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  • Author or Editor: Mark Ellersieck x
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Objective—To describe effects of lifetime food restriction on causes of death and the association between body-mass characteristics and time of death in dogs.

Design—Paired-feeding study.

Animals—48 dogs from 7 litters.

Procedures—Dogs were paired, and 1 dog in each pair was fed 25% less food than its pair mate from 8 weeks of age until death. Numerous morphometric and physiologic measures were obtained at various intervals throughout life. Associations of feeding group to time and causes of death were evaluated, along with important associated factors such as body composition components and insulin-glucose responses.

Results—Median life span was significantly longer for the group that was fed 25% less food, whereas causes of death were generally similar between the 2 feeding groups. High body-fat mass and declining lean mass significantly predicted death 1 year prior to death, and lean body composition was associated with metabolic responses that appeared to be integrally involved in health and longevity.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results were similar to results of diet restriction studies in rodents and primates, reflecting delayed death from species- and strain-specific intrinsic causes. Clinicians should be aware that unplanned body mass changes during mid- and later life of dogs may indicate the need for thorough clinical evaluation. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:225–231)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine in dogs what effect using hip conformation scores assigned by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) as a criterion for breeding selections would have on hip conformation scores of the progeny.

Design—Longitudinal study.

Animals—English Setters, Portuguese Water Dogs, Chinese Shar-peis, and Bernese Mountain Dogs for which OFA hip conformation scores were known.

Procedure—Pedigree data were obtained from the national breed clubs and the American Kennel Club and merged with data from the OFA hip conformation score database. An ANOVA was used to evaluate the effects of sex, age at the time of radiographic evaluation, and year of birth on the variation in hip conformation scores among the progeny. Heritability was estimated by use of within-year midparent offspring regression analyses.

Results—Significant differences in progeny hip conformation scores between sexes were not detected, but age at the time of radiographic evaluation and year of birth had a significant effect on hip joint conformation of the progeny. Estimated heritability (mean ± SE) was 0.26 ± 0.03, and dam and sire hip conformation scores had a significant effect on progeny hip conformation scores. Annual decreases in percentage of dysplastic progeny and increases in percentages of progeny and breeding dogs with phenotypically normal hip joint conformation were detected.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that hip conformation scores have moderate heritability in dogs and selection of breeding stock with better hip conformation scores will increase the percentage of progeny with phenotypically normal hip joint conformation. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000; 217:675–680)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To identify the most common cutaneous neoplasms in dogs and evaluate breed and age distributions for selected neoplasms.

Design—Retrospective epidemiological study.

Sample—Records available through the Veterinary Medical Database of dogs examined at veterinary teaching hospitals in North America between 1964 and 2002.

Procedures—Information on tumor type and patient breed and age was collected. Incidence and odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals were calculated.

Results—Records of 1,139,616 dogs were reviewed. Cutaneous neoplasms were diagnosed in 25,996 of these dogs; records for the remaining 1,113,620 dogs did not indicate that cutaneous neoplasms had been diagnosed, and these dogs were considered controls. The most frequent age range for dogs with cutaneous neoplasms was 10 to 15 years. Lipoma, adenoma, and mast cell tumor were the most common skin tumor types.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results supported previously reported data regarding cutaneous neoplasia in dogs but provided updated information on the most common skin tumors and on age and breed distributions.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association