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
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)
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)
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
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)