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  • Author or Editor: Kelly S. Swanson x
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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


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.

Animals—6 healthy adult spayed female dogs (mean ± SD age, 5.5 ± 0.5 years; mean body weight, 8.5 ± 0.5 kg).

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.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To determine effects of restriction feeding of a moderate-protein, high-fiber diet on loss of body weight (BW), voluntary physical activity, body composition, and fecal microbiota of overweight cats.

ANIMALS 8 neutered male adult cats.

PROCEDURES After BW maintenance for 4 weeks (week 0 = last week of baseline period), cats were fed to lose approximately 1.5% of BW/wk for 18 weeks. Food intake (daily), BW (twice per week), body condition score (weekly), body composition (every 4 weeks), serum biochemical analysis (weeks 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 16), physical activity (every 6 weeks), and fecal microbiota (weeks 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 16) were assessed.

RESULTS BW, body condition score, serum triglyceride concentration, and body fat mass and percentage decreased significantly over time. Lean mass decreased significantly at weeks 12 and 16. Energy required to maintain BW was 14% less than National Research Council estimates for overweight cats and 16% more than resting energy requirement estimates. Energy required for weight loss was 11% more, 6% less, and 16% less than American Animal Hospital Association recommendations for weight loss (80% of resting energy requirement) at weeks 1 through 4, 5 through 8, and 9 through 18, respectively. Relative abundance of Actinobacteria increased and Bacteroidetes decreased with weight loss.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Restricted feeding of a moderate-protein, high-fiber diet appeared to be a safe and effective means for weight loss in cats. Energy requirements for neutered cats may be overestimated and should be reconsidered.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To determine effects of IV transfusion with fresh (3-day-old) or stored (35-day-old) autologous erythrocyte concentrate on serum labile iron concentration, iron-binding capacity, and protein interaction with iron in dogs.

ANIMALS 10 random-source healthy dogs.

PROCEDURES Dogs were randomly assigned to receive autologous erythrocyte concentrate stored for 3 days (n = 5) or 35 days (5). One unit of whole blood was collected from each dog, and erythrocyte concentrates were prepared and stored as assigned. After erythrocyte storage, IV transfusion was performed, with dogs receiving their own erythrocyte concentrate. Blood samples were collected from each dog before and 5, 9, 24, 48, and 72 hours after transfusion. Serum was harvested for measurement of total iron, labile iron, transferrin, ferritin, hemoglobin, and haptoglobin concentrations.

RESULTS For dogs that received fresh erythrocytes, serum concentrations of the various analytes largely remained unchanged after transfusion. For dogs that received stored erythrocytes, serum concentrations of total iron, labile iron, hemoglobin, and ferritin increased markedly and serum concentrations of transferrin and haptoglobin decreased after transfusion.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Transfusion with autologous erythrocyte concentrate stored for 35 days resulted in evidence of intravascular hemolysis in healthy dogs. The associated marked increases in circulating concentrations of free iron and hemoglobin have the potential to adversely affect transfusion recipients.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To compare measurements of crude fiber (CF) and total dietary fiber (TDF) for various dog foods and their effect on the calculated nitrogen-free extract and metabolizable energy (ME) content, and to compare label-guaranteed and laboratory-analyzed macronutrient values.


51 dog foods fed to client-owned dogs with osteoarthritis.


Foods were analyzed for dry matter, ash, crude protein, acid-hydrolyzed fat, CF, and TDF. Metabolizable energy was calculated by use of a formula with modified Atwater factors and formulas recommended by the National Research Council that included both CF and TDF values. Linear regression analysis was performed to determine the correlation between CF and TDF values.


Only a few foods failed to conform to the guaranteed analysis for all macronutrients except for CF, in which approximately 40% of the foods exceeded the guaranteed maximum values. The CF and TDF values were moderately correlated (r = 0.843). Correlations among CF- and TDF-based ME estimations were moderate with use of the modified Atwater formula and strong with use of the National Research Council formulas (r = 0.86 and r = 0.91, respectively).


Values for CF were the most variable of the macronutrients of the evaluated dog foods and results suggested that CF is an incomplete and inaccurate measurement of dietary fiber content and, thus, its inaccuracy may lead to inaccurate and variable ME values.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To evaluate canine erythrocyte concentrates (ECs) for the presence of procoagulant phospholipid (PPL), determine whether PPL concentration changes during the course of storage of ECs, and ascertain whether prestorage leukoreduction (removal of leukocytes via gravity filtration) reduces the development of PPL.

SAMPLE 10 whole blood units (420 g each) collected from 10 random-source, clinically normal dogs (1 U/dog).

PROCEDURES The dogs were randomized to 1 of 2 groups. Of the 10 whole blood units collected, 5 were processed through a standard method, and 5 underwent leukoreduction. Whole blood units were processed to generate ECs, from which aliquots were aseptically collected from each unit weekly for 5 weeks. Supernatants from the concentrates were evaluated for procoagulant activity, which was converted to PPL concentration, by use of an automated assay and by measurement of real-time thrombin generation.

RESULTS Supernatants from stored canine ECs contained procoagulant activity as measured by both assays. In general, the PPL concentration gradually increased during the storage period, but leukoreduction reduced the development of increased procoagulant activity over time.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The presence of PPL in canine ECs may be associated with procoagulant and proinflammatory effects in vivo, which could have adverse consequences for dogs treated with ECs.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research