THE INFLUENCE OF TOXIC NITROGENOUS COMPOUNDS IN CANINE AND FELINE DIETS ON NITROGEN RETENTION AND CARDIOVASCULAR FUNCTION.
Geiger, Andrea K 1995-
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Pet nutrition is a critical part of maintaining a healthy and happy companion animal. In a multibillion dollar industry, there are many types and brands of pet food to choose from. With protein being one of the major macronutrients that make up pet food, it is one of the primary factors conscientious owners consider when feeding their animals. The purpose of this thesis was to analyze protein quality in pet food and consider the utilization of non-protein nitrogen as a therapeutic agent on canine cardiovascular function. Two studies were conducted to research these objectives. The first study analyzed the protein inclusion and screened for toxic nitrogenous compounds in commercial pet foods. Additionally, cardiovascular function in relation to nitrate and nitrite content, was analyzed in dogs fed the same commercial diets. The second study used a cost versus benefit analysis to examine the use of dietary nitrate and nitrite in dog food in order to determine whether it acts a toxic versus therapeutic additive. The results of the first study determined that while protein content in commercial diets increased in proportion to price, protein quality was still similar among commercial diets. Furthermore, diets containing a higher crude protein content also contains higher concentrations of non-protein nitrogen. Lastly, the current nitrate and nitrite content of commercial pet food is not high enough to have any influence of cardiovascular function. The results of the second study reveal that there are cardiovascular differences in dogs fed dietary nitrate versus dietary nitrite. Dietary nitrite showed signs of being potentially therapeutic in lowering blood pressure, with increases in nitrite producing a higher flow mediated dilation and lower heart rate in dogs. In contrast, dietary nitrate showed more cardiotoxic indicators, with increasing nitrate showing no improvements in flow mediated dilation and instead showing increases in heart rate and stroke volume. In conclusion, the results of this thesis show that consumers do not need to spend money on high priced diets, where protein is concerned. In addition, dietary nitrite showed more potential as therapeutic vasodilator in dogs than nitrate.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorWeber, Lynn P
CommitteeHogan, Natacha S; Desai, Kaushik M; Al-Dissi, Ahmad N
Copyright DateSeptember 2019