Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 534138
Title Are carnivore digestive separation mechanisms revealed on structure-rich diets?: Faecal inconsistency in dogs (Canis familiaris) fed day old chicks
Author(s) Cuyper, Annelies De; Clauss, M.; Hesta, Myriam; Cools, An; Bosch, G.; Hendriks, W.H.; Janssens, Geert P.J.
Source PLoS One 13 (2018)2. - ISSN 1932-6203 - 20 p.
Department(s) Animal Nutrition
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Abstract Pronounced variations in faecal consistency have been described anecdotally for some carnivore species fed a structure-rich diet. Typically two faecal consistencies are distinguished, namely hard and firm versus liquid and viscous faeces. It is possible that a separation mechanism is operating in the carnivore digestive tract, as in many herbivore species. Six beagle dogs were fed two experimental diets in a cross-over design of 7 days. Test diets consisted of chunked day old chicks differing only in particle size (fine = 7.8 mm vs coarse = 13 mm) in order to vary dietary structure. Digestive retention time was measured using titanium oxide (TiO2) as marker. The total faecal output was scored for consistency and faecal fermentation profiles were evaluated through faecal short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) and ammonia (NH3) analyses. A total of 181 faecal samples were collected. Dietary particle size did not affect faecal consistency, fermentative end products nor mean retention time (MRT). However, a faecal consistency dichotomy was observed with firm faeces (score 2–2.5) and soft faeces (score 4–4.5) being the most frequently occurring consistencies in an almost alternating pattern in every single dog. Firm and soft faeces differed distinctively in fermentative profiles. Although the structure difference between diets did not affect the faecal dichotomy, feeding whole prey provoked the occurrence of the latter which raises suspicion of a digestive separation mechanism in the canine digestive tract. Further faecal characterisation is however required in order to unravel the underlying mechanism.
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