Suitability of a plant-based diet for dogs

Sarah Dodd and others, University of Guelph, Canada

Increasing numbers of pet-owners in western countries are choosing vegan diets for themselves and consequently veterinary practices are receiving more frequent inquiries about the suitability of plant-based foods for their dogs. The authors review the dog's nutritional needs and whether these can be met without using animal products. They conclude that there is no fundamental requirement for dogs to be given animal-derived food. However; when formulating plant-based foods there is a need to ensure that the pet receives adequate amounts of those nutrients that would normally be provided by meat. notably methionine. taurine. docosahexaenoic acid and vitamins A, B and D. Dogs fed home-prepared vegan food may be at particular risk of missing out on important elements of their diet. They suggest that pet-owners that are considering giving plant-based diets to their dogs should use a recipe formulated by a trained nutritionist. Pets given home-prepared diets should be considered at high risk of diseases caused by dietary imbalances and routinely examined by their veterinarian.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 253(11), 1425-1432

Comparison of three methods for decontaminating dog bite wounds

Mirja Nolffand others, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Germany

Bacterial contamination will occur in nearly 50% of dog bite wounds and in some cases this will involve the transfer of multi drug resistant bacteria. Moreover, there is evidence of bacteria developing resistance to the main antisepsis product used in veterinary practice, chlorhexidine. The authors compare the effectiveness of three techniques for decontaminating dog bite wounds, the novel antiseptic polyhexanide biguanide, a physical decontamination method involving cold argon plasma, and a saline wash. Polyhexanide lavage produced the most immediate and effective decontamination of the wound, saline also reduced the biological burden to a lesser extent, while cold argon plasma was ineffective.

Journal of Small Animal Practice Published online 11 December 2018

Influence of surgical site infections on survival following limb amputation

Eric Hans and others, MedVet Medical and Cancer Center for Pets, Worthington, Ohio

Surgical site infections have been reported to enhance the long-term survival of dogs that undergo limb sparing surgery as part of their treatment for osteosarcoma. It has been suggested that this may be due to the inflammation causing systemic activation of the innate immune system and destroying any remaining cancerous cells. The authors investigate whether similar beneficial effects occur when the treatment involves amputation of the affected limb. Records from 149 dogs undergoing limb amputation for osteosarcoma, suggest that there were no differences in median survival times between those that developed infections and those with healthy wound sites.

Veterinary Surgery 47(8), E88-E96

Evaluation of herbal compounds in the management of feline lower urinary tract disease

Melissa Daniels and others, Banfield Animal Hospital, Clarkesville, Tennessee

Lower urinary tract disease is common in domestic cats, with idiopathic cystitis and urolithiasis the most common presentations. One strategy recommended in treating these patients is to increase urinary volume. The authors assess three Chinese herbal treatments that are claimed to produce more dilute urine, San Ren Tang, Wei Ling Tang and Alisma. Each was given twice daily for two weeks in a crossover trial. The findings did not support the use of these products, as there were no recorded differences in daily urine analyte excretion, urine volume, urine pH or urinary saturation for calcium oxalate or struvite.

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 20(2), 1094-1099

Faecal microbiota transplantation in the treatment of clostridial infection in a dog

Koji Sugita and others, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology Japan

Faecal material from a healthy donor has been used in human patients with Clostridium difficile infections as part of treatment for the recurrent diarrhoea associated with that organism. The authors investigated the use of this technique in a canine patient, an eight- month-old French bulldog which presented with a four-month history of intermittent diarrhoea. C diffcile was detectable on PCR analysis of a stool sample. Faecal matter from a healthy donor was introduced orally and stool consistency and frequency returned to normal within two to three days. PCR and immunochromatography found no evidence of continued infection.

BMC Veterinary Research 15:11 (Open Access)

Effects of vapourised hydrogen peroxide sterilisation on the activity of antimicrobial beads

Myra Durham and Johanna Elfenbein, North Carolina State University, Raleigh

Polymethyl methacrylate plastic beads impregnated with meropenem antibiotic have been used to deliver highly localised doses of the drug to prevent infections of the surgical site following orthopaedic procedures. However, the beads may require handing before implantation and so must be sterilised before application using methods that, unlike conventional steam sterilisation, will not degrade the antibiotic. The authors assessed the antimicrobial efficacy of beads sterilised by exposure to hydrogen peroxide vapour Their findings show that the sterilisation process had no detrimental impact on the efficacy or duration of activity of the impregnated beads.

American Journal of Veterinary Research 80(1), 45-50

VOL 34 • March 2019 • Veterinary Nursing Journal