Recent Publications – July 2016

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One of the more important parts of working at a university is sharing your knowledge with others. All three of us regularly publish research papers in scientific journals and write chapters in textbooks for other veterinarians. Below is a list of some of our more recent papers and chapters.

Freeman LM.  Cachexia and sarcopenia.  Ettinger SJ, Feldman EC, Cote E (eds). Textbook of veterinary internal medicine, 8th St Louis: Elsevier (In Press, with expected publication date of October, 2016).

Cachexia and sarcopenia are common issues in dogs and cats (as well as in people). Cachexia is the muscle loss that occurs in a variety of conditions, such as heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, and even acute injury.  Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle that occurs during aging in the absence of disease.  The Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine is an internationally acclaimed “gold standard” resource for veterinary medicine.  While Dr. Freeman has co-authored a chapter on nutrition and heart disease in this textbook for many years, this is the first edition in which the important topic of cachexia and sarcopenia will be included.

Romano FR, Heinze CR, Barber LG, Mason JB, Freeman LM. Association between body condition score and cancer prognosis in dogs with lymphoma and osteosarcoma. J Vet Intern Med. June 2016 (Available free online at: Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine Early View)

This study reviewed medical records of dogs seen for diagnosis and treatment of two different types of cancers – lymphoma and osteosarcoma. The goal was to look at whether overweight and obese dogs that are diagnosed with cancer have similar survival to dogs that are not overweight as some studies in people and rodents have suggested that being overweight shortens survival in some types of cancer. This study found that underweight dogs with lymphoma had shorter survival times than normal weight or overweight dogs, but there was no difference in survival for normal weight and overweight dogs for either type of cancer. However, most of the overweight dogs in the study were only mildly overweight, which may not be the same as being obese. Further study is needed before we can definitively say that being overweight does not reduce cancer survival in dogs.

Johnson LN,Linder DE, Heinze CR, Kehs RL, Freeman LM. Evaluation of owner experiences and adherence to home-cooked diet recipes for dogs. J Small Anim Pract 2016;57(1):23-27.

Pet owners who elect to feed a home-cooked diet may obtain a recipe from books, the internet, veterinarians, friends, breeders or board-certified veterinary nutritionists; some may not follow a specific recipe. Previous studies have showed only 5% of these recipes were appropriate and balanced for pets. The goals of this study were to characterize owner experiences with feeding home-cooked diets to dogs and to evaluate adherence to home-cooked diet recipes. Most respondents liked and continued to feed a home-cooked diet, but few (only 13%) of owners adhered to prescribed recipes and many dogs required recipe modifications

Freeman LM.  Nutritional management of heart disease.  In:  Little SP (ed).  August’s consultations in feline internal medicine, 7thSt Louis: Elsevier, 2016: 403-411.

Heart disease is one of the most common diseases affecting cats, and nutrition is an integral part of the care of these cats. Dr. Freeman is internationally recognized for her research on the role of nutrition in the development and treatment of heart disease, and a chapter on this topic was included in this well-known textbook on feline medicine.

Rush JE, Freeman LM, Cunningham SM, Yang VK, Bulmer BJ, Antoon KN. Assessment of the responsiveness of the Cats’ Assessment Tool for Cardiac Health (CATCH) questionnaire.  J Vet Cardiol 2016;17:S341-S348.

Dr. Freeman has been active in developing methods to assess quality of life in dogs and cats with heart disease [the Functional EvaluaTion of Cardiac Health (FETCH) Questionnaire and the Cats Assessment Tool for Cardiac Health (CATCH) Questionnaire].  She also is involved in the development of methods to assess quality of life for cats as they age [the Cat HEalth and Well-being (CHEW) Questionnaire]. This study evaluated the use of the CATCH Questionnaire in cats with congestive heart failure and its sensitivity to medical and nutritional treatment.

Briscoe, JA, Latney L, Heinze CR. Nutrition support in exotic pet species. In: Chan DL (ed). Nutritional management of hospitalized small animals, Wiley Blackwell, 2015:234-246.

Nutritional management of hospitalized small animals is a new textbook for veterinarians. This chapter covers nutritional care of hospitalized exotic pet species such as rabbits, birds, guinea pigs, and ferrets.

Heinze CR. Malnutrition. In: Cote E (ed). Clinical veterinary advisor: Dogs and cats, Elsevier, 2015

Clinical Veterinary Advisor is a reference book for veterinarians. This chapter discussed malnutrition – how to recognize it, and treatment options.

Brooks D, Churchill J, Fein K, Linder D, Michel KE, Tudor K, Ward E, Witzel A. 2014 AAHA weight management guidelines for dogs and cats. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 2014; 50(1):1-11.

An effective individualized weight loss program provides a consistent and healthy rate of weight loss to reduce risk of disease, prevent malnutrition, and improve quality of life. Weight loss is achieved with appropriate caloric restriction, diet selection, exercise, and strategies to help modify behavior. This document, with Dr. Linder as chair, offers guidelines and tools for the management of weight loss and long-term maintenance of healthy weight.

Connolly KM, Heinze CR, Freeman LM.

Feeding practices of dog breeders in the United States and Canada. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2014;245:669-676.This study surveyed over 2,000 dog breeders about what and how they feed their breeding animals and growing puppies. Important findings included that greater than 1 in 6 breeders were feeding commercial diets to their pregnant or nursing dogs that were not designed to be nutritionally appropriate to support pregnancy or lactation. Another 1 in 6 fed home-cooked diets as the majority of calories, which is a concern as most home-cooked diet recipes do not meet current nutritional standards for maintenance, much less growth and reproduction. Based on this study, almost a third of dog breeders are feeding potentially inadequate diets to their breeding animals and puppies, which highlights the importance of good nutrition education for breeders.

Heinze CR, Freeman LM, Martin CR, et al. Comparison of the nutrient composition of commercial dog milk replacers with that of dog milk. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2014;244: 1413-1422.

This study analyzed a number of popular milk replacers designed to be used for orphan puppies or for puppies whose dams do not produce adequate milk. The nutrient levels measured in the milk replacers were compared to nutrient levels measured in samples of dog milk. All of the milk replacers tested had multiple nutrients that were not within the range of the nutrient levels in the dog milk samples. The biggest concerns were with calories and calcium, with most samples having much lower calories and calcium than dog milk, which raises concerns for proper growth of puppies raised using these products.

Linder DE, Mueller MK. Obesity management: Beyond nutrition. Vet Clin N Amer 2014; 44(4):789–806.

Despite initiating standard diet and exercise, many weight management plans fail because of veterinarians and pet owners not acknowledging and addressing the complex nature of obesity. Successful weight management programs extend beyond standard nutritional management and incorporate an understanding of human-animal interaction. Although obesity requires intensive and comprehensive management, there are many novel aspects of obesity treatment, even many yet to be investigated, that can lead to a rewarding and enriching owner and veterinarian experience.


Posts authored by the Clinical Nutrition Service team are by Dr. Lisa M. Freeman, DVM, PhD, DACVN, Dr. Deborah E. Linder, DVM, MS, DACVN, and Dr. Cailin R. Heinze, VMD, MS, DACVN

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