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Seminar Notes

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Today, Amy and I went to a seminar for CE hours focusing on nutrition sponsored by Purina. I was very uneasy about going and figured I would have a hard time "fitting in" and learning something. I went in with an open mind, thinking that I might just learn something. Even though they were all conventional vets who feed kibble, etc I actually did learn a good deal today and I'm glad that I went. I will say that all that was discussed today just further deepened my beliefs about raw. It seems so contradictory to me that so many highly educated people can't get such simple ideas about nutrition/diets. I guess the bottom dollar is what is in the way of better, more logical ways to look at things.

There were 4 lectures/speakers in total, and they were all great! Here are my personal notes on each lecture...sorry in advance if they seem random LOL I was writing as fast as they were speaking!

Debra L. Zoran, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

"Understanding the role of diet and enteric bacteria in development of feline diarrhea."

*Total bacterial function in the gut is equal to the function of a major organ such as the liver or kidneys.

*Bacteria in the gut are in balance: protective v. aggressive (facultative pathogenic)

---> eubyosis v. dysbiosis (balanced v. imbalanced)

*Satellite flora: pathogenic are present but only ~1% of population in the gut.

Protective Bacteria
*decrease the pH
*release bacteriocidal proteins
*colonization resistance
*block binding of pathogens
*alters immunoregulation
*increase epithelial and mucosal barrier

*GI tract is the leading/major cause/reason for allergic reactions, pro-inflammatory reactions and immunoregulation reactions.

*Obese animals (people) have a completely different bacterial flora which are in decreased function and health.

Out of Balance
*stress, diet, climate, microorganisms, infections, allergies, ageing, GI function, nutrient absorption, drugs <---antibiotics and antacids (change the internal environment)

*Induced IBD is different than permanent IBD which needs lifelong therapy and drugs and change in diet (...but here we all know what the culprit is with many of these severe cases of IBD is...Grissom was our poster child in the beginning)

*Any disruption to the balance that causes an immune response isn't always IBD

*Steroid therapy is NOT curative but is a cheap "fix" to the situation.

*Mild to moderate infiltration can be reversed, but severe cases cannot always be repaired (injury and distress to intestinal tissue)

Diagnosis with Blood Panel
*albumin-low end of normal range (could be IBD but also lymphoma or in the process of becoming lymphoma)

Diagnosis by GI Function
*cobalamin is low (pathogens)
-->normal-mild to moderate, can be fixed
-->abnormal-severe cases can lead to lymphoma, cannot be fixed
*folate is high
*PLI (pancreas enzymes) low in advanced cases
*TLI (weight loss)

IBD: Multifactorial
*immune response
*genetic susceptability
*luminal microbial antigens and adjuvents
*environmental triggers
--> substances added to upholstered home furnishings get on the fur of cats that then lick/groom themselves and are ingested.

Understanding Flora
*culture method
-->pros: easy to collect, aerobic species
-->cons: anaerobes die (pathogens)
*molecular method
-->FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization, basically everything shows up as a different color on a slide for a microscope)
-->DNA probes
**ALL of this tells us what is there but NOT what its doing.

"Cats on a carb based diet and increased numbers and types of species of bacteria compared to cats on protein diets" (Richie, et all. MS dissertation, TAMU 2008)(FISH)

*Cats on increased carb diets hand increased breath hydrogen and other indicators of bacterial metabolism.

*Diet composition changes flora, # and species of bacteria (carbs=more, protein=less)

*Cats with IBD have changes in their microbiome which may be the cause of it or not.

*Dietary allergy or intolerance? (a HUGE %age of patients are intolerant to just ONE ingredient causes changes in flora which causes inflammatory reaction= NOT AN ALLERGY BUT MAY PRESENT AS ONE!!!)
-->change in diet is essential (switch to raw LOL)

Protein Digestability
*protein is most important to assess the source and processing in foods (most effected by processing compared to other ingredients)
*cooking/processing cause major changes to essential nutrients (less digestible)
*in commercial diets digestibility of proteins is average of 75%
-->increased quality feeds protein digestibility is >85% (max 94%)
*maldigested protein feeds pathogenic bacteria which causes fecal odor and gas (from change in flora)
*cats have fewer amylases than omnivores (meaning they are not capable of digesting carbs well at all)

Protein Sources
*meat sources are very highly digestible
*soy sources- digestible but not ideal
*corn/wheat gluten- not digestible BUT increase the protein %age in the food to make the total protein % higher (trying to seem like a better food)
*in natural state proteins of all kinds are at the highest digestibility

*functions by fragmenting DNA of pathogenic bacteria
*long term use shows breaks in DNA in epithelial cells of the intestine (not a big deal because the slough off anyways and regenerate) but also in lymphocytes (is a big deal because they have a longer lifespan as a cell and can cause serious impaired function of the immune response)

*every bacteria has a different niche so using just ONE probiotic does NOTHING in the grand scheme of things
*are used to "repopulate" the gut of natural flora, or keep flora in balance BUT there are many different players in the normal flora in the gut so its impossible to really "replace" it accurately
*very specific uses for each one, and there is NO data for companion animals BUT they MAY work

*fruits and veggies provide soluble fiber to "feed" bacteria because commercial foods are full of insoluble fiber (fillers)
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David C. Twedt, DVM, DACVIM

"Treatment of liver disease: Medical and nutrition aspects."

*look for a primary etiology (cause)
*define a specific therapy
*diet change/quality
*hepatic "support"

Nutritional Goals
*promote hepatic regeneration
*meet caloric needs
*PROTEIN! most hepatic disease cases need more protein than maintenance
*protein restriction is only necessary if protein intolerance (hepatic encephalopathy)
*palatability- whatever these patients WILL eat
*fat restriction is NOT necessary because fat is highly digestible, high in calories, maintains glucose levels in patients that don't eat a whole lot
*feed multiple small meals
*feed low copper diets
*avoid feeding "light" diets

Chronic Hepatitis Survival
*live less than two years on average AFTER diagnosis
*steroid treatment prolongs life
--> increase albumin
--> decrease inflammation of liver
--> increase enzymes
*takes several months to be rid of steroid effects
*cyclosporine use can be more effective than prednisone use

Increased Copper
*many breeds have a predisposition: #1 is the Lab, #2 is the Doberman
*use copper chelators to treat this to de-copperize the liver

*essential trace element
*deficiency can cause chronic liver disease
*treatment of copper hepatotoxicity by blocking copper absorption
*give 100mg zinc supplement BID

*bacterial cholangitis --> E. coli infections
*granulomatous hepatitis (granulomas of bacteria in liver determined with FISH)

Bile Acids
*increase disease
*cause membrane damage
*hydrophobic (bad acids so they are only fat absorbed)
*bear bile (yes, from a bear) are good acids that are hydrophilic (water soluble so they can be taken out of the liver unlike the hydrophobic (bad) acids)
--> hepatoprotective
--> antioxidants
--> antiapoptotic (programmed cell death- cut down on this)
*safe and non toxic to use on dogs

Hepatic Support
*provide optimal environment
*antioxidants, nutraceuticals and vitamins

Vitamin E
*essential nutrient
*plant derived
*membrane associated antioxidant
*dose: ~10IU/kg/day

Glutathione Depletion
*~50% of hepatic cases are deficient
*nutraceutical: food nutrient/pharmaceutical "mix" of those two
*BUT NOT approved by the FDA

S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe)
*produced in the body
*play a role in membrane function
*cell regeneration
*liver support/therapy
*minimal toxicity
*anti-depressant in people, may have similar function in dogs

Milk Thistle
*ancient liver therapy
*Silymarin: active extract
*Slybin: active isomer
*low toxicity
*antioxidant properties, prevents membrane lipid peroxidation
*proven cure/therapy for Amantia (mushroom) poisoning in dogs
***Denamarin is the RX drug***
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Margie Scherk, DVM, DAVBP

"From problem to success: A weight loss program that works. Growing relationships, not girth."

*#1 nutritional disorder
*25% of cats in US and Canada (but I personally think its higher than that...)
*over-consumption of calories
*operant condition ~15-20% body fat, but obese is anything higher than that
*hepatic lipidosis

*more prevalent in mixed breed cats (this may be due to the fact that people who own purebred cats care more about their physical body shape)
*inside cats are far more obese than outdoor cats, less physical activity
*highly palatable diets are fed
*don't have to work for their food/hunt
*don't have to defend themselves
*neuter/spay decreases caloric needs by 20-25% but no one decreases the amount of food post surgery (people don't know to do this...)
*ideal meal (calorie wise) is equal to ~10 pieces of average, maintenance kibble...NOT VERY MUCH AT ALL!!!

% weight change= current weight - previous weight/ previous weight X 100%

*this can be detection of illness or open the eyes of owners at HOW obese their animals really are

What to Feed[/U
*multiple small meals
*make them "hunt" their food (treasure hunt, or hide their meals)
*average meal for a cat eating a natural diet is 8-10 mice per day (but that sounds like a lot to me unless they are small mice LOL)
*high protein and fat
*cats do not gain energy from carbs as well as dogs
*protein protects from muscle loss

Strategic Diets
*high protein
*high moisture
*low fat
*high fiber
***diet, exercise AND follow up (most important)***
***behavior modification for both animal and owner is essential***

*feeding diary
*type of food/amount (includes ANYTHING the cat eats through out the day)
*who feeds them?
*frequency of feedings?
*measuring meals?
*medications? with food/treat?
*where? (might try low stress environments)
*nibble or gorge?
*other pets? access to other food?
*activity level?
----> all of this gives you a picture at WHY your cat might be obese and what you need to do to get it in better shape.

Calculate Weight Loss
*determine ideal weight
*feed 60-70% of the ideal caloric intake for their ideal weight
*canned food is 3X lower in calories than dry kibble
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David A. Dzanis, DVM, PhD, DACVN

"Pet food facts and fallacies."

*18 billion dollar pet food industry
*bigger than all other pet industry put together
*therapeutic diets equal a small %age of total sales (~5%) but vet opinion is highly regarded by the public so they are sold

*Association of American of Feed Control Officials
---> lots of confusion with the name and what it is
*formed in 1909
*private organization
*members are only government officials
*established definitions and nutrient profiles
*no regulatory power over the industry (basically anyone can make a food and put it on the market- no laws protecting animals)

*nutrient profiles
*feeding trails
*product family criteria

Nutrient Profiles
*meet all min/max requirements of all nutrients, vitamins and minerals
*replaced NRC requirements/recommendations
*pros- verifications, data, enforcement
*cons- palatability, bioavailability, formulation errors? don't know any of this just from a profile.

Feeding Trials
*puppies last only 10 weeks
*adults last only 6 months
*exam, blood work to confirm body condition before and after trial
*preformed by the dog food company and not AAFCO
*pros- palatability, bioavailable, performance
*cons- conflict in interest, subtle signs that don't show in 6 months, pre-test status of animals, conditions of use of product

Which is Better?
*feeding trial is better by itself compared to nutrient profile because its applicable to real life with notable changes in body condition of test animals
*"product family" items are not ideal
*BEST: both nutrient profiling and feeding trials done on a product
---> product label must have/say BOTH of this to be legit

Product Family
*lead product must pass feed trial
*other feeds in that "family" must be comparable and can pass without feed trial
---> energy, key nutrients, meet profile for other nutrients
*often product bears label statement just like lead product that DID pass the feeding trials.
***SO, how do you know which product was actually tested???***

*approved food additive by the FDA
*GRAS substance (generally recognized as safe)
*AAFCO defined feed ingredients- must be proven to be safe

Good but not Approved
*herbs (other than flavors)

*ethoxyquin (preservatives): only negative effect seen was at HIGH doses but now most companies don't use it because of public outcry/scare
*menadione (vitamin K active)
----> both are used still but are "hidden" since there is no regulation by the FDA on this!!!

"Ugly Ingredients"
*aesthetically displeasing but nutritious
*safe if processed correctly
*meat and by-product meals
---> required in food for cats and dogs

*corn and rice are equally allergenic
*rice is more digestible than corn but has a more dramatic glycemic effect
*white rice is more digestible than brown
*wheat is added with melamine to increase protein content falsely

Pets in Pet Foods
*"green" process
*meat meal= "the rendered product from mammal soft tissues" (which could include the remains of euthanized animals)
*pentobarbitol survives rendering process
*highly unlikely that there are pets in pet foods but there is NO way to know for sure
*pentobarbitol was found in some pet foods on random selection and testing
---> ranges were so low that they have no effect on health in any way
*dog and cat DNA was not found in these foods, but what was the source of this?


It seemed to me like this guy was "hiding" a lot of facts about how feeding trials are done. He didn't put much energy into his lecture on this part. I think feeding trials are completely mismanaged and must be have more strict rules and regulations.
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These were my notes on what the lectures were about. These notes don't particularly adhere to what I believe or what I do, but a lot of it was informative and CAN be applied to raw feeding.

BUT I think that raw feeding does prevent some of the things that we had talked about, like chronic liver failure and obesity (if you don't feed too much).

Take these notes for what they are and apply them to your life how you choose!
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