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  • Author or Editor: Richard F. Butterwick x
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Abstract

Objective—To determine the effects of increases in dietary intake of polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids on plasma lipid and lipoprotein concentrations and activity of associated enzymes in healthy domestic cats.

Animals—16 healthy adult sexually intact female cats.

Procedures—A baseline diet (40% energy from fat) and 4 test diets, with increased amounts of fat (51% and 66% energy from fat) from the addition of polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids, were fed for 6 weeks each. Plasma cholesterol, triglyceride, and lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations, along with activities of lipoprotein lipase, hepatic lipase, and lecithin-cholesterol acyl transferase, were measured at the end of each feeding period.

Results—Diet, amount of fat, or ratio of polyunsaturated to saturated fatty acids had no effect on plasma concentrations of cholesterol, triglycerides, and very–low-density or high-density lipoproteins or the activity of lecithin-cholesterol acyl transferase. Low-density lipoprotein concentrations were significantly lower in cats fed a high-fat diet containing polyunsaturated fatty acids. Lipoprotein concentration and hepatic lipase activity were significantly higher in cats fed the fat-supplemented diets, and this was unrelated to whether diets were enriched with polyunsaturated or saturated fatty acids.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Diets containing up to 66% of energy from fat were tolerated well by healthy cats and did not affect plasma lipid concentrations. Therefore, high-fat diets probably will not contribute to hypercholesterolemia or hypertriglyceridemia incats.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate viability of a probiotic strain of Lactobacillus acidophilusin a dry dog food, determine its ability to survive transit through the gastrointestinal tract and populate the colon, and assess its effects on intestinal and systemic parameters.

Animals—15 adult dogs.

Procedure—Dogs were sequentially fed a dry control food for 2 weeks, the same food supplemented with > 109 L acidophilus for 4 weeks, and the control food again for 2 weeks. Fecal score was assessed daily, and fecal and blood samples were collected for enumeration of bacterial populations and measurement of hematologic variables.

Results—Recovery of L acidophilus from the supplemented food was 71% and 63% at the start and end of the study, respectively, indicating that the bacteria were able to survive manufacture and storage. The probiotic bacterium was detected in feces via ribotyping and RNA gene sequencing during the probiotic administration phase but not 2 weeks after cessation of administration. Administration of the probiotic-supplemented food was associated with increased numbers of fecal lactobacilli and decreased numbers of clostridial organisms. There were significant increases in RBCs, Hct, hemoglobin concentration, neutrophils, monocytes, and serum immunoglobin G concentration and reductions in RBC fragility and serum NO concentration.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These data indicate that L acidophilus can be successfully incorporated into a dry dog food, survive transit through the canine gastrointestinal tract, and populate the colon and are associated with local and systemic changes. This probiotic bacterium may have the potential to enhance intestinal health and improve immune function in dogs. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:338–343)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine relationships between fecal consistency and colonic microstructure and absorptive function in dogs with and without nonspecific dietary sensitivity.

Animals—12 dogs with nonspecific dietary sensitivity (affected) and 9 healthy dogs (controls).

Procedure—Affected dogs were fed 4 test diets and control dogs, 3 diets for 4 weeks each in a crossover design. Fecal consistency was assessed daily. At the end of each feeding period, electrolyte and water transport were assessed, and colonic biopsy specimens were obtained for histologic examination and measurement of crypt water uptake by use of confocal microscopy.

Results—Feces were consistently looser in affected dogs. In control dogs, we detected net colonic absorption of sodium and chloride and secretion of potassium and bicarbonate. Absorption of sodium and chloride was less in affected dogs, compared with controls, indicating that electrolyte transport was disrupted in affected dogs. This disruption was accentuated during feeding of diets associated with significantly poorer fecal consistency (ie, loose feces). Fecal consistency was inversely correlated with crypt water absorption, which was reduced in affected dogs. Colonic crypts were shorter and less dense in affected dogs fed diets associated with poor fecal consistency, compared with affected dogs fed other diets or with control dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Colonic transport function is a major determinant of fecal consistency in dogs. Dogs with nonspecific dietary sensitivity are particularly susceptible to diet-induced changes in absorptive function. Such changes are associated with damage to colonic microstructure, disrupted electrolyte transport, and failure to dehydrate luminal contents. (Am J Vet Res 2002; 63:617–622).

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effect of dietary supplementation with the probiotic strain Lactobacillus acidophilus DSM13241 in healthy adult cats.

Animals—15 adult cats.

Procedures—Cats were fed a nutritionally complete dry food for 5 weeks. Fecal character was assessed daily, and a single fecal sample and 3-mL blood sample were collected for bacterial enumeration and hematologic analysis, respectively. Cats were then fed the same diet supplemented with L acidophilus DSM13241 (2 × 108 CFU/d) for 4.5 weeks. Repeat fecal and hematologic measurements were taken prior to the return to control diet for a 4-week period.

Results—The probiotic species was recovered from feces, demonstrating survival through the feline gastrointestinal tract. Probiotic supplementation was associated with increased numbers of beneficial Lactobacillus and L acidophilus groups in feces and decreased numbers of Clostridium spp and Enterococcus faecalis, indicating an altered bacterial balance in the gastrointestinal tract microflora. Fecal pH was also decreased suggesting a colonic environment selective for the beneficial lactic acid bacterial population. Systemic and immunomodulatory effects were associated with administration of L acidophilus DSM13241 including altered cell numbers within WBC subsets and enhanced phagocytic capacity in the peripheral granulocyte population. In addition, plasma endotoxin concentrations were decreased during probiotic feeding, and RBCs had a decreased susceptibility to osmotic pressure.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Probiotic strain L acidophilus DSM13241 fed at 2 × 108 CFU/d can alter the balance of gastrointestinal microflora in healthy cats. Furthermore, administration of this probiotic results in beneficial systemic and immunomodulatory effects in cats.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine effects of age and sex on plasma lipid and lipoprotein metabolism in cats.

Animals—33 kittens and 16 adolescent, 23 adult, and 10 senior cats.

Procedure—Plasma concentrations of cholesterol, triglyceride, and lipoprotein-cholesterol and activities of lipoprotein lipase, hepatic lipase, and lecithin:cholesterol acyl transferase (LCAT) were measured and compared within and among groups.

Results—Plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations were significantly higher in 5- and 7-week-old kittens, compared with the same kittens after weaning and cats in the other age groups. Cholesterol concentration was significantly less in 20-week-old kittens, compared with adolescent and adult cats. Lipid and lipoprotein-cholesterol concentrations were not significantly different among the adolescent, adult, and senior groups, nor did sex influence lipid and lipoprotein-cholesterol concentrations in these groups. Activities of lipoprotein and hepatic lipases were significantly less in senior cats, compared with the other groups. Activity of LCAT was highest in 20-week-old kittens and was greater in sexually intact adult and adolescent females, compared with their male counterparts. After castration, activities of hepatic lipase and LCAT significantly decreased in adolescent male cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The upper limits of reference ranges for plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations should be increased for kittens < 8 weeks of age. Low cholesterol concentrations in adolescent cats likely reflect high tissue demands for growth and steroidogenesis. Decrease in lipoprotein and hepatic lipase activity in senior cats could predispose this age group to hypertriglyceridemia, particularly in insulin-resistant cats or those fed a high fat diet. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:331–336)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To develop a noninvasive method for the in vivo assessment of flatulence in dogs.

Animals—8 adult dogs.

Procedure—Rectal gases were collected via a perforated tube held close to each dog's anus and attached to a monitoring pump fitted with a sensor that recorded hydrogen sulfide concentrations every 20 seconds. Patterns of flatulence were monitored for 14 hours after feeding on 4 days, and within- and between-dog variation was assessed over 4 hours on 4 consecutive days. Rate of hydrogen sulfide production (flatulence index) and frequency and number of emissions were evaluated as potential indicators of flatus characteristics. An odor judge assigned an odor rating to each flatulence episode, and the relationship between that rating and hydrogen sulfide concentration was determined.

Results—Flatulence patterns varied within and between dogs. Variation was most pronounced for flatulence index; mean coefficients of variance within dogs over time and between dogs on each day were 75 and 103%, respectively. Flatus with hydrogen sulfide concentrations > 1 parts per million could be detected by the odor judge, and severity of malodor was highly correlated with hydrogen sulfide concentration. Odor ratings were accurately predicted by use of the equation 1.51 × hydrogen sulfide concentration0.28.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The technique described in this report appears to provide sensitive, reliable, and relevant data and will enable further studies of the factors that influence flatulence in dogs. Use of this technique also has the potential to aid in investigations of colonic physiology and pathology. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1014–1019).

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether feeding activated charcoal, Yucca schidigera, and zinc acetate would ameliorate the frequency and odor characteristics of flatulence in dogs.

Design—In vitro screening of active agents followed by a randomized controlled trial.

Animals—8 adult dogs.

Procedure—A fecal fermentation system was used to assess the effects of activated charcoal, Yucca schidigera, and zinc acetate alone and in combination on total gas production and production of hydrogen sulfide, the primary determinant of flatus malodor in dogs. All 3 agents were subsequently incorporated into edible treats that were fed 30 minutes after the dogs ate their daily rations, and the number, frequency, and odor characteristics of flatulence were measured for 5 hours, using a device that sampled rectal gases and monitored hydrogen sulfide concentrations.

Results—Total gas production and number and frequency of flatulence episodes were unaffected by any of the agents. Production of hydrogen sulfide in vitro was significantly reduced by charcoal, Yucca schidigera, and zinc acetate by 71, 38, and 58%, respectively, and was reduced by 86% by the combination of the 3 agents. Consumption of the 3 agents was associated with a significant decrease (86%) in the percentage of flatulence episodes with bad or unbearable odor and a proportional increase in the percentage of episodes of no or only slightly noticeable odor.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that activated charcoal, Yucca schidigera, and zinc acetate reduce malodor of flatus in dogs by altering the production or availability of hydrogen sulfide in the large intestine. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218: 892–896)

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objectives—To determine the effects of racing and training on serum thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) concentrations in Greyhounds.

Animals—9 adult racing Greyhounds.

Procedure—Serum thyroid hormone concentrations were measured before and 5 minutes after a race in dogs trained to race 500m twice weekly for 6 months. Resting concentrations were measured again when these dogs had been neutered and had not raced for 3 months. Postrace concentrations were adjusted relative to albumin concentration to allow for effects of hemoconcentration. Thyroid hormone concentrations were then compared with those of clinically normal dogs of non-Greyhound breeds.

Results—When adjusted for hemoconcentration, total T4 concentrations increased significantly after racing and TSH concentrations decreased; however, there was no evidence of a change in free T4 or total or free T3 concentrations. Resting total T4 concentrations increased significantly when dogs had been neutered and were not in training. There was no evidence that training and neutering affected resting TSH, total or free T3, or free T4 concentrations. Resting concentrations of T3, TSH, and autoantibodies against T4, T3, and thyroglobulin were similar to those found in other breeds; however, resting free and total T4 concentrations were lower than those found in other breeds.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Except for total T4, thyroid hormone concentrations in Greyhounds are affected little by sprint racing and training. Greyhounds with low resting total and free T4 concentrations may not be hypothyroid. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1969–1972)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine effects of increased dietary protein and decreased dietary carbohydrate on hematologic variables, body composition, and racing performance in Greyhounds.

Animals—8 adult Greyhounds.

Procedure—Dogs were fed a high-protein (HP; 37% metabolizable-energy [ME] protein, 33% ME fat, 30% ME carbohydrate) or moderate-protein (MP; 24% ME protein, 33% ME fat, 43% ME carbohydrate) extruded diet for 11 weeks. Dogs subsequently were fed the other diet for 11 weeks (crossover design). Dogs raced a distance of 500 m twice weekly. Rectal temperature, hematologic variables before and after racing, plasma volume, total body water, body weight, average weekly food intake, and race times were measured at the end of each diet period.

Results—When dogs were fed the MP diet, compared with the HP diet, values (mean ± SD) differed significantly for race time (32.43 ± 0.48 vs 32.61 ± 0.50 seconds), body weight (32.8 ± 2.5 vs 32.2 ± 2.9 kg), Hct before (56 ± 4 vs 54 ± 6%) and after (67 ± 3 vs 64 ± 8%) racing, and glucose (131 ± 16 vs 151 ± 27 mg/dl) and triglyceride (128 ± 17 vs 104 ± 28 mg/dl) concentrations after racing.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Greyhounds were 0.18 seconds slower (equivalent to 0.08 m/s or 2.6 m) over a distance of 500 m when fed a diet with increased protein and decreased carbohydrate. Improved performance attributed to feeding meat to racing Greyhounds apparently is not attributable to increased dietary protein and decreased dietary carbohydrate. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:440–447)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether mild restriction of food intake affects clinicopathologic variables, body composition, and performance of dogs undertaking intense sprint exercise.

Animals—9 trained healthy adult Greyhounds.

Procedure—Dogs were offered food free choice once daily for 9 weeks until body weight and food intake stabilized. Dogs were then randomly assigned to be fed either 85% or 100% of this quantity of food in a crossover study (duration of each diet treatment period, 9 weeks). Dogs raced a distance of 500 m twice weekly. Clinicopathologic variables were assessed before and 5 minutes after racing; food intake, weight, body composition, body condition score, and race times were compared at the end of each diet period.

Results—Compared with values associated with unrestricted access to food, there were significant decreases in mean body weight (by 6%) and median body condition score (from 3.75 to 3.5 on a 9-point scale) and the mean speed of the dogs was significantly faster (by 0.7 km/h) when food intake was restricted. Body composition and most clinicopathologic variables were unaffected by diet treatment, but dogs given restricted access to food had slightly fewer neutrophils, compared with values determined when food intake was unrestricted.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate that the common practice among Greyhound trainers of mildly restricting food intake of racing dogs to reduce body weight does improve sprint performance. A body condition score of approximately 3.5 on a 9-point scale is normal for a trained Greyhound in racing condition. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1065–1070)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research