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Browsing by Author "Tulenheimo, Outi"

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  • Tulenheimo, Outi (University of HelsinkiHelsingin yliopistoHelsingfors universitet, 2018)
    Raw meat-based diets have gained popularity in recent years amongst dog owners and there is a lot of debate about the effects of raw food on dogs' health. The purpose of this thesis was to study serum mineral concentrations in dogs eating raw meat-based diet or dry diet. The minerals analyzed were copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. My hypothesis is that when dogs are fed industrial balanced raw or dry food there are no significant differences in the serum mineral concentrations between the two diet groups. In this study there were 41 adult Staffordshire bull terriers of which 25 ate raw food and 16 dry food. 26 of the dogs were atopic, 13 were control dogs and 2 dogs could not be placed to either of the groups. The dogs came to three visits. The first blood sample was taken on either the first or the baseline visit. During the next three to five months the dogs were either on dry food or raw food diet, based on allotment. Itching, skin symptoms, and diet were taken into consideration in the allotment. After the feeding study the dogs came to the end visit where the second blood sample was taken. Based on the results both diets had an effect on some mineral concentrations. Also the health status had an effect on some mineral concentrations and in the atopic dogs the diet had a more pronounced effect on the serum mineral concentrations than in the control dogs. On the basis of these results the hypothesis was incorrect because there were significant differences in the serum mineral concentrations between the two diets. As we do not know the optimal serum concentrations of these minerals in the canine species the clinical significance of these results is somewhat limited but this study lays the foundation for further studies.