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Objective—To determine range of calorie density and feeding directions for commercially available diets designed for weight management in dogs and cats.
Sample Population—93 diets (44 canine diets and 49 feline diets) that had a weight management claim with feeding directions for weight loss or implied weight management claims.
Procedures—Calorie density was collected from product labels or by contacting manufacturers. Recommended feeding directions for weight loss were compared with resting energy requirement (RER) for current body weight by use of a standard body weight (36.4 kg [80 lb] for canine diets and 5.5 kg [12 lb] for feline diets).
Results—Calorie density for the 44 canine diets ranged from 217 to 440 kcal/cup (median, 301 kcal/cup) and from 189 to 398 kcal/can (median, 310 kcal/can) for dry and canned diets, respectively. Calorie density for the 49 feline diets ranged from 235 to 480 kcal/cup (median, 342 kcal/cup) and from 78 to 172 kcal/can (median, 146 kcal/can) for dry and canned diets, respectively. Recommended calorie intake for weight loss in dogs ranged from 0.73 to 1.47 × RER (median, 1.00 × RER) and for weight loss in cats ranged from 0.67 to 1.55 × RER (median, 1.00 × RER). Diets ranged from $0.04 to $1.11/100 kcal of diet (median, $0.15/100 kcal of diet).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Wide variation existed in recommended calorie intake, kilocalories, and cost for diets marketed for weight loss in pets. This variability could contribute to challenges of achieving successful weight loss in pets.
Objective—To determine the absolute and relative soy isoflavone content in commercial cat foods.
Sample Population—14 dry, 6 semimoist, and 22 moist commercial cat foods.
Procedure—Soy isoflavone content of each food was determined by use of acid-methanol hydrolysis and high-pressure liquid chromatography with ultraviolet absorbance detection. Isoflavones were identified and quantified by reference to authentic standards.
Results—Genistein and daidzein were the major soy isoflavones identified in 24 of 42 foods, with concentrations ranging from 1 to 163 µg/g of food. Foods labeled as containing soybean solids (16/42) had isoflavone concentrations > 11 µg/g. More dry (13/14) and semimoist (6/6) foods contained isoflavones than moist foods (5/22). Isoflavone content and food cost were negatively correlated for dry and semimoist foods but not for moist foods. Total amount of isoflavone consumed by cats fed these soy-containing foods as a sole maintenance diet was estimated to be between 0.6 and 4.5 mg/kg of body weight/d, which is comparable to concentrations in humans that result in a measurable although modest effect on serum concentrations of steroid and thyroid hormones.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Genistein and daidzein are common constituents of commercial cat foods. Predictors of isoflavone content included ingredient labeling, food type, and food cost. Soy isoflavones in some commercial cat foods were detected in amounts predicted to have a biological effect. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:181–185)
Objective—To determine whether subcutaneous fat thickness measured on thoracic radiographs was associated with body condition score (BCS) in dogs.
Animals—87 client-owned dogs (41 males and 46 females) with a median age of 10.0 years (range, 1 to 16 years) and median weight of 20.3 kg (range, 3.1 to 58.0 kg).
Procedures—Age, sex, body weight, and breed were recorded. Body condition scores (scale from 1 to 9) and muscle condition scores were assigned by a single investigator. Subcutaneous fat thickness was measured at the level of the eighth rib head on a dorsoventral or ventrodorsal radiographic view of the thorax by a single investigator. Ratios of subcutaneous fat thickness to the width of the midbody of T8 on the ventrodorsal or dorsoventral radiographic view (T8 ratio) and to the length of the midbody of T4 on a right lateral radiographic view (T4 ratio) were calculated and compared with BCS by means of the Spearman correlation method.
Results—Median BCS was 6 (range, 1 to 9), and all muscle condition scores were represented. There were significant correlations between BCS and T4 ratio (r = 0.86) and between BCS and T8 ratio (r = 0.84).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that in this population, there was a significant association between BCS and subcutaneous fat thickness measured on thoracic radiographs. Findings suggested that measuring subcutaneous fat thickness could aid in the retrospective assignment of BCS in studies involving dogs in which BCS was not recorded in the medical record.
OBJECTIVE To determine whether the degree of CT attenuation of muscle would differ between healthy old and young dogs.
ANIMALS 10 healthy old (> 8 years old) and 9 healthy young (1 to 5 years old) Labrador Retrievers with a body condition score of 5 or 6 on a 9-point scale.
PROCEDURES CT was performed with the dogs mildly sedated. A freehand closed polygon tool was used to define the outer margin of the left epaxial muscles on each transverse image obtained from the cranial to caudal endplates of T13. The CT attenuation values from every voxel from within these regions of interest were exported from DICOM software as a single dataset in an extensible markup language file. From these data, mean CT attenuation values were calculated for each dog and these mean values were compared between age groups.
RESULTS Mean CT attenuation values for the epaxial muscles were significantly lower in old dogs than in young dogs. A significant negative correlation (r = –0.74) was identified between mean CT attenuation values and dog age.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE In addition to loss of skeletal muscle mass, low muscle CT attenuation values suggested that the old dogs in this study also had greater muscle fat content than did young dogs. Additional studies are warranted to evaluate qualitative and quantitative muscle changes in old dogs.
To compare signalment, clinical signs, diet, echocardiographic findings, and outcome for pit bull–type breeds diagnosed between 2015 and 2022 with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) or with DCM diagnosed by a cardiologist but that did not meet all study echocardiographic criteria (DCM-C).
91 dogs with DCM and 11 dogs with DCM-C.
Data were collected on clinical findings, echocardiographic measurements, and diet at the time of diagnosis (for 76/91 dogs); echocardiographic changes; and survival.
For dogs with diet information available for time of diagnosis, 64/76 (84%) dogs were eating nontraditional commercial diets, while 12/76 (16%) were eating traditional commercial diets. There were few differences between diet groups at baseline, with congestive heart failure and arrhythmias common in both groups. Thirty-four dogs with known baseline diet and diet change status had follow-up echocardiograms between 60 and 1,076 days later (traditional diet, n = 7; nontraditional diet that changed diets, 27; and nontraditional diet group without diet change, 0). Dogs in the nontraditional diet group that changed diets had a significantly greater decrease in normalized left ventricular diameter (diastolic, P = .02; systolic, P = .048) and the left atrium-to-aorta ratio (P = .002) and a significantly greater increase in fractional shortening (P = .02) compared to dogs eating traditional diets. Dogs eating nontraditional diets with diet change (n = 45; P < .001) and dogs eating traditional diets (12; P < .001) had a significantly longer survival time compared to dogs eating nontraditional diets without diet change (4). Dogs with DCM-C also had significant echocardiographic improvements after diet change.
Congestive heart failure and arrhythmias were common in pit bull–type breeds with DCM. Those eating nontraditional diets that changed diets had significant improvements in echocardiographic measurements after diet change.
Objective—To determine the proportion of dog breeders who fed diets meeting the Association of American Feed Control Officials regulations for nutritional adequacy for reproduction and growth and to investigate factors that influenced feeding practices of breeders.
Design—Web-based cross-sectional survey.
Sample—2,067 dog breeders from the United States and Canada.
Procedures—A self-administered, anonymous, Web-based questionnaire was used to collect information on breeder demographics and feeding practices during 3 life stages of dogs: adult maintenance for nonpregnant dogs, gestation-lactation, and puppy growth. Appropriateness of commercial diets for each life stage was determined by respondent-reported nutritional adequacy statements on product labels. Data were also collected regarding breeder criteria for diet selection and sources of nutrition information.
Results—A substantial number of breeders reported feeding commercial diets not intended for that life stage during gestation-lactation (126/746 [16.9%]) and puppy growth (57/652 [8.7%]). Additionally, approximately one-seventh of breeders reported feeding home-prepared diets for ≥ 1 life stage. Unsubstantiated health and marketing information influenced diet selection of many breeders. Veterinarians, although generally viewed as a trusted source of nutrition information, were consulted by only 823 of 1,669 (49.3%) breeders and were viewed less favorably by breeders feeding home-prepared diets, compared with the opinion of breeders feeding commercial diets.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Veterinarians should consider taking a more proactive role in directing dog breeders and other pet owners toward scientifically substantiated sources of diet information and in explaining the importance of current nutritional standards for reproduction and early development of dogs.
Objective—To determine nutrient intake and dietary patterns in cats with cardiac disease.
Animals—95 cats with congenital cardiac disease or primary cardiomyopathy.
Procedures—Owners completed a standardized telephone questionnaire regarding their cat's diet and a 24-hour food recall to determine daily intake of calories, fat, protein, sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
Results—Of the 95 cats, 18 (19%) had a history of congestive heart failure and 73 (77%) had no clinical signs of cardiac disease. Fifty-five percent (52/95) of cats had concurrent disease. Inappetance was reported in 38% (36/95) of all cats and in 72% (68/95) of cats with a history of congestive heart failure. Most (57% [54/95]) cats received treats or table scraps on a regular basis. Approximately half the cats were receiving orally administered medications, supplements, or both. Only 34% (32/68) of owners used food to administer medications to cats. Cats consumed more than the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) minimums for protein, sodium, potassium, and magnesium, and nearly all cats consumed more than the AAFCO minimum for fat. Daily nutrient intake was variable for all of the nutrients assessed.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dietary intake in cats with cardiac disease was variable, but results for dietary supplement use, food use for medication administration, and treat feeding were different from those found in a similar study of dogs with cardiac disease. This information may be useful for treating and designing nutritional studies for cats with cardiac disease.