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  • Author or Editor: Sherry L. Sanderson x
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Objective—To evaluate the effect of dietary supplementation with sodium chloride (NaCl) on urinary calcium excretion, urine calcium concentration, and urinary relative supersaturation (RSS) with calcium oxalate (CaOx).

Animals—6 adult female healthy Beagles.

Procedure—By use of a crossover study design, a canned diet designed to decrease CaOx urolith recurrence with and without supplemental NaCl (ie, 1.2% and 0.24% sodium on a dry-matter basis, respectively) was fed to dogs for 6 weeks. Every 14 days, 24- hour urine samples were collected. Concentrations of lithogenic substances and urine pH were used to calculate values of urinary RSS with CaOx.

Results—When dogs consumed a diet supplemented with NaCl, 24-hour urine volume and 24-hour urine calcium excretion increased. Dietary supplementation with NaCl was not associated with a change in urine calcium concentration. However, urine oxalate acid concentrations and values of urinary RSS with CaOx were significantly lower after feeding the NaCl-supplemented diet for 28 days.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dietary supplementation with NaCl in a urolith-prevention diet decreased the propensity for CaOx crystallization in the urine of healthy adult Beagles. However, until long-term studies evaluating the efficacy and safety of dietary supplementation with NaCl in dogs with CaOx urolithiasis are preformed, we suggest that dietary supplementation with NaCl be used cautiously. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:319–324)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine owner impressions of 3 premium canine diets when factors such as price and retail source were removed; to compare body condition scores (BCSs) assigned by owners versus a veterinarian; and to determine consistency of owner impressions of diets when owners were not informed that they were feeding the same diet during 2 consecutive periods.

Design—Randomized controlled trial.

Animals—44 healthy adult dogs.

Procedure—During the initial 12 months of the study, dogs were each fed 3 premium diets for 4 months in random order. After feeding each diet for 1 and 4 months, owners completed questionnaires regarding palatability of the diet; the dog's attitude, energy level, fecal consistency, frequency of defecation, hair coat quality, and BCS; and whether they would feed the diet if available commercially. During the last 4 months of the study, owners fed the same diet they had been feeding during the previous 4 months.

Results—Scores for most variables did not differ among diets. However, mean BCS assigned by owners was significantly lower than mean BCS assigned by an investigator, with a moderate correlation between scores. When asked at the end of the third and fourth study periods whether they would consider feeding the diet long-term, 12 of the 44 (27%) owners gave inconsistent responses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate that when unaware of retail price and source, owners have similar impressions of 3 premium diets fed to healthy adult dogs, suggesting that factors other than the diets themselves may affect owner impressions. Owners also underestimate their dog's BCS. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:1931–1936)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate plasma taurine concentrations (PTC), whole blood taurine concentrations (WBTC), and echocardiographic findings in dogs fed 1 of 3 protein-restricted diets that varied in fat and L-carnitine content.

Animals—17 healthy Beagles.

Design—Baseline PTC and WBTC were determined, and echocardiography was performed in all dogs consuming a maintenance diet. Dogs were then fed 1 of 3 protein-restricted diets for 48 months: a low-fat (LF) diet, a high-fat and L-carnitine supplemented (HF + C) diet, or a high-fat (HF) diet. All diets contained methionine and cystine concentrations at or above recommended Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) minimum requirements. Echocardiographic findings, PTC, and WBTC were evaluated every 6 months.

Results—The PTC and WBTC were not significantly different among the 3 groups after 12 months. All groups had significant decreases in WBTC from baseline concentrations, and the HF group also had a significant decrease in PTC. One dog with PT and WBT deficiency developed dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Taurine supplementation resulted in significant improvement in cardiac function. Another dog with decreased WBTC developed changes compatible with early DCM.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Results revealed that dogs fed protein-restricted diets can develop decreased taurine concentrations; therefore, protein-restricted diets should be supplemented with taurine. Dietary methionine and cystine concentrations at or above AAFCO recommended minimum requirements did not prevent decreased taurine concentrations. The possibility exists that AAFCO recommended minimum requirements are not adequate for dogs consuming protein-restricted diets. Our results also revealed that, similar to cats, dogs can develop DCM secondary to taurine deficiency, and taurine supplementation can result in substantial improvement in cardiac function. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1616–1623)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research