MAY WE RECOMMEND--
Unpleasant Dogs (A Threesome)
Useful information for veterinarians
Good veterinarians must develop a number of unexpected skills. Here are three research reports that may be of use to people entering the field.
When Manners Matter
"Clinical Approach in Front of a Messy Dog," V. Dramard and
I. Hannier, Point Veterinaire, vol. 28, no. 182, March-April 1997,
The Pleasure of Their Company
"Administration of Charcoal, Yucca Schidigera, and Zinc Acetate to Reduce Malodorous Flatulence in dogs," Catriona J. Giffard, Stella B. Collins, Neil C. Stoodley, Richard F. Butterwick, and Roger M. Batt, The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, vol. 218, no. 6, March 15, 2001, pp. 892-896. (Thanks to Rikki Lewis of The Scientist, Rudi Podgornik, Simon Coleman-Smith, and numerous others for bringing this to our attention.) The authors are affiliated with the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, Waltham-on-the-Wolds, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, UK. They describe their findings thusly:
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether feeding activated charcoal, Yucca schidigera, and zinc acetate would ameliorate the frequency and odor characteristics of flatulence in dogs.
DESIGN: In vitro screening of active agents followed by a randomized controlled trial.
ANIMALS: 8 adult dogs.
PROCEDURE: A fecal fermentation system was used to assess the effects of activated charcoal, Yucca schidigera, and zinc acetate alone and in combination on total gas production and production of hydrogen sulfide, the primary determinant of flatus malodor in dogs. All 3 agents were subsequently incorporated into edible treats that were fed 30 minutes after the dogs ate their daily rations, and the number, frequency, and odor characteristics of flatulence were measured for 5 hours, using a device that sampled rectal gases and monitored hydrogen sulfide concentrations.
RESULT: Total gas production and number and frequency of flatulence episodes were unaffected by any of the agents. Production of hydrogen sulfide in vitro was significantly reduced by charcoal, Yucca schidigera, and zinc acetate by 71, 38, and 58%, respectively, and was reduced by 86% by the combination of the 3 agents. Consumption of the 3 agents was associated with a significant decrease (86%) in the percentage of flatulence episodes with bad or unbearable odor and a proportional increase in the percentage of episodes of no or only slightly noticeable odor.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results suggest that activated charcoal, Yucca schidigera, and zinc acetate reduce malodor of flatus in dogs by altering the production or availability of hydrogen sulfide in the large intestine.
An Overview of a Problem
"Flatulence in Pet Dogs," B.R. Jones, K.S. Jones, K. Turner, and B. Rogatski, New Zealand Veterinary Journal, vol. 46, no. 5, 1988, pp 191-3. (Thanks to Isabella Leary for bringing this to our attention.) The authors are at National University of Ireland, University College Dublin, Ireland. They describe their work thusly:
The purpose of this study was to obtain information on aspects of dogs' lifestyle and diet that may be related to flatulence, whether the dogs were flatulent or not and if the owners were concerned about flatulence of their pet.
METHODS. The owners of 110 pet dogs were randomly selected from the Massey University clinic files and asked to complete a questionnaire relating to their dog's flatulence, lifestyle and diet.
RESULTS. Flatulence was detected by 47 owners and occurred more often in less active ''inside'' dogs than those exercised more often. No individual food or dietary association was identified. Nineteen of the 47 owners of flatulent dogs would alter their dog's diet if that change would reduce flatulence. Conclusion. Flatulence occurs in pet dogs and most owners accept flatulence and were unconcerned about its consequence.
© Copyright 2001 Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)
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