Animals2015, 5(2), 173-192; doi:10.3390/ani5020173 - published 26 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Common to many of the repeated issues surrounding animals in disasters in the U.S. is a pre-existing weak animal health infrastructure that is under constant pressure resulting from pet overpopulation. Unless this root cause is addressed, communities remain vulnerable to similar issues with animals they and others have faced in past disasters. In the US the plight of animals in disasters is frequently viewed primarily as a response issue and frequently handled by groups that are not integrated with the affected community’s emergency management. In contrast, animals, their owners, and communities would greatly benefit from integrating animal issues into an overall emergency management strategy for the community. There is no other factor contributing as much to human evacuation failure in disasters that is under the control of emergency management when a threat is imminent as pet ownership. Emergency managers can take advantage of the bond people have with their animals to instill appropriate behavior amongst pet owners in disasters.
Animals2015, 5(2), 161-172; doi:10.3390/ani5020161 - published 25 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Objective—Feline upper respiratory infection (URI) is a common, multi-factorial infectious disease syndrome endemic to many animal shelters. Although a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in shelter cats, URI is seldom formally monitored in shelter cat populations. Without monitoring, effective control and prevention of this often endemic disease is difficult. We looked at an integrated case management software system a for animal care organizations, widely used in shelters across the United States. Shelter staff routinely enter information regarding individual animals and disease status, but do not commonly use the software system to track frequency of disease. The purpose of this study was to determine if the software system a can be used to track URI frequency and selected risk factors in a population, and to evaluate the quality and completeness of the data as currently collected in a shelter. Design (type of study)—Descriptive Survey. Animals (or Sample)—317 cats in an animal shelter. Procedures—Reports from the software system a containing data regarding daily inventory, daily intake, animal identification, location, age, vaccination status, URI diagnosis and URI duration were evaluated. The reports were compared to data collected manually by an observer (Ann Therese Kommedal) to assess discrepancies, completeness, timeliness, availability and accuracy. Data were collected 6 days a week over a 4 week period. Results—Comparisons between the software system a reports and manually collected reports showed that 93% of inventory reports were complete and of these 99% were accurate. Fifty-two percent of the vaccination reports were complete, of which 97% were accurate. The accuracy of the software system’s age reports was 76%. Two-hundred and twenty-three cats were assigned a positive or negative URI diagnosis by the observer. The predictive value of the URI status in the software system a was below 60% both for positive and negative URI diagnosis. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—data currently collected and entered into the software systems in the study shelter, was not useful for tracking URI frequency and risk factors, due to issues with both data quality and capture. However, the potential exists to increase the practicality and usefulness of this shelter software system to monitor URI and other diseases. Relevant data points, i.e., health status at intake and outcome, vaccination date and status, as well as age, should be made mandatory to facilitate more useful data collection and reporting.
Animals2015, 5(2), 151-160; doi:10.3390/ani5020151 - published 25 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Methionine (Met) requirement studies with homozygous (Na/Na) and heterozygous (Na/na) naked neck meat type chicken utilized 144 birds of average weight (50% each genotype and sex) within two N balance experiments involving both the starter (d10–20) and grower period (d25–35). The birds were randomly allotted to five experimental diets with graded protein supply and Met as the limiting amino acid. The proportion of native feed protein sources (soy protein concentrate, maize, wheat, fishmeal and wheat gluten) was kept constant to ensure a uniform protein quality in all diets. The Met requirement depending on genotype, sex, age period and growth performance (protein deposition) was estimated using a non-linear modeling procedure of N utilization in monogastric animals. On average, 0.47% (Na/Na) and 0.45% (Na/na) dietary Met was established as adequate in the starter diet, as well as 0.37% (Na/Na) and 0.36% (Na/na) Met in the grower diet for both of the sexes. In conclusion, the Met requirement of the naked neck chicken is not significantly different from its normally-feathered counterparts. In addition, the low feather production was not reflected by reduced requirement for Met in naked neck birds. However, these conclusions are valid only at the given Met:Cys ratio (1:1) in the experimental diets.
Animals2015, 5(1), 138-150; doi:10.3390/ani5010138 - published 20 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: There is increasing controversy about the use of the whip as a performance aid in Thoroughbred horseracing and its impact on horse welfare. This paper offers a critical analysis of the British Horseracing Authority’s (BHA) 2011 Report Responsible Regulation: A Review of the Use of the Whip in Horseracing. It examines the BHA’s process of consultation and use of science and public opinion research through the application of current scientific literature and legal analysis. This analysis suggests that the BHA’s findings on the welfare impact and justification for whip use are insufficiently defended by the report. These findings indicate that the report is an inadequate basis from which to draw any definitive conclusions on the impact of whips on racehorse welfare. Further review is needed, undertaken by an independent scientific body, to advance this debate.
Animals2015, 5(1), 126-137; doi:10.3390/ani5010126 - published 18 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Food is a major aspect of pet care; therefore, ensuring that pet foods are not only healthful but attractive to companion animals and their owners is essential. The petfood market remains active and requires ongoing evaluation of the adaptation and efficiency of the new products. Palatability—foods’ characteristics enticing animals and leading them to consumption—is therefore a key element to look at. Based on the type of information needed, different pet populations (expert or naïve) can be tested to access their preference and acceptance for different food products. Classical techniques are the one-bowl and two-bowl tests, but complementary (i.e., operant conditioning) and novel (i.e., exploratory behavior) approaches are available to gather more information on the evaluation of petfood palatability.
Animals2015, 5(1), 110-125; doi:10.3390/ani5010110 - published 16 February 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The objectives of this study were to determine (a) the influence of fiber on the sensory characteristics of dry dog foods; (b) differences of coated and uncoated kibbles for aroma and flavor characteristics; (c) palatability of these dry dog foods; and (d) potential associations between palatability and sensory attributes. A total of eight fiber treatments were manufactured: a control (no fiber addition), guava fiber (3%, 6%, and 12%), sugar cane fiber (9%; large and small particle size), and wheat bran fiber (32%; large and small particle size). The results indicated significant effects of fibers on both flavor and texture properties of the samples. Bitter taste and iron and stale aftertaste were examples of flavor attributes that differed with treatment, with highest intensity observed for 12% guava fiber and small particle size sugar cane fiber treatments. Fracturability and initial crispness attributes were lowest for the sugar cane fiber treatments. Flavor of all treatments changed after coating with a palatant, increasing in toasted, brothy, and grainy attributes. The coating also had a masking effect on aroma attributes such as stale, flavor attributes such as iron and bitter taste, and appearance attributes such as porosity. Palatability testing results indicated that the control treatment was preferred over the sugar cane or the wheat bran treatment. The treatment with large sugarcane fiber particles was preferred over the treatment with small particles, while both of the wheat bran treatments were eaten at a similar level. Descriptive sensory analysis data, especially textural attributes, were useful in pinpointing the underlying characteristics and were considered to be reasons that may influence palatability of dog foods manufactured with inclusion of different fibers.