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Taurine levels in healthy dogs of different size fed with different commercial food
Dilated cardiomyopathy is thought to be associated with low blood taurine concentration in dogs. This large study examines the effect of signalment, body size and diet on plasma taurine and whole blood taurine concentrations in more than 130 dogs. The results are extremely interesting!

A total of 131 normal dogs consuming commercially prepared dog food had blood drawn 3-5 h post-prandially to be analysed for plasma amino acids and whole blood taurine.

Body weight and morphometric measurements of each dog were taken.

Plasma and whole blood taurine concentrations were 77 +/- 2.1 nmol/ml (mean +/- SEM) and 266 +/- 5.1 nmol/ml (mean +/- SEM), respectively.

No effect of age, sex, body weight, body size, or diet was seen on plasma and whole blood taurine concentrations.

Mean whole blood taurine concentrations were lower in dogs fed diets containing whole grain rice, rice bran or barley.

The lowest whole blood concentrations were seen in dogs fed lamb or lamb meal and rice diets.

Plasma methionine and cysteine concentrations were lower in dogs fed diets with animal meals or turkey, and whole grain rice, rice bran or barley.

Fifteen of 131 dogs had plasma taurine concentrations lower than, or equal, to the previously reported lowest mean food-deprived plasma taurine concentration in normal dogs of 49 +/- 5 nmol/ml (mean +/- SEM) (Elliott et al., 2000).

These findings support the theory that taurine deficiency in dogs may be related to the consumption of certain dietary ingredients.

Scientific and clinical evidence supports the hypothesis that dilated cardiomyopathy is associated with low blood taurine concentration in dogs; therefore, further work is indicated to determine the mechanism by which diet can affect taurine status in dogs.



Source: Delaney SJ, Kass PH, Rogers QR, Fascetti AJ. (2003): Plasma and whole blood taurine in normal dogs of varying size fed commercially prepared food. In: J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2003 Jun;87(5-6):236-44.




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SMALL ANIMAL PRACTICE

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