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  • Author or Editor: Richard H. Evans 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 the relationship between the caudolateral curvilinear osteophyte (CCO) and osteoarthritis associated with hip dysplasia in dogs.

Design—Longitudinal cohort study.

Animals—48 Labrador Retrievers from 7 litters.

Procedure—In each of 24 sex- and size-matched pairs fed the same diet, a restricted-fed dog was fed 25% less than a control dog for life. The dogs' hips were evaluated in the standard ventrodorsal hip-extended radiographic projection at 16, 30, and 52 weeks of age and then yearly for life. Histologic examination of hip joint tissues was performed on 45 dogs.

Results—Median age at death was 11.2 years. Adjusting for feeding group, dogs with a CCO were 3.7 times as likely to develop radiographic signs of osteoarthritis than those without a CCO. Stratified by diet, 100% of the control dogs with a CCO developed radiographic signs of osteoarthritis and 55% of restricted-fed dogs with a CCO developed radiographic signs of osteoarthritis. The CCO was the first radiographic change seen in 22 of 29 (76%) dogs with osteoarthritis. Overall, 35 of 37 (95%) dogs with a CCO had histopathologic lesions of osteoarthritis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate a relationship between a CCO on the femoral neck and subsequent development of radiographic signs of osteoarthritis in Labrador Retrievers evaluated over their life span. A CCO is an important early radiographic indication of osteoarthritis associated with canine hip dysplasia. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:233–237)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association