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Am J Vet Res. 1985 Dec;46(12):2609-12.

Influence of dietary composition on gastric emptying and motility in dogs: potential involvement in acute gastric dilatation.


Gastric dilatation-volvulus is a dramatic and life-threatening disease of large-breed dogs. The cause is unknown, but ingestion of dry cereal-based food is frequently incriminated as a predisposing factor. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of commercial diets on gastric motility and emptying in the dog. Four large-breed dogs were fed 3 different diets (diet A = canned meat-based; B = cereal-based with 77% added water; and C = dry cereal-based) in a randomized block design. Each experiment was done in triplicate. Motility was assessed, using 5 AgAgCl electrodes and 2 strain gauges sutured along the serosa of the stomach and proximal duodenum. Dogs were fed at the same time each day and the time to change from the fed to the fasted pattern of gastrointestinal motility (changeover) was measured. Gastric emptying was assessed by recording gastric radioactivity. After feeding a meal mixed with 99mTc-labeled resin, the log of activity was plotted against time, and the half-time of gastric emptying (t1/2 GE) was calculated. Mean (+/- SEM) times from feeding to changeover for the 3 diets were: diet A, 9.7 +/- 0.9; B, 10.5 +/- 0.4; and C, 11.0 +/- 0.8 hours. Diet had minimal influence on the half time of gastric emptying (diet A, 2.2 +/- 0.3; B, 2.6 +/- 0.4; and C, 2.9 +/- 0.3 hours; P greater than 0.05). The data indicate that gastric motility and emptying in healthy large-breed dogs were not affected by dietary composition. Because most large dogs are fed cereal-based food for reasons of cost and ease of use, these diets may have been wrongly incriminated as a predisposing factor in gastric dilatation-volvulus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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