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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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