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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Nutrition is considered a key part of the management of pancreatitis in dogs and cats. While limited prospective research exists, experimental studies, retrospective studies, and anecdote allow for formulation of nutritional guidelines. Historically, fat has been considered the key nutrient of interest in pancreatitis; however, other nutrients and dietary factors, including energy density, digestibility, protein, carbohydrates, and fiber, are all of importance in these patients. Indeed protein particle size may be of greater significance than dietary fat in the management of pancreatitis in cats. Low-fat gastrointestinal diets are frequently recommended in the initial management of pancreatitis in dogs, while hydrolyzed diets are often considered first-line diets in cats with pancreatitis. The presence or absence of comorbid disease may also alter nutritional recommendations. When diseases occur concurrently, the dietary strategies for the most life-threatening illness, or the illness with the greatest impact on quality of life, is recommended to be prioritized. Many dogs and cats with pancreatitis can be transitioned back to their prediagnosis diet or another commercial maintenance diet, provided that significant comorbid disease is absent. Use of a low-fat diet in the long term may be prioritized in dogs with recurrent episodes of pancreatitis.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Nutrition plays a fundamental role in the management of canine chronic enteropathies (CCEs). Dog owners may elect to feed home-cooked diets (HCDs) rather than veterinary commercially prepared diets (CPDs) because of perceived lower costs. There is a paucity of data comparing costs of these options. We hypothesize there will be differences in costs between complete and balanced HCDs and nutritionally comparable CPDs.

SAMPLE

6 Home-cooked diets.

PROCEDURES

Six HCD recipes (2 highly digestible, 2 limited antigen, 2 low-fat) were formulated by 2 board-certified veterinary nutritionists to mimic the nutritional and ingredient profiles of veterinary CPDs for management of CCEs. The cost (in US$ on a per 100 kilocalorie [kcal] basis) of each recipe was determined via collection of ingredient prices from 3 grocery stores combined with supplement prices from online retailers. Prices of CPDs were obtained from a national online retailer. Maintenance energy requirements of 1.6 X (70 X BWkg 0.75), where BWkg represents body weight in kilograms, were calculated for 3 dog sizes (5, 20, and 40 kg), and costs of feeding maintenance energy requirements with HCDs versus dry and canned CPDs were compared with a Kruskal–Wallis test and post hoc testing.

RESULTS

The median costs of all dry and canned CPDs and HCDs were $0.29 (range, $0.18 to $0.46), $1.01 (range, $0.77 to $1.20), and $0.55 (range, $0.35 to $1.14), respectively. Feeding complete and balanced HCDs cost more than feeding dry CPDs (P < .001), but not canned CPDs (P > .99).

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Dry CPDs cost the least for nutritional management of CCEs. There is a wide range of costs for both CPDs and HCDs.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Dietary fiber describes a diverse assortment of nondigestible carbohydrates that play a vital role in the health of animals and maintenance of gastrointestinal tract homeostasis. The main roles dietary fiber play in the gastrointestinal tract include physically altering the digesta, modulating appetite and satiety, regulating digestion, and acting as a microbial energy source through fermentation. These functions can have widespread systemic effects. Fiber is a vital component of nearly all commercial canine and feline diets. Key features of fiber types, such as fermentability, solubility, and viscosity, have been shown to have clinical implications as well as health benefits in dogs and cats. Practitioners should know how to evaluate a diet for fiber content and the current knowledge on fiber supplementation as it relates to common enteropathies including acute diarrhea, chronic diarrhea, constipation, and hairball management. Understanding the fundamentals of dietary fiber allows the practicing clinician to use fiber optimally as a management modality.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To describe findings in dogs with exogenous thyrotoxicosis attributable to consumption of commercially available dog foods or treats containing high concentrations of thyroid hormone.

Design—Retrospective and prospective case series.

Animals—14 dogs.

Procedures—Medical records were retrospectively searched to identify dogs with exogenous thyrotoxicosis attributable to dietary intake. One case was found, and subsequent cases were identified prospectively. Serum thyroid hormone concentrations were evaluated before and after feeding meat-based products suspected to contain excessive thyroid hormone was discontinued. Scintigraphy was performed to evaluate thyroid tissue in 13 of 14 dogs before and 1 of 13 dogs after discontinuation of suspect foods or treats. Seven samples of 5 commercially available products fed to 6 affected dogs were analyzed for thyroxine concentration; results were subjectively compared with findings for 10 other commercial foods and 6 beef muscle or liver samples.

Results—Total serum thyroxine concentrations were high (median, 8.8 μg/dL; range, 4.65 to 17.4 μg/dL) in all dogs at initial evaluation; scintigraphy revealed subjectively decreased thyroid gland radionuclide in 13 of 13 dogs examined. At ≥ 4 weeks after feeding of suspect food or treats was discontinued, total thyroxine concentrations were within the reference range for all dogs and signs associated with thyrotoxicosis, if present, had resolved. Analysis of tested food or treat samples revealed a median thyroxine concentration for suspect products of 1.52 μg of thyroxine/g, whereas that of unrelated commercial foods was 0.38 μg of thyroxine/g.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that thyrotoxicosis can occur secondary to consumption of meat-based products presumably contaminated by thyroid tissue, and can be reversed by identification and elimination of suspect products from the diet.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective

To characterize clinician preferences and justification for preferred methods for managing canine idiopathic acute diarrhea (IAD) and compare results to evidence-based literature.

sample

284 surveys from veterinarians in small animal first-opinion practice.

Methods

Veterinarians were asked to complete a survey (61 questions) including background demographic information, practice type and location, duration in practice, and management questions for canine IAD pertaining to nutritional, probiotic, antimicrobial, antidiarrheal, benign neglect, and other therapies. The survey was available between May 5, 2021, and August 30, 2021.

Results

Respondents reported that their preferred first-line therapy for canine IAD included dietary modification (41.3% of respondents), probiotics (20.1%), antimicrobials (21.2%), antidiarrheal medications (13.0%), and benign neglect (4.3%). The percentage of respondents who reported each therapy as either extremely effective or very effective for canine IAD varied by treatment, as follows: antimicrobials (75.2%), dietary modification (59.13%), antidiarrheal medications (42.5%), probiotics (35.5%), and benign neglect (6.52%). Perceptions of effectiveness, efficiency of treatment, and clinician justification for use were variable among treatments. Reported practice styles were occasionally in disagreement with evidence-based methods of canine IAD management.

Clinical Relevance

Current clinical management of IAD is not consistently in agreement with evidence-based recommendations. The results of this study underscore the continued need to evaluate veterinary prescribing practice trends compared to evidence-based recommendations and promote dissemination of new information.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Assess the accuracy of predicted daily energy requirement (pDER) reported by a triaxial accelerometer and activity monitor for dogs (FitBark 2; FitBark Inc) and determine whether the activity monitor accurately estimates the observed daily energy requirement (oDER). We hypothesized that the activity monitor would accurately estimate oDER in dogs and meet standards established for human devices.

ANIMALS

23 dogs between the ages of 1 and 10 years and variable sex, breed, and body weight were enrolled from May 5, 2021, through July 23, 2021.

METHODS

Dogs were weighed before and after the study period to ensure stable body weights. Owners recorded their dogs’ daily caloric intake for the entire 28-day study period while the device monitored physical activity and calculated pDER. oDER was defined as the reported caloric intake required to maintain a stable body weight over a 28-day period. pDER and oDER were compared using Bland-Altman graphs, Passing-Bablock analysis, and Lin’s Concordance correlation analysis. P ≤ .05 was considered significant.

RESULTS

23 apparently healthy dogs completed the study. There was no significant difference between starting body weights and ending body weights (P= .5). The activity monitor overpredicted 28-day pDER compared to 28-day oDER in the majority (18/23, 78.3%) of dogs. Based on Bland-Altman analysis, Passing-Bablok regression, and Lin’s concordance correlation analysis, there was poor agreement between the pDER and oDER.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

The activity monitors consistently reported inaccurate pDER compared to oDER. Its usability for estimating pDER is of limited clinical and research utility based on the results of this study.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research