Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition

Melton Mowbray, United Kingdom

Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition

Melton Mowbray, United Kingdom
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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.


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.


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.


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.


Fieten H.,University Utrecht | Leegwater P.A.J.,University Utrecht | Watson A.L.,Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition | Rothuizen J.,University Utrecht
Mammalian Genome | Year: 2012

Hereditary forms of copper toxicosis exist in man and dogs. In man, Wilson's disease is the best studied disorder of copper overload, resulting from mutations in the gene coding for the copper transporter ATP7B. Forms of copper toxicosis for which no causal gene is known yet are recognized as well, often in young children. Although advances have been made in unraveling the genetic background of disorders of copper metabolism in man, many questions regarding disease mechanisms and copper homeostasis remain unanswered. Genetic studies in the Bedlington terrier, a dog breed affected with copper toxicosis, identified COMMD1, a gene that was previously unknown to be involved in copper metabolism. Besides the Bedlington terrier, a number of other dog breeds suffer from hereditary copper toxicosis and show similar phenotypes to humans with copper storage disorders. Unlike the heterogeneity of most human populations, the genetic structure within a purebred dog population is homogeneous, which is advantageous for unraveling the molecular genetics of complex diseases. This article reviews the work that has been done on the Bedlington terrier, summarizes what was learned from studies into COMMD1 function, describes hereditary copper toxicosis phenotypes in other dog breeds, and discusses the opportunities for genome-wide association studies on copper toxicosis in the dog to contribute to the understanding of mammalian copper metabolism and copper metabolism disorders in man. © 2011 The Author(s).


Esposito L.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Mccune S.,Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition | Griffin J.A.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Maholmes V.,U.S. National Institutes of Health
Child Development Perspectives | Year: 2011

Research on human-animal interaction (HAI) is a relatively new field of inquiry for developmental scientists seeking to understand the potential role pets play in children's health and well-being. It has been documented that pets offer a source of emotional support to children. However, most studies focusing on how animals affect children's health are limited and stop short of providing answers to key developmental questions. Addressing this need, beginning in 2008, scientists at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, in collaboration with the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, a subsidiary of the Mars Corporation, convened two international conferences of researchers to review the current science on HAI. These groups crafted a research agenda aimed at looking at how animal interaction affects children and promotes optimal development. This article reviews the key themes emerging from the conferences, addresses the application of HAI to child health and development, and discusses the potential of HAI as an important field of inquiry for developmental scientists. © 2011 The Authors. Child Development Perspectives © 2011 The Society for Research in Child Development.


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

Many factors influence the oral health status of cats and dogs. The present study aimed to elucidate the influence of feeding home-prepared (HP) food v. commercial pet food on oral health parameters in these animals and to investigate the effect of home oral hygiene on oral health. The study surveyed 17,184 dogs and 6371 cats visiting over 700 Polish veterinary surgeries in 2006-7 during a Pet Smile activity organised by the Polish Small Animal Veterinary Association. All animals underwent conscious examinations to assess dental deposits, size of mandibular lymph nodes and gingival health. An oral health index (OHI) ranging from 0 to 8 was calculated for each animal by combining examination scores, where 0 indicates good oral health and 8 indicates poorest oral health. Information was collected on age, diet and home oral hygiene regimens. There was a significant effect of diet on the OHI (P < 0.001) whereby feeding the HP diet increased the probability of an oral health problem in both cats and dogs. There was a significant beneficial effect of feeding only commercial pet food compared with the HP diet when at least part of the diet was composed of dry pet food. Daily tooth brushing or the offering of daily dental treats were both effective in significantly reducing the OHI in both cats and dogs compared with those receiving sporadic or no home oral hygiene. Feeding only a dry diet was beneficial for oral health in cats and dogs. Tooth brushing and the offering of dental treats were very effective in maintaining oral health, provided they were practised daily.


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.


Hewson-Hughes A.K.,Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition
The British journal of nutrition | Year: 2011

A charge made against feeding dry foods to cats is that the high carbohydrate (i.e. starch) content results in high blood glucose levels which over time may have detrimental health effects. The present study determined the post-meal concentrations of plasma glucose and insulin in adult cats (seven males and four females) and dogs (Labrador retrievers; four males and five females) fed dry diets with low-starch (LS), moderate-starch (MS) or high-starch (HS) levels. In a cross-over design with at least 7 d between the test meals, plasma glucose and insulin concentrations were measured following a single meal of a LS, MS and HS diet (209 kJ/kg bodyweight). Only the HS diet resulted in significant post-meal increases in plasma glucose concentration in cats and dogs although the time-course profiles were different between the species. In cats, plasma glucose concentration was significantly increased above the pre-meal concentration from 11 h until 19 h after the meal, while in dogs, a significant increase above baseline was seen only at the 7 h time point. Plasma insulin was significantly elevated in dogs 4-8 h following the MS diet and 2-8 h after the HS diet. In cats, plasma insulin was significantly greater than baseline from 3-7 and 11-17 h after the HS diet. The time lag (approximately 11 h) between eating the HS diet and the subsequent prolonged elevation of plasma glucose concentration seen in cats may reflect metabolic adaptations that result in a slower digestive and absorptive capacity for complex carbohydrate.


Hewson-Hughes A.K.,Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition
The British journal of nutrition | Year: 2011

Data from intravenous (i.v.) glucose tolerance tests suggest that glucose clearance from the blood is slower in cats than in dogs. Since different physiological pathways are activated following oral administration compared with i.v. administration, we investigated the profiles of plasma glucose and insulin in cats and dogs following ingestion of a test meal with or without glucose. Adult male and female cats and dogs were fed either a high-protein (HP) test meal (15 g/kg body weight; ten cats and eleven dogs) or a HP + glucose test meal (13 g/kg body-weight HP diet + 2 g/kg body-weight D-glucose; seven cats and thirteen dogs) following a 24 h fast. Marked differences in plasma glucose and insulin profiles were observed in cats and dogs following ingestion of the glucose-loaded meal. In cats, mean plasma glucose concentration reached a peak at 120 min (10.2, 95 % CI 9.7, 10.8 mmol/l) and returned to baseline by 240 min, but no statistically significant change in plasma insulin concentration was observed. In dogs, mean plasma glucose concentration reached a peak at 60 min (6.3, 95 % CI 5.9, 6.7 mmol/l) and returned to baseline by 90 min, while plasma insulin concentration was significantly higher than pre-meal values from 30 to 120 min following the glucose-loaded meal. These results indicate that cats are not as efficient as dogs at rapidly decreasing high blood glucose levels and are consistent with a known metabolic adaptation of cats, namely a lack of glucokinase, which is important for both insulin secretion and glucose uptake from the blood.

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