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Nutritional evaluation of commercial dry dog foods in Chile
A question many dog and cat owners ask worldwide: Can we be sure that the ingredients of commercial pet food are declared on a correct way? Sometimes not, as this interesting study from Chile shows which predicted the nutritional value of dog foods sold in Chile by using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS).

Fifty-nine dry foods for adult and growing dogs were collected, ground and scanned across the visible/NIR range and subsequently analysed for dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), crude fibre (CF), total fat, linoleic acid, gross energy (GE), estimated metabolizable energy (ME) and several amino acids and minerals.

Calibration equations were developed by modified partial least squares regression, and tested by cross-validation.

Standard error of cross validation (SECV) and coefficient of determination of cross validation were used to select best equations. Equations with good predicting accuracy were obtained for DM, CF, CP, GE and fat.

Several amino acids were also well predicted, such as arginine, leucine, isoleucine, phenylalanine–tyrosine (combined), threonine and valine.

Intermediate values, appropriate for ranking purposes, were obtained for ME, histidine, lysine and methionine–cysteine.

Tryptophan, minerals or linoleic acid were not acceptably predicted, irrespective of the mathematical treatment applied.

It is concluded that NIR can be successfully used to predict important nutritional characteristics of commercial dog foods.


Source: Alomar, D., Hodgkinson, S., Abarzúa, D., Fuchslocher, R., Alvarado, C. & Rosales, E. (2006): Nutritional evaluation of commercial dry dog foods by near infrared reflectance spectroscopy. In: Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 90 (5-6), 223-229.




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SMALL ANIMAL PRACTICE

Reference intervals for blood parameters in Shetland Sheepdogsmembers
Several breeds have physiological peculiarities that induce variations in reference intervals (RIs) compared with the general canine population. Shetland sheepdogs (SSs) are reported to be more predisposed to different diseases (eg, hyperlipidemia, gallbladder mucocele, and hypothyroidism). Consequently, a breed‐specific approach is more often required. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine whether the RIs of the general canine population could be applied to that of SSs, and to generate breed‐specific RIs, where appropriate.

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