Research by DogRisk

Here you can find some of the wonderful and much needed materials that the DogRisk research team has produced and published! 

Canine atopic dermatitis (CAD) is a multifactorial disease including genetic predisposition and other predisposing factors like living environment and diet. There is no known cure for this disease. The right and functional treatment can be hard to find, and more effort should be put into the prevention. The aim of this thesis was to find environmental factors and breeds associated with allergic skin symptoms and atopic dermatitis in pet dogs.

In addition, the effect of a raw diet on gene expression, physiology and metabolism was studied with clinical diet intervention trial setup, using client-owned dogs. A population of 8643 dogs from the validated DOGRISK questionnaire was used to analyse the environmental factors and dog characteristics related to CAD.

Five breeds with the most owner-reported skin symptoms as a percentage within the breed were found to be i) West Highland white terrier, ii) boxer, iii) English bulldog, iv) Dalmatian, and v) French bulldog.

When FCI breed groups were compared to mixed-breed dogs, groups 3 (Terriers) and 6 (Scent hounds and related breeds) had a significantly higher risk for owner-reported skin symptoms.

On the other hand, groups 5 (Spitz and primitive types) and 10 (Sighthounds) had a significantly lower risk for owner-reported skin symptoms. The environmental factors found significantly associated with less owner-reported skin symptoms and veterinary-verified CAD were i) being born in the owner family and ii) living with other dogs. In addition, significant association of less owner-reported skin symptoms was found with dogs living in a detached house. Factors that were significantly associated with more owner-reported skin symptoms included extremely clean household and over 50 % of white colour in the coat.

In the clinical diet intervention study, 46 client-owned atopic and healthy Staffordshire bull terriers were fed two different kind of diets (raw and dry food). Haematological and clinical chemistry profiles, folate, B12, iron, and transforming growth factor β1 (TGF- β1) concentration were analyzed. In addition, gene expression profiles were determined from the skin samples of eight dogs. Cholesterol was significantly increased in the dry food fed dogs and decresed in the raw food fed dogs. In addition, the raw food significantly decreased, among others, alkaline phosphatase and glucose. Plasma folate and B12 and whole blood iron were significantly decreased, and TGF- β1 significantly increased by the raw food diet.

The skin gene expression was also affected by the diet. There were genes related to immune defence, reactive oxygen species and antioxidants upregulated in the dogs fed raw food. Several genes were found differentially expressed between atopic and healthy dogs, some unrelated to diet fed and some differentially affected by the diet in atopic and healthy dogs.

These results are preliminary and should be confirmed using more samples. Nevertheless, they give an interesting and novel information about the effect of the diet on the skin gene expression.

In conclusion, this thesis presents results from different study designs all concentrating on the same disease, canine atopic dermatitis. Many results presented here are related to immune defence and exposure to microbes. Too clean environment and food might not stimulate the immunity enough and could lead to incorrect development of the immune system in young animals. The incomplete stimulation could result in CAD and hypersensitivities later in life, and should be considered when thinking of the prevention of these diseases.

Read the full study "Relationships between environment, diet, transcriptome and atopic dermatitis in dogs" here.

Feeding pets raw meat-based diets (RMBDs) is commonly practiced by many companion animal owners and has received increasing attention in recent years. It may be beneficial for the animals, but may also pose a health risk for both pets and their owners, as RMBDs may be contaminated by enteric pathogens—such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Yersinia—which are the most common zoonotic bacteria causing enteritis in humans.

Little information exists on the prevalence of these pathogens in pet food, and thus one aim was to investigate the prevalence of Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Yersinia in commercial RMBDs from retail stores. Little evidence also exists on the significance of raw meat feeding on the shedding of Campylobacter, Salmonella, and enteropathogenic Yersinia in the feces of pets, and therefore, the second goal was to study the presence of these pathogens in dogs and cats fed RMBDs.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) only sporadically detected Campylobacter, Salmonella, and enteropathogenic Yersinia in RMBDs. These pathogens were not found by culturing, indicating a low contamination level in frozen RMBDs. They were also detected in the feces of dogs and cats, but the association with feeding RMBDs to them remained unclear.

You can find the full study "Raw Meat-Based Diets in Dogs and Cats" here.

The aim of this cross-sectional study was to observe whether environmental factors and phenotypic traits are associated with owner-reported skin problems and with veterinary diagnosed canine atopic dermatitis (CAD). Data were collected using the validated online DOGRISK questionnaire.

Out of the data that the questionnaire provides for analysis, focus was first turned towards addressing questions regarding ‘Atopy/allergy (skin symptoms)’ using a total of 8643 dogs: 1585 dogs with owner-reported allergic/atopic skin symptoms and 7058 dogs without.

A subsequent analysis compared dogs with veterinary-verified CAD (n = 322) as a case group against the 7058 dogs without owner-reported skin symptoms. The association between 21 factors related to the environment, canine phenotypes and breed groups within both populations were analysed using univariable and multivariable logistic regression.

The environmental factors that showed a significant inverse association with the risk of owner-reported allergic/atopic skin symptoms were as following: whether the dog was living in a detached house, whether there were other dogs in the household, and whether the dog was born in the current household.

Having over 50% white colour in the coat and living in an extremely clean household were significantly associated with an increased risk of owner-reported allergic/atopic skin symptoms. The five breeds demonstrating the highest proportion of owner-reported allergic/atopic skin symptoms were West Highland white terrier, Boxer, English bulldog, Dalmatian and French bulldog.

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) dog breed groups 3 (Terriers) and 6 (Scent hounds and related breeds) showed a significantly higher risk for owner-reported allergic/atopic skin symptoms than mixed breed dogs.

In the second population, the inverse association was observed between the risk of CAD and the presence of other dogs in the household, and whether the dog had been born in the current household.

The results indicate that some environmental factors and canine phenotypes are associated with CAD and owner-reported skin symptoms, but they still do not prove causality.

You can find the full study "Environmental and phenotype-related risk factors for owner-reported allergic/atopic skin symptoms and for canine atopic dermatitis verified by veterinarian in a Finnish dog population" here.

In recent years, increasing numbers of consumers have become interested in feeding raw food for their pet dogs as opposed to commercial dry food, in the belief of health advantages. However, raw meat and internal organs, possibly contaminated by pathogens such as Campylobacter spp., may pose a risk of transmission of zoonoses to the pet owners.

Campylobacter jejuni is the leading cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in humans but C. upsaliensis has also been associated with human disease.

In this study we investigated the effect of different feeding strategies on the prevalence of Campylobacter spp. in Finnish dogs. We further characterized the isolates using multilocus sequence typing (MLST), whole-genome (wg) MLST and antimicrobial susceptibility testing.

Dogs were sampled before and after a feeding period consisting of commercial raw feed or dry pellet feed. Altogether 56% (20/36) of the dogs yielded at least one Campylobacter-positive fecal sample. C. upsaliensis was the major species detected from 39% of the dogs before and 30% after the feeding period. Two C. jejuni isolates were recovered, both from raw-fed dogs after the dietary regimen.

The isolates represented the same genotype (ST-1326), suggesting a common infection source. However, no statistically significant correlation was found between the feeding strategies and Campylobacter spp. carriage. The global genealogy of MLST types of dog and human C. upsaliensis isolates revealed weakly clonal population structure as most STs were widely dispersed. Major antimicrobial resistance among C. upsaliensis isolates was against streptomycin (STR MIC > 4 mg/l).

Apart from that, all isolates were highly susceptible against the antimicrobials tested. Mutations were found in the genes rpsL or rpsL and rsmG in streptomycin resistant isolates. In conclusion, increasing trend to feed dogs with raw meat warrants more studies to evaluate the risk associated with raw feeding of pets in transmission of zoonoses to humans.

You can find the full study "Population Genetics and Antimicrobial Susceptibility of Canine Campylobacter Isolates Collected before and after a Raw Feeding Experiment" here.

The DOGRISK questionnaire is an internet-based ongoing study of canine nutrition, living environment, and disease. Here we aim to assess the performance of the questionnaire using data from the first three years in relation to some descriptive and disease variables. We used associated questions, official register records, test-retest repeatability, and email/mail contact with questionnaire respondents.

Reliability against an official register of gender, season of birth, breed, and results of hip radiography was tested and Cohen's Kappa was between 0.95-0.99. Internal consistencies of hypothyroidism status and dog's age were calculated using Cronbach's Alpha (α = 0.95 and α = 0.99, respectively). Test-retest repeatability of ten variables among 224 participants was analyzed. Gender, season of birth, and born in owner family had Cohen's Kappa > 0.86, color of coat, vaccination status as an adult, other dogs in household, and vaccination status as a puppy had Cohen's Kappa between 0.67-0.80, and body condition score under two months of age and tidiness of household, had Cohen's kappa of 0.45 and 0.42, respectively. In addition, time spent outside had Cohen's kappa of 0.37. Of the owners contacted by email/mail to confirm their dog's atopy/allergy (skin symptoms), 8.9% reported that they had given an incorrect answer (positive predicted value 91%), but only 69% of all reaffirmed positive answers had a diagnosis set by a veterinarian.

Our study showed that owners were diligent with basic information and with the status of three diseases. Cohen's Kappa in the reliability of the test-retest was in most variables at least 0.67. We propose that the descriptive variables and the disease variables be used as such when we generate hypotheses from the DOGRISK data.

You can find the full "Validating and reliability testing the descriptive data and three different disease diagnoses of the internet-based DOGRISK questionnaire" study here.

OBJECTIVE To evaluate pain intensity and kinetic variables in dogs with hip dysplasia (HD) treated with acupuncture, carprofen, or a placebo.

DESIGN Randomized, controlled clinical study. ANIMALS 54 HD-affected dogs and 16 healthy dogs.

PROCEDURES Seven HD-affected dogs were removed from the study. Dogs with HD were treated in a blinded manner for 30 days with acupuncture (once weekly for 5 sessions; n = 15), carprofen (4.4 mg/kg [2.0 mg/lb], PO, q 24 h; n = 16), or placebo capsules containing lactose (1 mg/kg [0.45 mg/lb], PO, q 24 h; n = 16). Dogs were evaluated 2 weeks and immediately before (baseline) and 2, 4, and 6 weeks after the onset of treatment. Owners evaluated the dogs' pain intensity with 2 validated questionnaires and a visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain and evaluated degree of lameness with a VAS for locomotion. Kinetics of the hind limbs were also evaluated. Sixteen HD-free dogs were used to assess the evaluation protocol.

RESULTS Owners' assessments revealed that outcomes of the 3 treatments did not differ significantly. The Canine Brief Pain Inventory and VAS pain intensity assessments were decreased from baseline at weeks 4 and 6, respectively, but only in acupuncture-treated dogs. The locomotion VAS values were decreased at week 4 in acupuncture-treated and carprofen-treated dogs. Kinetic evaluation findings did not differ among the groups or over time.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Neither acupuncture nor carprofen was significantly different from placebo. Acupuncture and carprofen reduced the degree of subjectively evaluated lameness, and acupuncture was associated with a decrease in validated chronic pain scores.

You can find the full "Owner assessment of chronic pain intensity and results of gait analysis of dogs with hip dysplasia treated with acupuncture" study here.

This study suggest that feeding a bone and raw food diet (BARF) or raw meat, raw offal, raw bone and raw cartilage, raw fish, raw egg and raw tripe as a supplementation to other diets or as a part of the BARF diet showed protective effect vis a vis CHD.

The study also suggests that feeding cooked meat, bone and cartilage might increase the risk of CHD.

Feeding of dry commercial food was common in both the case and control groups and did not show any association to CHD in this study. The proportion of BARF food fed in puppyhood, on the contrary, showed a significant difference between hip dysplastic and non-dysplastic dogs in both age groups, indicating that even if only a part of the dog’s diet is raw food, it could already help protect puppies from CHD.

Further analyses as well as clinical trials should be done next to test these results.

The full "Influence of nutrition at young age on canine hip dysplasia in German shepherd dogs: a case-control study from Finland" research can be found here.

It seems that bone and raw food (BARF) at a young age has a positive influence.  Already when 20% (1/5) of the diet is BARF, there starts to be more healthy dogs per group.

In this study both raw proteins, raw vegetables and berries were saving the dog from atopy/allergy type of disease whereas typical commercial dry products seemed to increase the risk for this disease. In the logistic model of suffering from this disease or not, eating raw meat as well as raw bone and cartilage gave the strongest association of the food items.

The "Diet at young age and canine atopy/allergy (type) disease" poster can be found here:

Like humans, dogs too suffer from atopy and allergy. Anecdotal data suggest that a non-heated raw diet may help the disease. Strict diet intervention studies are easy to do on pet dogs as dog owners anyway tend to give their dogs the same food daily for months or years. Targeted metabolomics might shed light on common diet related physiology on a biochemical level.

To investigate the altered metabolite levels and perturbed metabolic pathways after a dietary intervention in dogs suffering from atopy .

It is unclear if the diet compositions (protein versus carbo-hydrate) or the way of processing the food, i.e. if it was non-heated or heated, had an impact on the results. However, we propose that the dog should be further studied as a model for human research.

You can find the "Metabolomics from a diet intervention in atopic dogs, a model for human research?" poster here: 

Dogs suffer spontaneously from many of the diseases that humans have but as they live shorter lives they get them sooner. Dogs live in homes, so diet interventions can be conducted in the human environment. While human diet interventions with long duration are difficult to conduct and control it is much easier with dogs: they eat only what humans give them and can eat the same food for months without it being unpleasant for the dog, nor for the owner. All these reduce confounding factors of the blood values and allow possible generalisations onto humans. Several studies concerning vitamins in dog blood have been made using various protocols, but no final reference values have been set for the concentration of vitamins in dog blood or tissues. Here we are piloting the methods.

As the canine serum concentrations of vitamins A, D and E are similar to those of humans and can be measured using the same protocols in a laboratory that analyses mainly human samples this could be an indication of an at least somewhat similar metabolism. This needs, however, to be studied further. Canine diet interventions could offer valuable results in a simpler and quicker format compared to human studies and it would be possible to evaluate lipidsoluble vitamins in these trials. Dogs are fairly inbred so we can see genetical differences between different breeds. This could explain, at least partially, the differences in vitamin concentrations between different breeds.

You can find the "Human model? Analysing vitamins A, D and E in dogs" poster here: 

 

Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) is a disease that leads to osteoarthritis (OA) and chronic pain. Nutrolin Nivel (Olini Oy, Espoo, Finland) was tested for this patient group in a non-blinded case series. This product is a joint formula with fluid fish oil as the source of omega-3 fatty acids (280 mg/ml) and tablets consisting of glucosamine HCl, chondroitin sulfate and MSM (330 mg, 220 mg and 110 mg per tablet, respectively).

Decrease in chronic pain from baseline to the end of the 3 month supplementation period was suggested by a significant decrease in the HCPI (p=0.048). The decreases in mobility and quality of life VASs, were not significant.

This is the first report from a canine study involving a joint formula consisting of fish oil, glucosamine HCl, chondroitin sulfate, and MSM. Although only one of the three variables examined showed a significant change, this was the only validated variable and therefore suggests that there is a positive effect. A randomized, blinded study should now be planned to verify these results.

You can find the "A small case series of dogs suffering from canine hip dysplasia supplemented with a joint formula consisting of fish oil, glucosamine HCl, chondroitin sulfate and MSM (Nutrolin Nivel®)" poster here:

Feeding pets raw meat-based diets (RMBDs) is commonly practiced by many companion animal owners and has received increasing attention in recent years. It may be beneficial for the animals, but may also pose a health risk for both pets and their owners, as RMBDs may be contaminated by enteric pathogens—such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Yersinia—which are the most common zoonotic bacteria causing enteritis in humans. Little information exists on the prevalence of these pathogens in pet food, and thus one aim was to investigate the prevalence of Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Yersinia in commercial RMBDs from retail stores.

Little evidence also exists on the significance of raw meat feeding on the shedding of Campylobacter, Salmonella, and enteropathogenic Yersinia in the feces of pets, and therefore, the second goal was to study the presence of these pathogens in dogs and cats fed RMBDs. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) only sporadically detected Campylobacter, Salmonella, and enteropathogenic Yersinia in RMBDs.

These pathogens were not found by culturing, indicating a low contamination level in frozen RMBDs. They were also detected in the feces of dogs and cats, but the association with feeding RMBDs to them remained unclear.

Read the full "Raw Meat-Based Diets in Dogs and Cats" PDF here.

Raw food and nutraceutical oils seem to decrease the odds of neoplasia development when provided at young age, while processed foods seem to increase the odds.

Both our nutrition based variables and the other significantly associated confounding variables might be a piece in the pathophysiological puzzle of neoplasia. It would be intrinsically related with early gut health, at a time when the immune system is having its initial contacts with antigens and forming its microbiota.

As dogs and humans both suffer from similar cancers we hypothesize that for both, the development of neoplasia may have a fundamental relation with their diet.

You can find the full "Nutritional factors and neoplasia in dogs: a data association study on the role of early age diet" poster here:

In spite of the limitations of the study, such as self-selection of respondents, a likely tendency of social desirability in their answers, and the fact that the animals diseases were not verified by a veterinarian, this study points to health benefits of feeding raw food to dogs. Prospective research is needed.

You can find the full "Exploratory study: 632 shared experiences from dog owners changing their dogs' food to a raw food (BARF) diet" poster here:

 

This study shows significant effect of the diet on fat metabolism parameters in dogs: After eating a high fat diet the dogs had significantly more ketone bodies and less triglycerides and cholesterol in their blood. This suggests that dogs also change from producing and using glucose to producing and using ketone bodies as fuel in their bodies. Next we should analyse the change in the different cholesterol lipoprotein transporters (LDL, VLDL and HDL) in the trial dogs.

The "The impact of diet fat on cholesterol, triglyceride and 3-OH-buturate concentrations in blood samples of dogs" poster PDF can be found here:

 

Canine atopic dermatitis (CAD) is a multifactorial disease including genetic predisposition and other predisposing factors like living environment and diet. There is no known cure for this disease. The right and functional treatment can be hard to find, and more effort should be put into the prevention. The aim of this thesis was to find environmental factors and breeds associated with allergic skin symptoms and atopic dermatitis in pet dogs. In addition, the effect of a raw diet on gene expression, physiology and metabolism was studied with clinical diet intervention trial setup, using client-owned dogs.

A population of 8643 dogs from the validated DOGRISK questionnaire was used to analyse the environmental factors and dog characteristics related to CAD. Five breeds with the most owner-reported skin symptoms as a percentage within the breed were found to be i) West Highland white terrier, ii) boxer, iii) English bulldog, iv) Dalmatian, and v) French bulldog. When FCI breed groups were compared to mixed-breed dogs, groups 3 (Terriers) and 6 (Scent hounds and related breeds) had a significantly higher risk for owner-reported skin symptoms. On the other hand, groups 5 (Spitz and primitive types) and 10 (Sighthounds) had a significantly lower risk for owner-reported skin symptoms. The environmental factors found significantly associated with less owner-reported skin symptoms and veterinary-verified CAD were i) being born in the owner family and ii) living with other dogs. In addition, significant association of less owner-reported skin symptoms was found with dogs living in a detached house. Factors that were significantly associated with more owner-reported skin symptoms included extremely clean household and over 50 % of white colour in the coat.

In the clinical diet intervention study, 46 client-owned atopic and healthy Staffordshire bull terriers were fed two different kind of diets (raw and dry food). Haematological and clinical chemistry profiles, folate, B12, iron, and transforming growth factor β1 (TGF- β1) concentration were analyzed. In addition, gene expression profiles were determined from the skin samples of eight dogs. Cholesterol was significantly increased in the dry food fed dogs and decresed in the raw food fed dogs. In addition, the raw food significantly decreased, among others, alkaline phosphatase and glucose. Plasma folate and B12 and whole blood iron were significantly decreased, and TGF- β1 significantly increased by the raw food diet.

The skin gene expression was also affected by the diet. There were genes related to immune defence, reactive oxygen species and antioxidants upregulated in the dogs fed raw food. Several genes were found differentially expressed between atopic and healthy dogs, some unrelated to diet fed and some differentially affected by the diet in atopic and healthy dogs. These results are preliminary and should be confirmed using more samples. Nevertheless, they give an interesting and novel information about the effect of the diet on the skin gene expression.

In conclusion, this thesis presents results from different study designs all concentrating on the same disease, canine atopic dermatitis. Many results presented here are related to immune defence and exposure to microbes. Too clean environment and food might not stimulate the immunity enough and could lead to incorrect development of the immune system in young animals. The incomplete stimulation could result in CAD and hypersensitivities later in life, and should be considered when thinking of the prevention of these diseases.

The full "Differences in skin gene expression between atopic and healthy Staffordshire bull terriers" study can be found here.

Oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis of disease, and the antioxidant physiological effect of omega-3 from fish oil may lead to improvement of canine spontaneous osteoarthritis (OA).

Supplementation with fish oil resulted in a significant reduction from day 0 to day 112 in MDA (from 3.41 ± 1.34 to 2.43 ± 0.92 μmol/L; P < 0.001) and an elevation in Free-Car (from 18.18 ± 9.78 to 21.19 ± 9.58 μmol/L; P = 0.004) concentrations, whereas dogs receiving corn oil presented a reduction in MDA (from 3.41 ± 1.34 to 2.41 ± 1.01 μmol/L; P = 0.001) and NTBI (from -1.25 ± 2.17 to -2.31 ± 1.64 μmol/L; P = 0.002). Both groups showed increased (albeit not significantly) GSH and 8-OH-dG blood values. Dogs supplemented with fish oil had a significant reduction in the proportions of monocytes (from 3.84 ± 2.50 to 1.77 ± 1.92 %; P = 0.030) and basophils (from 1.47 ± 1.22 to 0.62 ± 0.62 %; P = 0.012), whereas a significant reduction in platelets counts (from 316.13 ± 93.83 to 288.41 ± 101.68 × 10(9)/L; P = 0.029), and an elevation in glucose (from 5.18 ± 0.37 to 5.32 ± 0.47 mmol/L; P = 0.041) and cholesterol (from 7.13 ± 1.62 to 7.73 ± 2.03 mmol/L; P = 0.011) measurements were observed in dogs receiving corn oil.

In canine OA, supplementation with deep sea fish oil improved diverse markers of oxidative status in the dogs studied. As corn oil also contributed to the reduction in certain oxidative markers, albeit to a lesser degree, there was no clear difference between the two oil groups. No clinical, haematological or biochemical evidence of side effects emerged related to supplementation of either oil. Although a shift in blood fatty acid values was apparent due to the type of nutraceutical product given to the dogs, corn oil seems not to be a good placebo.

You can find the full "Evaluating oxidative stress, serological- and haematological status of dogs suffering from osteoarthritis, after supplementing their diet with fish or corn oil" study here.

This study investigated the cross sectional area (CSA) and fat infiltration of the epaxial muscles in Dachshunds with compressive spinal cord lesions due to intervertebral disc herniation (IVDH) and in dogs with non-compressive spinal cord lesions with fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE). The CSA and fat infiltration of the multifidi and longissimus dorsi muscles were determined from T1 weighted magnetic resonance images.

Difference in CSA and fat infiltration between the lesion- and non-lesion side in the Dachshunds was assessed using mixed model analysis. Difference in CSA and fat infiltration between Dachshunds and FCE dogs was analysed with independent sample t-tests.

There was no difference in CSA or fat infiltration between sides in the Dachshunds. FCE dogs had greater CSA (multifidus P = 0.036, longissimus P < 0.001) and less fat infiltration compared to Dachshunds (longissimus P = 0.017).

Duration of neurological deficits, age, body size and conformation are likely to have influenced the difference between the groups.

You can find the full "Comparison of cross sectional area and fat infiltration of the epaxial muscles in dogs with and without spinal cord compression." study here.

Fatty acid concentrations in blood are potential biomarkers of dietary fat intake, but methodological studies among children are scarce. The large number of fatty acids and their complex interrelationships pose a special challenge in research on fatty acids.

Our target was to assess the interrelationships between the total fatty acid profiles in diet and serum of young children. The study subjects were healthy control children from the birth cohort of the Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention Study. A 3-day food record and a frozen serum sample were available from 135 children at the age of 1 year, from 133 at 2 years, and from 92 at 3 years.

The relationship between dietary and serum fatty acid profiles was analysed using canonical correlation analysis.

The consumption of fatty milk correlated positively with serum fatty acids, pentadecanoic acid, palmitic acid and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) at all ages. Correlations between dietary and serum eicosapentaenoic and/or docosahexaenoic acid were observed at 2 and 3 years of age. Serum linoleic acid was positively associated with the consumption of infant formula at the age of 1 year, and with the consumption of vegetable margarine at 2 and 3 years.

The results indicate a high quality of the 3-day food records kept by parents and other caretakers of the children, and suitability of non-fasting, un-fractioned serum samples for total fatty acid analyses. The correlation between intake of milk fat and serum proportion of CLA is a novel finding.

You can find the full "Fatty acids in serum and diet--a canonical correlation analysis among toddlers" study here.

Despite the popularity of canine blood donor (BD) programs, there is scarce scientific information regarding iron status in this canine population of dogs.

To assess iron status in dogs used in a blood donor program.

A total of 130 healthy dogs (75 BD, 55 controls [C]) were included. A subset of dogs (n = 12) were used to evaluate the effects of repetitive donations by having a second and more recent sample analyzed.

SI (183.7 ± 55.3 μg/dL) and %SAT (55.7 ± 17.4%) were higher and UIBC (152.6 ± 73.3 μg/dL) was lower in BD dogs than in C (153.9 ± 51.7 μg/dL, 43.8 ± 17.8%, and 224.1 ± 120.6 μg/dL, respectively). Also, UIBC and TIBC were lower, and %SAT higher in Greyhounds when compared with non-Greyhounds. ED had decreased %SAT and increased UIBC and TIBC when compared with LD.

Our canine BD population did not have iron deficiency and had higher SI concentration than C. However, ED (~14 consecutive blood donations every ~8 weeks) developed a mild iron deficiency, although values were still within canine reference intervals. Greyhounds have higher %SAT than non-Greyhounds, which might be a breed-specific peculiarity.

You can find the full "Iron status in blood donor dogs" study here.

Greyhounds have well-described clinicopathologic idiosyncrasies, including a high prevalence of osteosarcoma (OSA). Hematocrit, HGB, and HGB oxygen affinity are higher than in other dogs, while haptoglobin concentration is lower, so we hypothesized that Greyhounds have a different iron metabolism. To our knowledge, there are no reports on serum iron profiles in Greyhounds.

To elucidate iron metabolism in Greyhounds, we wanted to compare serum iron concentration, total iron-binding capacity (TIBC), and percent transferrin saturation (%SAT) in healthy retired racing Greyhounds (RRGs) with OSA (RRGs - OSA), and also with non-Greyhounds (NGs), without and with OSA (NGs - OSA).

TIBC was lower in RRGs than in NGs (P < .0001), and in RRGs - OSA than in NGs - OSA (P < .0001). NGs - OSA had lower TIBC than healthy NGs (P = .003). Percent SAT was higher in RRGs than in NGs (P < .0001) and in RRGs - OSA (P = .008), and %SAT was also lower in NGs than in NGs - OSA (P = .004). Percent SAT was also higher in RRGs - OSA than in NGs - OSA (P = .001). Both RRGs - OSA (P = .02) and NGs - OSA (P < .0001) had lower serum iron concentrations than their healthy counterparts.

Lower TIBC and higher %SAT may constitute another Greyhound idiosyncrasy compared with other dogs. In this study, all dogs with OSA had higher serum iron concentrations and %SAT than healthy dogs.

You can find the full "Markers of iron metabolism in retired racing Greyhounds with and without osteosarcoma" study here.