ResearchPad - pets-and-companion-animals https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Canine hip dysplasia screening: Comparison of early evaluation to final grading in 231 dogs with Fédération Cynologique Internationale A and B]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15741 This study aimed to verify if a significant difference exists between parameters in the early evaluation of normal and near-normal hip joints, to evaluate the influence of age and breed on the parameters, and to clarify the usefulness of a total score for differentiating between Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) grade A and B hips.MethodsA total of 231 dogs were classified according to whether they had FCI A or B hips at adulthood, with measurements obtained at 14–28 weeks of age. The total score was calculated by the summation of the following quantitative parameters: angle of subluxation (AS), angle of reduction (AR), laxity index (LI), and dorsal acetabular rim slope (DARS). Logistic regression analysis was performed to establish the probability of the study population to develop an FCI B hip based on the total score. This was repeated for the highest score in combination with the worst-rated hip and once more for breeds.ResultsNo correlation between age and the parameters was found in the cohort, or for FCI A and B. The values of all the parameters were significantly lower in the FCI A group than in the FCI B group (AR: 4.42° ± 6.0° vs 7.62° ± 7.2°; AS: 0.45° ± 1.9° vs 1.55° ± 3.8°; LI: 0.32 ± 0.1 vs 0.36 ± 0.1; DARS: 3.30° ± 1.8° vs 3.77° ± 1.9°; TS: 11.47 ± 8.3 vs 16.65 ± 10.9). Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers showed significant differences between parameters for both FCI grades. The range, where FCI A and B hips can be predicted on the basis of the total score, was different when assessed for the entire cohort, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers.Clinical significanceOur results show that even in normal and near-normal hips, the parameters significantly differed in the early evaluation. Moreover, cutoff values should be set for different breeds in the prediction of the FCI grade during early evaluation for a better breeding selection regarding canine hip dysplasia, one of the most common orthopedic diseases among large and giant breed dogs. ]]> <![CDATA[Development of plasma and whole blood taurine reference ranges and identification of dietary features associated with taurine deficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy in golden retrievers: A prospective, observational study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14758 A surge in Food and Drug Administration (FDA) consumer complaints identified concerns that legume-rich, grain-free diets were associated with nutritionally-mediated dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Golden retrievers represent the most reported breed affected by this condition and previous studies documented the disease is responsive to dietary change and taurine supplementation. Although dietary findings across cases are compelling, prospective studies with control groups are lacking. The role of diet in developing taurine deficiency and echocardiographic changes consistent with DCM in healthy dogs is unknown.ObjectivesWe hypothesized that golden retrievers eating non-traditional diets are at a higher risk of having taurine deficiency and nutritionally-mediated DCM compared with those eating traditional commercial diets. We aimed to compare taurine concentrations and echocardiographic indices of systolic function between golden retrievers in each diet group and elucidate associations between diet and these variables. Additionally, we aimed to generate breed-specific reference intervals for whole blood and plasma taurine concentrations.Animals86 golden retrievers.MethodsGolden retrievers eating traditional or non-traditional diets were evaluated and diet history, taurine concentrations and echocardiographic data were collected. Dietary features, taurine concentrations and echocardiographic findings were compared between diet groups. Relative risks were calculated for the likelihood of echocardiographic abnormalities and taurine deficiency in each diet group. Breed-specific reference intervals were constructed for taurine concentrations in dogs from the traditional diet group.ResultsGolden retrievers eating non-traditional diets had significantly lower taurine concentrations and more frequent systolic dysfunction. Breed specific reference intervals are higher than previously reported across breeds.ConclusionsNon-traditional diets, which were typically grain-free and contained legumes in this study, were significantly associated with and have increased relative risk for the identification of taurine deficiency and echocardiographic abnormalities consistent with nutritionally-mediated DCM. These findings were identifiable in the absence of clinical signs and support the findings of multiple previous studies and the ongoing FDA investigation. ]]> <![CDATA[A genome-wide association study of deafness in three canine breeds]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14705 Congenital deafness in the domestic dog is usually related to the presence of white pigmentation, which is controlled primarily by the piebald locus on chromosome 20 and also by merle on chromosome 10. Pigment-associated deafness is also seen in other species, including cats, mice, sheep, alpacas, horses, cows, pigs, and humans, but the genetic factors determining why some piebald or merle dogs develop deafness while others do not have yet to be determined. Here we perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify regions of the canine genome significantly associated with deafness in three dog breeds carrying piebald: Dalmatian, Australian cattle dog, and English setter. We include bilaterally deaf, unilaterally deaf, and matched control dogs from the same litter, phenotyped using the brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) hearing test. Principal component analysis showed that we have different distributions of cases and controls in genetically distinct Dalmatian populations, therefore GWAS was performed separately for North American and UK samples. We identified one genome-wide significant association and 14 suggestive (chromosome-wide) associations using the GWAS design of bilaterally deaf vs. control Australian cattle dogs. However, these associations were not located on the same chromosome as the piebald locus, indicating the complexity of the genetics underlying this disease in the domestic dog. Because of this apparent complex genetic architecture, larger sample sizes may be needed to detect the genetic loci modulating risk in piebald dogs.

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<![CDATA[Identification of separation-related problems in domestic cats: A questionnaire survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N096b59e8-8c6c-4ade-a9c3-2213a89d5014

Identifying and preventing the occurrence of separation-related problems (SRP) in companion animals are relevant to animal welfare and the quality of human-pet interactions. The SRP are defined as a set of behaviors and physiological signs displayed by the animal when separated from its attachment person. In cats, SRP has been insufficiently studied. Thus, the objective of this study was to develop a questionnaire for cat owners which identifies behaviors that may indicate SRP, as well as relates the occurrence of SRP to the management practices applied in the sampled cats. The associations of SRP with cats’ characteristics, as well as owner, environmental, and management traits were investigated. The questionnaire was developed based on the scientific literature about separation anxiety syndrome in dogs and a few papers in cats, and it was completed by 130 owners of 223 cats. Analysis of owners’ answers was done through categorization and acquisition of relative frequencies of each response category, followed by Fisher’s exact test, chi-square tests in contingency table and Multiple Correspondence Analysis. Among the sampled animals, 13.45% (30 / 223) met at least one of the behavioral criteria we used to define SRP. Destructive behavior was the most frequently reported behavior (66.67%, 20 / 30), followed by excessive vocalization (63.33%, 19 / 30), urination in inappropriate places (60.00%, 18 / 30), depression-apathy (53.33%, 16 / 30), aggressiveness (36.67%, 11 / 30) and agitation-anxiety (36.67%, 11 / 30) and, in lower frequency, defecation in inappropriate places (23.33%, 7 / 30). The occurrence of SRP was associated with the number of females living in the residence (P = 0.01), with not having access to toys (P = 0.04), and no other animal residing in the house (P = 0.04). Separation-related problems in domestic cats are difficult to identify due to the limited amount of knowledge regarding the issue. The questionnaire developed in this study supported identification of the main behaviors likely related to SRP in cats and could be used as a starting point for future research.

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<![CDATA[Is it time to stop sweeping data cleaning under the carpet? A novel algorithm for outlier management in growth data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N6ac4201b-e1d9-4dac-b706-1c6b88e127a6

All data are prone to error and require data cleaning prior to analysis. An important example is longitudinal growth data, for which there are no universally agreed standard methods for identifying and removing implausible values and many existing methods have limitations that restrict their usage across different domains. A decision-making algorithm that modified or deleted growth measurements based on a combination of pre-defined cut-offs and logic rules was designed. Five data cleaning methods for growth were tested with and without the addition of the algorithm and applied to five different longitudinal growth datasets: four uncleaned canine weight or height datasets and one pre-cleaned human weight dataset with randomly simulated errors. Prior to the addition of the algorithm, data cleaning based on non-linear mixed effects models was the most effective in all datasets and had on average a minimum of 26.00% higher sensitivity and 0.12% higher specificity than other methods. Data cleaning methods using the algorithm had improved data preservation and were capable of correcting simulated errors according to the gold standard; returning a value to its original state prior to error simulation. The algorithm improved the performance of all data cleaning methods and increased the average sensitivity and specificity of the non-linear mixed effects model method by 7.68% and 0.42% respectively. Using non-linear mixed effects models combined with the algorithm to clean data allows individual growth trajectories to vary from the population by using repeated longitudinal measurements, identifies consecutive errors or those within the first data entry, avoids the requirement for a minimum number of data entries, preserves data where possible by correcting errors rather than deleting them and removes duplications intelligently. This algorithm is broadly applicable to data cleaning anthropometric data in different mammalian species and could be adapted for use in a range of other domains.

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<![CDATA[Methods of olfactory ensheathing cell harvesting from the olfactory mucosa in dogs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89778fd5eed0c4847d2ff8

Olfactory ensheathing cells are thought to support regeneration and remyelination of damaged axons when transplanted into spinal cord injuries. Following transplantation, improved locomotion has been detected in many laboratory models and in dogs with naturally-occurring spinal cord injury; safety trials in humans have also been completed. For widespread clinical implementation, it will be necessary to derive large numbers of these cells from an accessible and, preferably, autologous, source making olfactory mucosa a good candidate. Here, we compared the yield of olfactory ensheathing cells from the olfactory mucosa using 3 different techniques: rhinotomy, frontal sinus keyhole approach and rhinoscopy. From canine clinical cases with spinal cord injury, 27 biopsies were obtained by rhinotomy, 7 by a keyhole approach and 1 with rhinoscopy. Biopsy via rhinoscopy was also tested in 13 cadavers and 7 living normal dogs. After 21 days of cell culture, the proportions and populations of p75-positive (presumed to be olfactory ensheathing) cells obtained by the keyhole approach and rhinoscopy were similar (~4.5 x 106 p75-positive cells; ~70% of the total cell population), but fewer were obtained by frontal sinus rhinotomy. Cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea was observed in one dog and emphysema in 3 dogs following rhinotomy. Blepharitis occurred in one dog after the keyhole approach. All three biopsy methods appear to be safe for harvesting a suitable number of olfactory ensheathing cells from the olfactory mucosa for transplantation within the spinal cord but each technique has specific advantages and drawbacks.

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<![CDATA[How effective are trained dogs at alerting their owners to changes in blood glycaemic levels?: Variations in performance of glycaemia alert dogs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c4fd5eed0c484bd17a7

Aims

Domestic dogs are trained to a wide variety of roles including an increasing number of medical assistance tasks. Glycaemia alert dogs are reported to greatly improve the quality of life of owners living with Type 1 diabetes. Research into their value is currently sparse, on small numbers of dogs and provides conflicting results. In this study we assess the reliability of a large number of trained glycaemic alert dogs at responding to hypo- and hyper-glycaemic (referred to as out-of-range, OOR) episodes, and explore factors associated with variations in their performance.

Methods

Routine owner records were used to assess the sensitivity and specificity of each of 27 dogs, trained by a single UK charity during almost 4000 out-of-range episodes. Sensitivity and positive predictive values are compared to demographic factors and instructors’ ratings of the dog, owner and partnership.

Results

Dogs varied in their performance, with median sensitivity to out-of-range episodes at 70% (25th percentile = 50, 75th percentile = 95). To hypoglycaemic episodes the median sensitivity was 83% (66–94%) while to hyperglyaemic episodes it was 67% (17–91%). The median positive predictive value (PPV) was 81% (68–94%), i.e. on average 81% of alerts occurred when glucose levels were out of target range. For four dogs, PPV was 100%. Individual characteristics of the dog, the partnership and the household were significantly associated with performance (e.g., whether the dog was previously a pet, when it was trained, whether its partner was an adult or child).

Conclusions

The large sample shows that the individual performance of dogs is variable, but overall their sensitivity and specificity to OOR episodes are better than previous studies suggest. Results show that optimal performance of glycaemic alert dogs depends not only on good initial and ongoing training, but also careful selection of dogs for the conditions in which they will be working.

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<![CDATA[Plant-based (vegan) diets for pets: A survey of pet owner attitudes and feeding practices]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478ca4d5eed0c484bd39b0

People who avoid eating animals tend to share their homes with animal companions, and moral dilemma may arise when they are faced with feeding animal products to their omnivorous dogs and carnivorous cats. One option to alleviate this conflict is to feed pets a diet devoid of animal ingredients—a ‘plant-based’ or ‘vegan’ diet. The number of pet owners who avoid animal products, either in their own or in their pets’ diet, is not currently known. The objective of this study was to estimate the number of meat-avoiding pet owners, identify concerns regarding conventional animal- and plant-based pet food, and estimate the number of pets fed a plant-based diet. A questionnaire was disseminated online to English-speaking pet owners (n = 3,673) to collect data regarding pet owner demographics, diet, pet type, pet diet, and concerns regarding pet foods. Results found that pet owners were more likely to be vegetarian (6.2%; 229/3,673) or vegan (5.8%; 212/3,673) than previously reported for members of the general population. With the exception of one dog owned by a vegetarian, vegans were the only pet owners who fed plant-based diets to their pets (1.6%; 59/3,673). Of the pet owners who did not currently feed plant-based diets but expressed interest in doing so, a large proportion (45%; 269/599) desired more information demonstrating the nutritional adequacy of plant-based diets. Amongst all pet owners, the concern most commonly reported regarding meat-based pet foods was for the welfare of farm animals (39%; 1,275/3,231). The most common concern regarding strictly plant-based pet foods was regarding the nutritional completeness of the diet (74%; 2,439/3,318). Amongst vegans, factors which predicted the feeding of plant-based diets to their pets were concern regarding the cost of plant-based diets, a lack of concern regarding plant-based diets being unnatural, and reporting no concern at all regarding plant-based diets for pets. Given these findings, further research is warranted to investigate plant-based nutrition for domestic dogs and cats.

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<![CDATA[Controlled clinical trial of canine therapy versus usual care to reduce patient anxiety in the emergency department]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5edd5eed0c484caa2e8

Objective

Test if therapy dogs reduce anxiety in emergency department (ED) patients.

Methods

In this controlled clinical trial (NCT03471429), medically stable, adult patients were approached if the physician believed that the patient had “moderate or greater anxiety.” Patients were allocated on a 1:1 ratio to either 15 min exposure to a certified therapy dog and handler (dog), or usual care (control). Patient reported anxiety, pain and depression were assessed using a 0–10 scale (10 = worst). Primary outcome was change in anxiety from baseline (T0) to 30 min and 90 min after exposure to dog or control (T1 and T2 respectively); secondary outcomes were pain, depression and frequency of pain medication.

Results

Among 93 patients willing to participate in research, 7 had aversions to dogs, leaving 86 (92%) were willing to see a dog six others met exclusion criteria, leaving 40 patients allocated to each group (dog or control). Median and mean baseline anxiety, pain and depression scores were similar between groups. With dog exposure, median anxiety decreased significantly from T0 to T1: 6 (IQR 4–9.75) to T1: 2 (0–6) compared with 6 (4–8) to 6 (2.5–8) in controls (P<0.001, for T1, Mann-Whitney U and unpaired t-test). Dog exposure was associated with significantly lower anxiety at T2 and a significant overall treatment effect on two-way repeated measures ANOVA for anxiety, pain and depression. After exposure, 1/40 in the dog group needed pain medication, versus 7/40 in controls (P = 0.056, Fisher’s exact test).

Conclusions

Exposure to therapy dogs plus handlers significantly reduced anxiety in ED patients.

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<![CDATA[Overexpression of prostate specific membrane antigen by canine hemangiosarcoma cells provides opportunity for the molecular detection of disease burdens within hemorrhagic body cavity effusions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c366808d5eed0c4841a6ea5

Background

Canine hemangiosarcoma (cHSA) is a highly metastatic mesenchymal cancer that disseminates by hematogenous and direct implantation routes. Therapies for cHSA are generally ineffective, in part due to advanced clinical disease stage at the time of diagnosis. The validation of conventional molecular methods for detecting novel biomarkers preferentially expressed by cHSA could lead to more timely diagnosis, earlier therapeutic interventions, and improved outcomes. In humans, prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is a transmembrane protein overexpressed by prostate carcinoma and tumor-associated endothelium of various solid cancer histologies. Importantly, the preferential overexpression of PSMA by certain cancers has been leveraged for the development of diagnostic molecular imaging reagents and targeted therapeutics. Recently, PSMA has been qualitatively demonstrated to be expressed in cHSA cell lines, however, quantitative PSMA expressions and the potential utility of PSMA transcript identification in biologic fluids to support the presence of microscopic cHSA burden has not been reported. Therefore, this study sought to characterize the differential quantitative expressions of PSMA between cHSA and non-malignant tissues, and to determine the potential diagnostic utility of PCR-generated PSMA amplicons as a surrogate of rare cHSA cells dwelling within peritoneal and pericardial cavities.

Methods

Quantitative gene and protein expressions for PSMA were compared between one normal endothelial and six cHSA cell lines by RT-PCR, western blot analysis, and fluorescent microscopy. Additionally, gene and protein expressions of PSMA in normal canine tissues were characterized. Graded expressions of PSMA were determined in spontaneously-arising cHSA tumor samples and the feasibility of qualitative PCR as a molecular diagnostic to detect PSMA transcripts in whole blood from healthy dogs and hemorrhagic effusions from cHSA-bearing dogs were evaluated.

Results

PSMA gene and protein expressions were elevated (up to 6-fold) in cHSA cells compared with non-malignant endothelium. By immunohistochemistry, protein expressions of PSMA were detectable in all cHSA tissue samples evaluated. As predicted by human protein atlas data, PSMA’s expression was comparably identified at substantial levels in select normal canine tissues including kidney, liver, and intestine. In young healthy pet dogs, PSMA amplicons could not be identified in circulating whole blood yet were detectable in hemorrhagic effusions collected from pet dogs with confirmed cHSA or PSMA-expressing cancer.

Conclusions

PSMA is quantitatively overexpressed in cHSA compared to normal endothelium, but its protein expression is not restricted to only cHSA tumor tissues, as specific visceral organs also substantively express PSMA. Optimized qualitative PCR methods failed to amplify PSMA amplicons sufficiently for visible detection in circulating whole blood derived from healthy young dogs, yet PSMA transcripts were readily identifiable in hemorrhagic effusions collected from pet dogs with histologically confirmed cHSA or PSMA-expressing cancer. While preliminary, findings derived from a limited cohort of normal and diseased pet dogs provocatively raise the potential value of PSMA amplicon detection as an ancillary molecular diagnostic test for supporting the presence of microscopic cHSA disease burden within hemorrhagic body cavity effusions.

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<![CDATA[Whole genome variant association across 100 dogs identifies a frame shift mutation in DISHEVELLED 2 which contributes to Robinow-like syndrome in Bulldogs and related screw tail dog breeds]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cf03d5eed0c484913d1e

Domestic dog breeds exhibit remarkable morphological variations that result from centuries of artificial selection and breeding. Identifying the genetic changes that contribute to these variations could provide critical insights into the molecular basis of tissue and organismal morphogenesis. Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers share many morphological and disease-predisposition traits, including brachycephalic skull morphology, widely set eyes and short stature. Unlike other brachycephalic dogs, these breeds also exhibit vertebral malformations that result in a truncated, kinked tail (screw tail). Whole genome sequencing of 100 dogs from 21 breeds identified 12.4 million bi-allelic variants that met inclusion criteria. Whole Genome Association of these variants with the breed defining phenotype of screw tail was performed using 10 cases and 84 controls and identified a frameshift mutation in the WNT pathway gene DISHEVELLED 2 (DVL2) (Chr5: 32195043_32195044del, p = 4.37 X 10−37) as the most strongly associated variant in the canine genome. This DVL2 variant was fixed in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs and had a high allele frequency (0.94) in Boston Terriers. The DVL2 variant segregated with thoracic and caudal vertebral column malformations in a recessive manner with incomplete and variable penetrance for thoracic vertebral malformations between different breeds. Importantly, analogous frameshift mutations in the human DVL1 and DVL3 genes cause Robinow syndrome, a congenital disorder characterized by similar craniofacial, limb and vertebral malformations. Analysis of the canine DVL2 variant protein showed that its ability to undergo WNT-induced phosphorylation is reduced, suggesting that altered WNT signaling may contribute to the Robinow-like syndrome in the screwtail breeds.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of ground reaction force measurements in a population of Domestic Shorthair and Maine Coon cats]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1ab86bd5eed0c484027fa5

Current research on gait analysis mostly involves horses and dogs. Feline kinetics and kinematics are being investigated and receiving more clinical interest at present. Ground reaction forces measured on pressure-sensitive mattresses have been established in healthy Domestic Shorthair cats (DSH). Currently, no further information exists on either breed-specific measured gait reaction forces or comparisons among breeds. Because Maine Coon (MC) cats appear to be over-represented with orthopaedic diseases of the hind limb (hip dysplasia, patellar luxation), we evaluated ground reaction force GRF measurements in MC cats and compared them with those of DSH cats. Pre-evaluation radiological and clinical exams determined that the cats were not lame. The parameters evaluated were peak vertical force (PFz), vertical impulse (IFz), time to PFz (TPFz), step length (SL), paw contact area (PCA), stance phase duration (SPD) and symmetry index (SI) for the fore- and hind limbs. In both breeds, PFz and IFz were greater in forelimbs than in hind limbs. The PFz and IFz in Newtons were higher in the MC cats compared to the DSH cats, but not after normalisation for total force (%TF) and body mass (%BM). Furthermore, due to their body conformation, MC cats have a longer SL, larger PCA, and higher body weight than DSH cats. No other parameters differed significantly, except that the TPFz displayed an earlier value in the MC hind limbs. Measured symmetry indices were similar to those reported in dogs and did not differ between breeds. This is the first study to report GRF values and temporospatial parameters in a healthy MC cat population. However, our results could not confirm differences between normalized PFz and IFz and temporospatial parameters between the breeds. The authors therefore conclude that genetic or other causes may be involved in orthopaedic hind limb pathogenesis seen in MC cats more often than in other breeds.

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<![CDATA[Taurine deficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy in golden retrievers fed commercial diets]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1c0ac0d5eed0c4844269f9

Introduction

Golden retrievers are over-represented in cases of taurine-deficient dilated cardiomyopathy and recently a surge in cases has prompted further investigation.

Objective

To describe the clinical, dietary, and echocardiographic features in golden retrievers diagnosed with taurine deficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy, and to determine specific dietary associations. A second aim was to determine the whole blood taurine concentrations in a representative sample of healthy golden retrievers.

Animals

Twenty-four client-owned golden retrievers with documented taurine deficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy and 52 healthy client-owned golden retrievers.

Methods

In this multicenter prospective observational study, baseline and follow-up echocardiographic data, complete diet and medical histories, and whole blood, plasma, or serum taurine concentrations were obtained. Baseline and follow-up echocardiographic data were compared. Associations were evaluated between specific diets and taurine deficiency or congestive heart failure. The prevalence of low whole blood taurine concentrations in the healthy golden retrievers was calculated.

Results

Twenty-three of 24 dogs diagnosed with taurine deficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy were fed diets that were either grain-free, legume-rich, or a combination of these factors. None of these diets were feeding trial tested using Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) procedures. Twenty-three of 24 dogs had significant improvement in their echocardiographic parameters and normalization of taurine concentrations following diet change and taurine supplementation. Nine of 11 dogs diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF) had resolution of their congestion at follow-up with five no longer requiring diuretic therapy and four tolerating diuretic dose reduction by >50%.

Conclusions

Certain diets and diet characteristics were associated with the development of taurine deficiency. Taurine deficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy in golden retrievers is likely multifactorial, including a combination of dietary, metabolic, and genetic factors.

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<![CDATA[Benefit-cost analysis of the policy of mandatory annual rabies vaccination of domestic dogs in rabies-free Japan]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c215187d5eed0c4843fa9e9

Japan is one of the few rabies-free countries/territories which implement the policy of mandatory vaccination of domestic dogs. In order to assess the economic efficiency of such policy in reducing the economic burden of a future canine rabies outbreak in Japan, a benefit-cost analysis (BCA) was performed using probabilistic decision tree modelling. Input data derived from simulation results of published mathematical model, field investigation conducted by the authors at prefectural governments, literature review, international or Japanese database and empirical data of rabies outbreaks in other countries/territories. The current study revealed that the annual costs of implementing the current vaccination policy would be US$160,472,075 (90% prediction interval [PI]: $149,268,935–171,669,974). The economic burden of a potential single canine rabies outbreak in Japan were estimated to be US$1,682,707 (90% PI: $1,180,289–2,249,283) under the current vaccination policy, while it would be US$5,019,093 (90% PI: $3,986,882–6,133,687) under hypothetical abolition of vaccination policy, which is 3-fold higher. Under a damage-avoided approach, the annual benefits of implementing the current vaccination policy in expected value were estimated to be US$85.75 (90% PI: $55.73–116.89). The benefit-cost ratio (BCR) was estimated to be 5.35 X 10−7 (90% PI: 3.46 X 10−7–7.37 X 10−7), indicating that the implementation of the current policy is very economically inefficient for the purpose of reducing the economic burden of a potential canine rabies outbreak. In worse-case scenario analysis, the BCR would become above 1 (indicating economic efficiency) if the risk of rabies introduction increased to 0.04 corresponding to a level of risk where rabies would enter Japan in 26 years while the economic burden of a rabies outbreak under the abolition of vaccination policy increased to $7.53 billion. Best-case analysis further revealed that under relatively extreme circumstances the economic efficiency of the current policy could be improved by decreasing the vaccination price charged to dog owners, relaxing the frequency of vaccination to every two to three years and implementing the policy on a smaller scale, e.g. only in targeted prefectures instead of the whole Japan.

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<![CDATA[Zoonotic multidrug-resistant microorganisms among small companion animals in Germany]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141e88d5eed0c484d270af

Antimicrobial multidrug-resistant microorganisms (MDRO) can be transmitted between companion animals and their human owners. Aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of extended spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-E) and Staphylococcus aureus including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) in different companion animal species. Dogs (n = 192), cats (n = 74), and rabbits (n = 17), treated in a veterinary practice and hospital or living in an animal shelter and private households, were sampled. All facilities were located in a region characterized by a high density of pig production. Nasal, buccal and perianal swabs were enriched and cultured on solid chromogenic selective media. A subgroup of 20 animals (13 dogs, 3 cats, 4 rabbits) was analyzed for the presence of staphylococci other than S. aureus. Amongst all animals (n = 283), twenty dogs (10.4%) and six cats (8.1%) carried S. aureus. MRSA was found in five dogs (2.6%) and two cats (2.7%). Isolates were of spa types t011, t034, t108 (all mecA-positive, ST398), and t843 (mecC-positive, ST130), typical for livestock-associated (LA)-MRSA. Except for one dog, MRSA-positive animals did not have direct contact to husbandry. ESBL-Escherichia coli (blaCTX-M/blaTEM/blaSHV genes) were present in seven dogs (3.6%), one cat (1.4%) possessed a cefotaxime-resistant Citrobacter freundii isolate (blaTEM/blaCMY-2 genes). MDRO carriage was associated with animals from veterinary medical settings (p<0.05). One dog and one rabbit carried methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci. The exclusive occurrence of MRSA lineages typically described for livestock stresses the impact of MDRO strain dissemination across species barriers in regional settings. Presence of ESBL-E and LA-MRSA among pets and probable dissemination in clinical settings support the necessity of a “One Health” approach to address the potential threats due to MDRO-carrying companion animals.

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<![CDATA[Dog alerting and/or responding to epileptic seizures: A scoping review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c102875d5eed0c4842472c1

Recently, there has been a rising interest in service dogs for people with epilepsy. Dogs have been reported as being sensitive to epileptic episodes in their owners, alerting before and/or responding during or after a seizure, with or without specific training. The purpose of this review is to present a comprehensive overview of the scientific research on seizure-alert/response dogs for people with epilepsy. We aimed to identify the existing scientific literature on the topic, describe the characteristics of seizure-alert/response dogs, and evaluate the state of the evidence base and outcomes. Out of 28 studies published in peer-reviewed journals dealing with this topic, only 5 (one prospective study and four self-reported questionnaires) qualified for inclusion according to PRISMA guidelines. Reported times of alert before seizure varied widely among dogs (with a range from 10 seconds to 5 hours) but seemed to be reliable (accuracy from ≥70% to 85% according to owner reports). Alerting behaviors were generally described as attention-getting. The alert applied to many seizure types. Dogs mentioned as being seizure-alert dogs varied in size and breed. Training methods differed between service animal programs, partially relying on hypothesized cues used by dogs (e.g., variations in behavior, scent, heart rate). Most studies indicated an increase in quality of life and a reduction in the seizure frequency when living with a dog demonstrating seizure-related behavior. However, the level of methodological rigor was generally poor. In conclusion, scientific data are still too scarce and preliminary to reach any definitive conclusion regarding the success of dogs in alerting for an impending seizure, the cues on which this ability may be based, the best type of dog, and associated training. While these preliminary data suggest that this is a promising topic, further research is needed.

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<![CDATA[Genomic characterization of the Braque Français type Pyrénées dog and relationship with other breeds]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c117b55d5eed0c484698b51

The evaluation of genetic variability is a useful research tool for the correct management of selection and conservation strategies in dog breeds. In addition to pedigree genealogies, genomic data allow a deeper knowledge of the variability and genetic structure of populations. To date, many dog breeds, such as small regional breeds, still remain uncharacterized. Braque Français type Pyrénées (BRA) is a dog breed originating from a very old type of gun-dog used for pointing the location of game birds to hunters. Despite the ancient background, the knowledge about levels of genetic diversity, degree of inbreeding and population structure is scarce. This may raise concerns on the possibility that few inbred bloodlines may dominate the breed, and on its future health. The aim of this work was therefore to provide a high-resolution representation of the genome-wide diversity and population structure of BRA dogs, using the 170K genome-wide SNP array. Genome-wide polymorphisms in BRA were compared with those of other worldwide dog breeds. Between-dog relationships estimated from genomic data were very similar to pedigree relationships (Pearson correlation rg,a = 0.92). Results showed that BRA generally presents moderate levels of genetic diversity when compared with the major canine breeds. The estimated effective population size (recent Ne = 51) shows a similar declining pattern over generations as all other dog breeds, pointing at a common demographic history of modern canine breeds, clearly different from the demography of feral wolves. Multidimensional scaling (MDS), Bayesian clustering and Neighbor Joining tree were used to visualize and explore the genetic relationships among breeds, and revealed that BRA was highly differentiated and presented only low levels of admixture with other breeds. Brittany Spaniel, English Setter, Gordon Setter and Weimaraner dogs are the closest breeds to BRA. The exact reason for BRA being so divergent from other dog breeds, based on these results, is not yet clear. Further studies including additional ≪braccoid≫ breeds will be needed to refine the results presented here and to investigate the origin of the BRA breed. Nonetheless, the genome-wide characterization reported here provides a comprehensive insight into the genome diversity and population structure of the Braque Français, type Pyrénées breed.

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<![CDATA[Characterization of the fecal and mucosa-associated microbiota in dogs with colorectal epithelial tumors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b28b376463d7e126303d29f

Colorectal epithelial tumors occur spontaneously in dogs, and the pathogenesis seems to parallel that of humans. The development of human colorectal tumorigenesis has been linked to alterations in the composition of the intestinal microbiota. This study characterized the fecal- and mucosa-associated microbiota in dogs with colorectal epithelial tumors (n = 10). The fecal microbiota was characterized by 16S rDNA analysis and compared with that of control dogs (n = 13). We also determined the mucosa-associated microbiota composition in colonic tumor tissue (n = 8) and in adjacent non-tumor tissue (n = 5) by 16S rDNA- and rRNA profiling. The fecal microbial community structure in dogs with tumors was different from that of control samples and was distinguished by oligotypes affiliated with Enterobacteriaceae, Bacteroides, Helicobacter, Porphyromonas, Peptostreptococcus and Streptococcus, and lower abundance of Ruminococcaceae, Slackia, Clostridium XI and Faecalibacterium. The overall community structure and populations of mucosal bacteria were not different based on either the 16S rDNA or the 16S rRNA profile in tumor tissue vs. adjacent non-tumor tissue. However, the proportion of live, potentially active bacteria appeared to be higher in non-tumor tissue compared with tumor tissue and included Slackia, Roseburia, unclass. Ruminococcaeceae, unclass. Lachnospiraceae and Oscillibacter. Colorectal tumors are rarely diagnosed in dogs, but despite this limitation, we were able to show that dogs with colorectal tumors have distinct fecal microbiota profiles. These initial results support the need for future case-control studies that are adequately powered, as well as age-matched and breed-matched, in order to evaluate the influence of bacteria on colorectal cancer etiopathogenesis and to determine whether the bacteria may have potential as biomarkers in clinical settings.

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<![CDATA[Does Subjective Rating Reflect Behavioural Coding? Personality in 2 Month-Old Dog Puppies: An Open-Field Test and Adjective-Based Questionnaire]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da10ab0ee8fa60b79597

A number of studies have recently investigated personality traits in non-human species, with the dog gaining popularity as a subject species for research in this area. Recent research has shown the consistency of personality traits across both context and time for adult dogs, both when using questionnaire based methods of investigation and behavioural analyses of the dogs’ behaviour. However, only a few studies have assessed the correspondence between these two methods, with results varying considerably across studies. Furthermore, most studies have focused on adult dogs, despite the fact that an understanding of personality traits in young puppies may be important for research focusing on the genetic basis of personality traits. In the current study, we sought to evaluate the correspondence between a questionnaire based method and the in depth analyses of the behaviour of 2-month old puppies in an open-field test in which a number of both social and non-social stimuli were presented to the subjects. We further evaluated consistency of traits over time by re-testing a subset of puppies. The correspondence between methods was high and test- retest consistency (for the main trait) was also good using both evaluation methods. Results showed clear factors referring to the two main personality traits ‘extroversion,’ (i.e. the enthusiastic, exuberant approach to the stimuli) and ‘neuroticism,’ (i.e. the more cautious and fearful approach to the stimuli), potentially similar to the shyness-boldness dimension found in previous studies. Furthermore, both methods identified an ‘amicability’ dimension, expressing the positive interactions the pups directed at the humans stranger, and a ‘reservedness’ dimension which identified pups who largely chose not to interact with the stimuli, and were defined as quiet and not nosey in the questionnaire.

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<![CDATA[Why do people buy dogs with potential welfare problems related to extreme conformation and inherited disease? A representative study of Danish owners of four small dog breeds]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdbbec

A number of dog breeds suffer from welfare problems due to extreme phenotypes and high levels of inherited diseases but the popularity of such breeds is not declining. Using a survey of owners of two popular breeds with extreme physical features (French Bulldog and Chihuahua), one with a high load of inherited diseases not directly related to conformation (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel), and one representing the same size range but without extreme conformation and with the same level of disease as the overall dog population (Cairn Terrier), we investigated this seeming paradox. We examined planning and motivational factors behind acquisition of the dogs, and whether levels of experienced health and behavior problems were associated with the quality of the owner-dog relationship and the intention to re-procure a dog of the same breed. Owners of each of the four breeds (750/breed) were randomly drawn from a nationwide Danish dog registry and invited to participate. Of these, 911 responded, giving a final sample of 846. There were clear differences between owners of the four breeds with respect to degree of planning prior to purchase, with owners of Chihuahuas exhibiting less. Motivations behind choice of dog were also different. Health and other breed attributes were more important to owners of Cairn Terriers, whereas the dog’s personality was reported to be more important for owners of French Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels but less important for Chihuahua owners. Higher levels of health and behavior problems were positively associated with a closer owner-dog relationship for owners of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Chihuahuas but, for owners of French Bulldogs, high levels of problems were negatively associated with an intention to procure the same breed again. In light of these findings, it appears less paradoxical that people continue to buy dogs with welfare problems.

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