia, and hypocalcemia.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed for dogs with protein-losing enteropathy, hypomagnesemia, and hypocalcemia.

Results—Of 8 dogs with these signs, 5 had Yorkshire Terrier breeding. Common findings were diarrhea, abdominal effusion, leukocytosis, neutrophilia, hypocalcemia (ionized calcium), hypomagnesemia, hypoproteinemia, hypoalbuminemia, hypocholesterolemia, and increased serum activity of aspartate aminotransferase.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Yorkshire Terriers are at increased risk for development of protein-losing enteropathy with hypomagnesemia and decreased ionized calcium concentration. Hypomagnesemia and hypocalcemia may have a related pathogenesis involving intestinal loss, malabsorption, and abnormalities of vitamin D and parathyroid hormone metabolism. Serum electrolyte replacement may be required to avoid neurologic and metabolic problems. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217: 703–706)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine by use of an accelerometer the sampling interval that has the least variable total activity counts from one week to the next in companion (ie, nonlaboratory) dogs.

Animals—80 dogs.

Procedures—Dogs wore an accelerometer continuously for 2 weeks. Between-dog and within-dog day-to-day variability in total activity counts were evaluated. The changes in counts between week 1 and week 2 were compared for weekdays, weekends, and full weeks.

Results—Significant between-dog variability in total activity counts was detected. Within dogs, there was significant day-to-day variability, with highest counts recorded on weekends. In comparison of data from the first week with data from the second week, the greatest differences were in weekend counts (median difference, 21%; range, 0% to 154%) and the smallest differences were in full 7-day counts (median difference, 10%; range, 0% to 74%). Comparison of weekday counts revealed a median change of 12% (range, 0% to 104%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Significant between-dog variability in total daily activity counts was detected. Within dogs, a full 7-day comparison of total activity counts from one week to the next provided the least variable estimate of the dogs' activity. For dogs in their home environment, the activity monitor may be most useful in following changes in activity over time. For dogs that have no change in routine according to the owner's report, the least variable estimates of activity can be collected by comparing activity in 7-day intervals.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To identify and determine the concentrations of phytoestrogens in commercial dog foods.

Sample Population—24 commercial dog foods, including 12 moist or dry extruded commercial dog foods that contained soybeans or soybean fractions and 12 foods without any soybean–related ingredients listed on the label.

Procedure—Foods were analyzed for phytoestrogen content, including 4 isoflavones (genistein, glycitein, daidzein, and biochanin A), 1 coumestan (coumestrol), and 2 lignans (secoisolariciresinol and matairesinol) by use of acid-methanol hydrolysis and high-pressure liquid chromatography with UV-absorbance detection. Phytoestrogens were identified and quantified by reference to authentic standards.

Results—Isoflavones, coumestans, and lignans were undetectable in diets that did not list soybean–related ingredients on the label. Only 1 of the 12 diets that included soybean or soybean fractions had undetectable concentrations of phytoestrogens and that product contained soy fiber. The major phytoestrogens were the isoflavones daidzein (24 to 615 µg/g of dry matter) and genistein (4 to 238 µg/g of dry matter).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Soybean and soybean fractions are commonly used ingredients in commercial dog foods. Dietary intake of phytoestrogens may have both beneficial and deleterious health effects. Our results indicated that certain commercial dog foods contain phytoestrogens in amounts that could have biological effects when ingested longterm. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:592–596)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effect of signalment and body conformation on activity monitoring in companion dogs.

Animals—104 companion dogs.

Procedures—While wearing an activity monitor, each dog was led through a series of standard activities: lying down, walking laps, trotting laps, and trotting up and down stairs. Linear regression analysis was used to determine which signalment and body conformation factors were associated with activity counts.

Results—There was no significant effect of signalment or body conformation on activity counts when dogs were lying down, walking laps, and trotting laps. However, when dogs were trotting up and down stairs, there was a significant effect of age and body weight such that, for every 1-kg increase in body weight, there was a 1.7% (95% confidence interval, 1.1% to 2.4%) decrease in activity counts and for every 1-year increase in age, there was a 4.2% (95% confidence interval, 1.4% to 6.9%) decrease in activity counts.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—When activity was well controlled, there was no significant effect of signalment or body conformation on activity counts recorded by the activity monitor. However, when activity was less controlled, older dogs and larger dogs had lower activity counts than younger and smaller dogs. The wide range in body conformation (eg, limb or body length) among dogs did not appear to significantly impact the activity counts recorded by the monitor, but age and body weight did and must be considered in analysis of data collected from the monitors.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine motivation and feeding practices of people who feed their cats vegetarian diets as well as taurine and cobalamin status of cats consuming vegetarian diets.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—34 cats that had been exclusively fed a commercial or homemade vegetarian diet and 52 cats that had been fed a conventional diet for ≥ 1 year.

Procedures—Participants were recruited through a Web site and from attendees of a national animal welfare conference. Caregivers of cats in both groups answered a telephone questionnaire regarding feeding practices for their cats. Blood was obtained from a subset of cats that had been fed vegetarian diets. Blood and plasma taurine and serum cobalamin concentrations were measured.

Results—People who fed vegetarian diets to their cats did so largely for ethical considerations and were more likely than people who fed conventional diets to believe that there are health benefits associated with a vegetarian diet and that conventional commercial cat foods are unwholesome. Both groups were aware of the potential health problems that could arise from improperly formulated vegetarian diets. All cats evaluated had serum cobalamin concentrations within reference range, and 14 of 17 had blood taurine concentrations within reference range.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Vegetarian diets are fed to cats primarily for ethical considerations. Results of this study should aid practitioners in communicating with and providing advice to such clients.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine effects of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) on canine colonic smooth muscle.

Sample Population—Colonic tissue obtained from 14 healthy dogs.

Procedure—Short-chain fatty acid (SCFA; acetate, propionate, and butyrate; 1 to 100 mmol/L)-induced contractions were compared with responses obtained with acetylmethylcholine (AMCh; 10-4 mol/L). Roles of enteric neurons, cholinergic receptors, calcium stores in the sarcoplasmic reticulum, and extracellular calcium in the SCFA-induced responses were investigated by incubating muscle strips with tetrodotoxin (1 µmol/L), atropine (1 µmol/L), ryanodine (10 µmol/L), nifedipine (1 µmol/L), ethylene glycol-bis (β-aminoethylether)-N,N,N',N'-tetra-acetate (EGTA; 0.1 mmol/L), or an extracellular calciumdepleted (zero extracellular calcium) solution prior to the addition of propionate or butyrate.

Results—Incubation with SCFA elicited isometric stress responses (0.25 to 2.15 × 104 N/m2) in colonic longitudinal smooth muscle. Maximal responses to butyrate and propionate (50 mmol/L) were 37 and 23%, respectively, of the maximal AMCh response. Acetate was least effective in stimulating contractile responses. Tetrodotoxin and atropine did not affect SCFA-induced contractions. Nifedipine and zero extracellular calcium solution abolished responses to butyrate and propionate, whereas EGTA attenuated (> 60%) but did not abolish those responses. Ryanodine did not affect SCFA-induced contractile responses. The SCFA did not affect colonic circular smooth muscle.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The SCFA stimulate longitudinal but not circular colonic smooth muscle contractions via a direct effect on smooth muscle. The mechanism of the SCFA effect appears to involve the influx of extracellular calcium. These findings may account for some of the effects of canine colonisc motility. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:295–300 )

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effects of diets differing in type and quantity of fiber on glycemic control in dogs with naturally occurring insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

Design—Prospective randomized crossover controlled trial.

Animals—7 dogs with well-regulated naturally occurring insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

Procedure—Dogs were fed 1 of 3 diets for 1 month each in 1 of 6 randomized diet sequences. Diets included a low-fiber diet (LF) and 2 high-fiber diets; 1 contained only insoluble fiber (HIF), and 1 contained soluble fiber in addition to insoluble fiber (HSF). Caloric intake was unchanged throughout the study. Glycemic control was assessed after each feeding trial by measuring serum fructosamine concentration and performing 5 serial measurements of blood glucose concentration every 2 hours after the morning feeding and insulin injection.

Results—Significant differences were not detected in body weight, required insulin dosage, or albumin concentration among dogs fed the HIF, HSF, and LF diets. Mean and maximum blood glucose concentrations and area under the blood glucose curve were significantly lower in dogs fed the HIF diet, compared with values in the same dogs fed the HSF or LF diet. Fructosamine concentration was significantly lower in dogs fed the HIF or HSF diet, compared with values in the same dogs fed the LF diet.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In dogs with naturally occurring insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, a dry, high insoluble-fiber diet may aid in glycemic control. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:1076–1081)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association