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Melton Mowbray, United Kingdom

Snellgrove D.L.,Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition
The British journal of nutrition | Year: 2011

Aqua feeds should be formulated to provide complete and balanced nutrition to achieve optimal health and growth in fish, including adequate levels of essential amino acids (EAA). There are few or no data relating to the EAA requirements for ornamental fish species, with the majority of quantitative data for these nutrients being available for commercially farmed fish. The determination of EAA requirements is usually established through dose-response studies, which can be costly and time consuming, especially if determining the requirement for many amino acids (AA). An alternative method for predicting the EAA of fish, which is also relatively fast and inexpensive, is the assessment of whole-body AA composition. A total of eight goldfish with a mean wet weight of 34.2 (SEM 1.4) g were obtained as a result of a routine cull by breeders. The fish were freeze-dried and AA was content analysed by hydrolysis or performic 'acid' oxidation. EAA values ranged between 0.97 (SEM 0.02) for tryptophan and 7.9 (SEM 0.14) for lysine (g/100 g AA). Compositional data were also used to estimate the essential amino acid ratios of these fish. The findings are in agreement with those for juvenile common goldfish, suggesting that there are no differences in whole-body AA composition between juvenile and adult, or fancy and common goldfish. However, these indices do not provide a quantitative total amount of each AA required by the fish, but can be used proportionally to provide guidelines to formulate diets for ornamental species.

Colyer A.,Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition
The British journal of nutrition | Year: 2011

The purpose of the present study was first to identify drivers of variance in plasma metabolite profiles of cats and dogs that may affect the interpretation of nutritional metabolomic studies. A total of fourteen cats and fourteen dogs housed in environmentally enriched accommodation were fed a single batch of diet to maintain body weight. Fasting blood samples were taken on days 14, 16 and 18 of the study. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), liquid chromatography (LC)-MS/MS and solid-phase extraction-LC-MS/MS analyses were used for metabolite profiling. Principal component (PC) analysis that indicated 31 and 27 % of the variance was explained in PC1 and PC2 for cats and dogs, respectively, with most individuals occupying a unique space. As the individual was a major driver of variance in the plasma metabolome, the second objective was to identify metabolites associated with the individual variation observed. The proportion of intra- and inter-individual variance was calculated for 109 cat and 101 dog metabolites with a low intra-individual variance (SD < 0.05). Of these, fifteen cat and six dog metabolites had inter-individual variance accounting for at least 90 % of the total variance. There were four metabolites common to both species (campesterol, DHA, a cholestenol and a sphingosine moiety). Many of the metabolites with >75 % inter-individual variance were common to both species and to similar areas of metabolism. In summary, the individual is an important driver of variance in the fasted plasma metabolome, and specific metabolites and areas of metabolism may be differentially regulated by individuals in two companion animal species.

Alexander L.G.,Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition
The British journal of nutrition | Year: 2011

To understand the effects of neutering on food intake, body weight (BW) and body composition in kittens, data from an unrelated study were subjected to post hoc analysis. A total of twelve pairs of 11-week-old female littermates were randomly assigned to either a neutered group (neutered at 19 weeks old) or an entire group (kept entire) and offered free access to a dry diet until the age of 1 year. Neutered kittens exhibited increased food intake and increased BW after neutering (both P < 0.00 001). Food intake (per kg BW) peaked 10 weeks after neutering; the mean intake of neutered kittens was 17 (95 % CI 8, 27) % more than entire littermates (P = 0.00 014). The intake was then reduced until there was no significant difference between the groups 18 weeks post-neutering. By 52 weeks of age, the neutered kittens were 24 (95 % CI 11, 39) % heavier than entire littermates (P < 0.0001) with a body condition score (BCS) 16.6 (95 % CI 0.9, 34.8) % higher (P = 0.0028). Neutered kittens continued to grow significantly fatter after neutering (all P < 0.0014), while entire kittens showed no significant change after 18 weeks of age. As neutered kittens consumed similar amounts of energy to their entire littermates from 18 weeks post-neutering, while their BW, BCS and percentage fat continued to increase, we suggest that neutered kittens have a reduced metabolisable energy requirement, and should therefore be fed to maintain an ideal BCS rather than ad libitum. Moreover, to maintain an ideal BCS, entire kittens consumed 93 (95 % CI 87, 100) % of their theoretical intake at 26 weeks of age, and 79 (95 % CI 72, 87) % at 52 weeks of age, suggesting that the current energy recommendation is inappropriate for these kittens.

Buckley C.M.,Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition
The British journal of nutrition | Year: 2011

It has been reported that daily fluid intake influences urinary dilution, and consequently the risk of urolithiasis in human subjects and dogs. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of dietary moisture on urinary parameters in healthy adult cats by comparing nutritionally standardised diets, varying only in moisture content. A total of six cats were fed a complete dry food (6.3 % moisture) hydrated to 25.4, 53.2 and 73.3 % moisture for 3 weeks in a randomised block cross-over design. Urinary specific gravity (SG), urine volume, water drunk and total fluid intake were measured daily; relative supersaturation (RSS) for calcium oxalate (CaOx) and struvite was calculated using the SUPERSAT computer program. Cats fed the 73.3 % moisture diet produced urine with a significantly lower SG (P < 0.001) compared with diets containing 53.2 % moisture or lower. Mean RSS for CaOx was approaching the undersaturated zone (1.14 (sem 0.21); P = 0.001) for cats fed the diet with 73.3 % moisture and significantly lower than the 6.3 % moisture diet (CaOx RSS 2.29 (sem 0.21)). The effect of diet on struvite RSS was less clear, with no significant difference between treatment groups. Total fluid intake was significantly increased (P < 0.001) in the 73.3 % moisture diet (144.7 (SEM 5.2) ml, or 30 ml/kg body weight per d) compared with the 6.3 % (103.4 (SEM 5.3) ml), 25.4 % (98.6 (SEM 5.3) ml) and 53.3 % (104.7 (SEM 5.3) ml) moisture diets, despite voluntary water intake decreasing as dietary moisture intake increased. Cats fed the 73.3 % moisture diet had a higher total daily fluid intake resulting in a more dilute urine with a lower risk of CaOx when compared with the lower-moisture diets.

Butterwick R.F.,Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition
The British journal of nutrition | Year: 2011

The purpose of the present review is to highlight some of the challenges and issues in developing nutritional guidelines for companion animals, and to provide some insights that may influence their future direction. For this purpose, we have chosen to provide a brief historical review of the development of dog and cat nutrient guidelines, and an analysis of current recommendations and of key institutions and bodies (notably the National Research Council) that are influential in defining nutrient guidelines for companion animals. In addition, we have also included a review of current approaches for defining nutritional guidelines for humans and farm animal livestock, as they provide differing perspectives and insights that may be instructive for the future development of nutritional guidelines for companion animals.

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