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Hidden Risk: Aflatoxins in Pet Food

Hidden Risk: Aflatoxins in Pet Food

Recently in the news, there has been a large concern in the pet industry with dog foods potentially contaminated with aflatoxin. An international recall of pet food products was issued in December 2020, as many dogs became ill after eating contaminated dog food. According to the FDA, the recalled products contained potentially fatal levels of these toxins. In September 2020, a pet food sample was found to contain unsafe levels of aflatoxins, resulting in Sunshine Mills to announce a recall of the tested pet food product and other products made with the same corn. 

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Congratulations, Hannah!

Hannah’s thesis is titled, “Effects of additional dietary choline on food intake, body weight and body composition, respiratory quotient, serum lipid profile, and serum metabolic signature in post-gonadectomy kittens.”

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Cut the Fat But Support the Cat

Cut the Fat But Support the Cat Dr. Caitlin Grant demonstrates a gap in essential nutrient intake when cats eat fewer calories for weight loss

When treating and preventing obesity in our companion animals, it is not uncommon for caregivers and members of the healthcare team to question: How low is too low when restricting calories for weight loss? Are our cats meeting their nutrient requirements during weight loss?

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On the World Stage, From Home – ESVCN Congress 2020

On the World Stage, From Home – ESVCN Congress 2020

Last week was the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition (ESVCN) Congress, presented remotely to maintain the safe delivery of data to the world of animal veterinary and comparative nutrition. Due to the need for the congress to proceed virtually, our team was unable to socialize and network with colleagues from around the world. The virtual format was well organized, featuring session times allowing for a breadth of international attendance.

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Congratulations Caitlin!

Congratulations to Dr. Caitlin Grant (ECVCN Resident) for defending her thesis today and successfully completing her Doctor of Veterinary Science (DVSc) with the Clinical Nutrition team!

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Global Animal Nutrition Summit 2020 (GANS2020)

Global Animal Nutrition Summit 2020 (GANS2020) Update from the OVC Pet Nutrition Team

From August 12-15th, the University of Guelph was proud to be the first virtual host to the Global Animal Nutrition Summit (GANS). This event was very special to the OVC Pet Nutrition team, as Drs. Adronie Verbrugghe and Sarah Abood were two of the co-chairs of this summit. Additionally, all the members of the OVC Pet Nutrition team worked hard behind the scenes to make this event a success.  

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Program for the Global Animal Nutrition Summit (GANS) is now live!

https://youtu.be/tOpsTd_FJDw

The Ontario Veterinary College and Ontario Agricultural College of the University of Guelph are proud to be hosting the Global Animal Nutrition Summit (GANS). A conference designed to bring leaders in animal science, comparative nutrition and veterinary nutrition together for the first time ever. This global nutrition summit is a collaboration between eight international animal nutrition organizations.

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2020 AAVN Symposium

2020 AAVN Clinical Nutrition and Research Symposium Update from the OVC Pet Nutrition Team

From June 10th – 11th the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition (AAVN) hosted its 20th annual meeting and first virtual AAVN Clinical Nutrition and Research Symposium. While the event was originally scheduled to be held in Baltimore (USA), the global pandemic with COVID-19 forced organizers to change to a virtual format. Fortunately, this did not detract from a great program with excellent research presented on a wide variety of topics: feeding methods in horses, renal care in senior cats, dietary interventions on the canine microbiome, and obesity prevention, treatment, and communication.   

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When a Little Means a Lot

Our team's work was recently showcased at the Canadian Nutrition Society's Annual Conference, hosted virtually this year. MSc student, Hannah Godfrey, had the opportunity to present her study, Choline supplementation lowered body weight, body condition score, and daily food intake compared to a control in post-gonadectomized kittens. Despite it's potential health and behavioural benefits, spay and neuter surgery has been demonstrated to increase the risk of obesity. By supplementing growing kittens with choline after their neuter surgeries, dietary choline might provide a preventive effect against obesity.

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A Growing Problem

Some may consider a few extra pounds on our furry companions to be little cause for concern, but our team, alongside the surgical, clinical studies and Smith Lane Animal Hospital OVC teams, demonstrated data to refute this. MSc student, Amanda Santarossa, and Dr. Adronie Verbrugghe, published a study showing that patients who experienced the rupture of their cranial-cruciate ligament were more likely to be overweight or obese. As anticipated, the patients with a cruciate ligament tear were found to have a decreased amount of muscle mass in the affected limb and a greater amount of fat. A cruciate ligament tear will result in instability in the joint, pain, reduced function and may require surgical correction. Entitled, Body composition of medium to giant breed dogs with or without cranial cruciate ligament disease, the study was just published in Veterinary Surgery. Congratulations to Amanda, the OVC Clinical Nutrition Team and collaborators!

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Leaving No Bowl Unturned

In a recent study published in Veterinary and Comparative Oncology, our team surveyed owners of pets undergoing treatment for cancer to evaluate the prevalence of unconventional diets and supplements, finding a greater number of pet owners with pets undergoing cancer treatment were exploring alternative options as part of their treatment program. The abstract, Unconventional diets and nutritional supplements are more common in dogs with cancer compared to healthy dogs: An online global survey of 345 dog owners, was published and studied by our gradate, Adriana Bianco and our own Dr. Adronie Verbrugge, Dr. Sarah Abood, OVC's Dr. Jason Coe, Dr. Paul Woods, and Dr. Anthony Mutsaers.

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It’s What Inside That Counts

Research previously conducted on mice concluded differences in microbiota in obese vs. lean mice. This feline study, recently published in BMC Veterinary Research by our own Dr. Adronie Verbrugghe and our prior DVSc student, Dr. Moran Tal, along with OVC's Dr. Scott Weese, sought to investigate the microbiome of obese cats who embarked on a weight loss program. Entitled, Bacterial fecal microbiota is only minimally affected by a standardized weight loss plan in obese cats, the study concluded that little change was demonstrated in microbial populations following a successful weight loss program.

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Ask, And You Shall Succeed!

In a study recently published in the Journal Of Veterinary Medical Association, OVC's Dr. Jason Coe, in collaboration with our own Dr. Adronie Verbrugghe, found that the key to taking an accurate nutrition history is all about asking the right questions. Entitled, Effects of three diet history questions on the amount of information gained from a sample of pet owners in Ontario, Canada, the study examined the effects of three diet history questions on the amount and type of diet-related information gathered from pet owners. To assess the effect of each question asked, the history taken as a result of each question was compared against information collected via a diet history survey. Using broad, open questions or requests that invite expansion from pet owners, for example "Tell me everything Fluffy eats in a day", are the best approach for gathering diet-related information.

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My Cup Runneth Over

Congratulations to our team members, Alexandra Rankovic and Dr. Jackie Parr, who coauthored a published study investigating the inaccuracies of measuring cups for preparation of a pet's daily food ration. Along with the Ontario Veterinary College's Dr. Jason Coe as the lead author, their paper entitled, Dog owner's accuracy measuring different volumes of dry dog food using three different measuring devices, was published in the BMJ Journals Vet Record.

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