Objective—To evaluate cartilage and bone biomarkers and body composition in growing large-breed dogs consuming a diet designed for growth.
Animals—43 large-breed 2 month-old-puppies.
Procedures—Dogs were randomly assigned to receive 1 of 2 foods until 18 months of age. Dogs were evaluated at 2, 5, 12, and 18 months of age via dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), CBC, serum biochemical profile, and concentrations or activities of taurine, vitamin E, fatty acids, glutathione peroxidase, C-propeptide of type II collagen (CPII), cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP), carboxy-terminal cross-linked fragment of type II collagen (CTXII), bone specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP), osteocalcin, ghrelin, and growth hormone.
Results—Blood components largely reflected the composition of the foods. Dogs fed the food with a higher concentration of protein, calcium, n-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants had a lower percentage of body fat and greater percentage of lean body mass at 5, 12, and 18 months of age, and higher CPII:CTXII ratio and lower COMP at 18 months of age. The BAP activity, osteocalcin concentration, and CTXII concentration declined with age, whereas COMP concentration and CPII concentration were similar at all time points for both foods.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The BAP activity, osteocalcin concentration, and CTXII concentration were greater during growth than at 18 months of age. The food that was proportionately higher in protein, calcium, n-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants increased lean body mass and may have positively affected cartilage turnover as maturity was attained. Whether the rate of cartilage turnover during growth affects development of orthopedic disease or arthritis in adulthood has yet to be determined.
Objective—To determine an optimal window for determining peak flatulence and evaluate the effects of oligosaccharides and supplemental β-mannanase in soybean meal–based diets on nutrient availability and flatulence.
Procedures—Dogs were used in a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement of treatments in a 6 × 6 Latin square experiment to evaluate the digestibility, flatulence, and fecal odor metabolites of low-oligosaccharide low-phytate soybean meal (LLM), conventional soybean meal (SBM), and poultry by-product (PBP) meal diets with or without supplemental β-mannanase (5 g/kg).
Results—Enzyme supplementation had no effect on total tract dry matter (DM), nitrogen digestibility, or digestible energy; however, differences between protein sources did exist for total tract DM digestibility and digestible energy. The PBP meal had higher DM digestibility and digestible energy (mean, 0.913 and 4,255 cal/g), compared with soy-based diets (mean, 0.870 and 4,049 cal/g). No differences were detected for any treatment regardless of protein source or addition of supplemental enzyme for any flatulence components analyzed. No differences were detected for all fecal odor metabolites regardless of addition of supplemental enzyme; however, differences between protein sources were detected. The PBP meal had lower concentrations of carboxylic acids and esters and higher concentrations of heterocycles, phenols, thio and sulfides, ketones, alcohols, and indoles than LLM and SBM.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Diets containing < 22.4 g of stachyose/kg and < 2 g of raffinose/kg did not alter digestibility or increase flatulence in dogs.
Animals—127 client-owned dogs with osteoarthritis in 1 or more joints from 18 privately owned veterinary clinics.
Procedures—Dogs were randomly assigned to be fed for 6 months with a typical commercial food or a test food containing a 31-fold increase in total omega-3 fatty acid content and a 34-fold decrease in omega-6–omega-3 ratio, compared with the control food. Dog owners completed a questionnaire about their dog's arthritic condition, and investigators performed a physical examination and collected samples for a CBC and serum biochemical analyses (including measurement of fatty acids concentration) at the onset of the study and at 6, 12, and 24 weeks afterward.
Results—Dogs fed the test food had a significantly higher serum concentration of total omega-3 fatty acids and a significantly lower serum concentration of arachidonic acid at 6, 12, and 24 weeks. According to owners, dogs fed the test food had a significantly improved ability to rise from a resting position and play at 6 weeks and improved ability to walk at 12 and 24 weeks, compared with control dogs.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Ingestion of the test food raised blood concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids and appeared to improve the arthritic condition in pet dogs with osteoarthritis.