Animals, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ani10030536
The American College of Veterinary Behavior has grown in number and in expertise over the past quarter century. There are now 86 diplomates, at least three textbooks on treating behavior problems, and a text on veterinary psychopharmacology. Although veterinary behavior began in veterinary colleges, the majority of residents are now trained in non-conforming programs. Many more diplomates practice privately in specialty clinics or as separate businesses. Progress has been made in both diagnosis and treatment with polypharmacy, resulting in successful outcomes for many dogs and cats suffering from separation anxiety, fear, or aggression.
Animals, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ani10030543
To investigate the effects of dietary starch structure (amylose/amylopectin ratio, AR) on serum glucose absorption metabolism and intestinal health, a total of ninety weaned piglets (Duroc × (Yorkshire × Landrace)) were randomly assigned to 5 dietary treatments and fed with a diet containing different AR (2.90, 1.46, 0.68, 0.31, and 0.14). The trial lasted for 21 d. In this study, the growth performance was not affected by the dietary starch structure (p > 0.05). Diets with higher amylose ratios (i.e., AR 2.90 and 1.46) led to a significant reduction of the serum glucose concentration at 3 h post-prandium (p < 0.01), while high amylopectin diets (AR 0.31 and 0.14) significantly elevated The expression of gene s at this time point (p < 0.01). High amylopectin diets also increased the apparent digestibility of crude protein (CP), ether extract (EE), dry matter (DM), gross energy (GE), and crude ash (p < 0.001). Interestingly, diet rich in amylose (AR 2.90) significantly elevated the butyric acid content (p < 0.05) and decreased the pH value (p < 0.05) in the cecal digesta. In contrast, diet rich in amylopectin (i.e., AR 0.14) significantly elevated the total bacteria populations in the cecal digesta (p < 0.001). Moreover, a high amylopectin diet (AR 0.14) tended to elevate the mRNA level of fatty acid synthase (FAS, p = 0.083), but significantly decreased the mRNA level of sodium-dependent glucose transporter 1 (SGLT1, p < 0.05) in the duodenal and jejunal mucosa, respectively. These results suggested that blood glucose and insulin concentrations were improved in high AR diets, and the diet also helped to maintain the intestinal health.
Animals, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ani10030538
Nero di Parma is an endangered swine breed reared in the North of Italy which nowadays counts 1603 alive pigs. The aims of this study were (i) to explore the genetic diversity of the breed at pedigree level to determine the actual genetic structure, (ii) to evaluate the effectiveness of the breeding recovery project and (iii) to potentially propose breeding strategies for the coming generations. The pedigree dataset contained 14,485 animals and was used to estimate demographic and genetic parameters. The mean equivalent complete generations was equal to 6.47 in the whole population, and it reached a mean value of 7.94 in the live animals, highlighting the quality of the available data. Average inbreeding was 0.28 in the total population, whereas it reached 0.31 in the alive animals and it decreased to 0.27 if only breeding animals were considered. The rate of inbreeding based on the individual increase in inbreeding was equal to 7%. This study showed the effectiveness of the recovery project of the breed. Nevertheless, we found that inbreeding and genetic diversity have reached alarming levels, therefore novel breeding strategies must be applied to ensure long-term survival of this breed.
Animals, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ani10030539
Intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) exhibits programming consequences and may induce oxidative stress in growing animals and humans. This study was conducted to investigate the hypothesis that dietary curcumin may protect growing pigs from IUGR-induced oxidative stress via the Nrf2 pathway. Twelve normal birth weight (NBW) and 24 IUGR female piglets were selected and fed control diets supplemented 0 (NBW), 0 (IUGR) and 200 (IUGR + Cur) mg/kg curcumin from 26 to 115 days of age (n = 12). Growth performance, meat quality, redox status and its related Nrf2 pathway were determined. Results showed that IUGR pigs exhibited decreased body weight on 0 d, 26 d and 56 d (p < 0.01) but had no difference on 115 d among NBW, IUGR and IUGR + Cur groups (p > 0.05). Compared with NBW and IUGR groups, a significant decrease in drip loss (24 h and 48 h) was observed in the IUGR + Cur group (p < 0.01). IUGR pigs had higher concentrations of malondialdehyde (MDA) (p < 0.01) and protein carbonyl (PC) (p = 0.03) and lower activities of glutathione peroxidase (p = 0.02), catalase (p < 0.01) and peroxidase (p = 0.02) in leg muscles than NBW pigs. Dietary-added 200 mg/kg curcumin decreased concentrations of MDA and PC and improved the activities of catalase, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase as compared to the IUGR group (p < 0.05). Additionally, dietary curcumin enhanced protein (NQO1) and mRNA expression of genes (Nrf2, NQO1, gamma-glutamyltransferase 1 (GGT1), heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), glutathione S-transferase (GST) and catalase (CAT)) as compared to the IUGR group (p < 0.05). These results suggest that dietary curcumin could serve as a potential additive to enhance redox status and improve meat quality of IUGR growing pigs via the Nrf2 signal pathway.
Animals, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ani10030541
This retrospective study used 226 dogs and 296 cats to evaluate whether protein absorption was influenced by species, and within species, what influence increasing the percentage of total dietary protein, as plant protein, had on protein absorption. Each food was evaluated by at least one study with a minimum of six dogs or cats assigned to each study. Dietary inclusion of animal and plant based protein was calculated by analysis of ingredients and dietary inclusion level. Both dogs and cats were able to digest dietary plant protein, with protein digestibility in dogs unchanged as plant protein increased, while in cats, eating dry food, an increase in plant protein, was associated with increased protein digestibility. When individual plant high-concentration protein sources (excluding the protein from whole grains) were evaluated (i.e., soybean meal, soybean protein isolate, corn gluten meal, and rice protein concentrate) there was no response to increasing protein from these sources in the dog. In the cat, there was a significant positive effect on protein digestibility associated with an increasing concentration of corn gluten meal. In summary, as the dietary protein shifted from striated muscle and other animal proteins to plant based proteins, there was no effect in the dog, while in cats, increasing dietary plant protein was associated with increasing protein digestibility (5.5% increase at 50% protein from plants in dry cat food). Protein digestibility of food in dogs and cats is similar, if not enhanced, when the plant protein sources are concentrated from soybeans (soybean isolate, soybean meal), corn (corn gluten meal), or rice (rice protein concentrate).
Animals, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ani10030540
Farm animal welfare in the People’s Republic of China (henceforth, China) is not well represented in the international scientific literature. This may lead researchers, advocates and those with agricultural partnerships in China to assume that animal welfare is not a field of interest there. This study reports a literature review of published pig and poultry welfare research in China using Chinese scientific databases. We aimed to determine which areas of welfare research have recently received academic attention in China. From an understanding of areas being studied, current and emerging priority areas for research could be determined. This study identified 854 academic publications citing pig or chicken welfare in China published between 2008 and 2018. Within these publications, two broader areas of significant attention were addressed in the context of animal welfare; yield and product quality, such as feeding, biosecurity and antimicrobial resistance, including immunity and second, the relationship of animal welfare with the Chinese philosophy of ‘ecological agriculture.’ Holistic systems were advocated to maximize sustainability and maintain a healthy environment, such as the creation of fermented bedding for pigs. Environmental enrichment was also a focus of attention, demonstrating an interest in animals’ mental welfare, which was usually conjectured from their behavior. Few of the articles were translated into English or other languages and therefore most were largely unavailable to the English-speaking global scientific community. This presents an opportunity to provide relevant animal welfare knowledge, which could improve animal welfare globally. China is a global animal trade leader and the home of the largest agricultural industries in the world. An increase in collaboration on animal welfare research and understanding of the advancements that have been made in China, as reviewed in this manuscript, could advance farm animal welfare from a global perspective.
Animals, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ani10030537
This study was conducted to investigate the causes of mortality in young rabbits. A total of 110 V-Line breed female rabbits aged 5 m were used in this study. Rabbit kits were examined daily in pre- and postweaning stages to detect clinical disorders that caused death. The postmortem examination was carried out on dead kits. Furthermore, rabbits were examined for the probable bacteriological and parasitological causes of death. Fecal samples were collected from each dead kit and examined by standard microbiological procedures for bacterial pathogens and macroscopically and microscopically for the presence of endo- and ectoparasites. Throughout two breeding seasons, 2238 newborns were obtained, of which 1736 died, accounting for a 77.57% mortality rate. During preweaning (1st month of age) and postweaning (up to 3 months of age), 1501 (67.10%) and 235 (31.90%) deaths were recorded, respectively. A postweaning fecal examination revealed that 198 out of 229 (86.50%) were diarrheic rabbits due to Eimeria infection. Cittotaenia spp. eggs were detected in 4.37% of fecal samples, and mites (Sarcoptis scabiei) were present in 6.55%. E. coli was detected in 100% of examined animals during pre- and postweaning periods; however, Salmonella spp. were 97.22% and 43.67, respectively. Managemental risk factors were the main causes in preweaning mortality, including insufficient milk supply (37.37%), cannibalism (26.38%), mange infestation of a rabbit doe (22.20%), mastitis (4.30%), lack of doe care (5.00%), bronchopneumonia (2.13%), and enteritis (1.80%). However, risk factors in postweaning mortality included sudden death with general septicemia (13.80%), enteritis (9.63%), bronchopneumonia (5.43%), mange infestation (2.04%), and malnutrition (0.81%). In conclusion, the etiology of preweaning mortality in kits was related mainly to the doe, especially managemental risk factors. However, a combination of multiple pathogenic agents (parasites and bacteria) and managemental factors was reported in the postweaning stage. Careful attention must be paid to avoid these causes.
Animals, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ani10030535
Lamb meat is the main product of Central Italy transhumant farms, where lambs are traditionally reared with their mothers on pastures and are supplemented with concentrates and/or hay from day 20–30 until slaughter. However, few data are available on the fatty acid (FA) composition of unweaned lambs reared by extensive systems in Central Italy. The study aimed to evaluate the effect of breed (Bergamasca, Italian Merino, and Sopravissana) on the FA composition of intramuscular (longissimus lumborum, LL) and subcutaneous (SC) fats of light lambs. Statistical analysis showed that breed had effect only on some FAs in LL muscle fat (C18:0, C20:0, C14:1, C16:1, C17:1, C18:3 n-3, trans and conjugated linoleic acid isomers) and in SC adipose tissue (C21:0, C16:1, C18:1, C20:4 n-6, C20:5 n-3, C18:1 trans isomers). Gas chromatography data in combination with a chemometric approach could have some potential to discriminate among breeds. Indices of nutritional quality of the lipids suggested that the meat of Italian Merino and Sopravissana lambs might have better nutritional quality than Bergamasca; further studies, involving a greater number of animals, are needed to confirm these early results.
Animals, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ani10030534
Stresses and various infectious reagents caused multiple inflammatory diseases in swine in a livestock industrial environment. Therefore, there is a need for an effective therapeutic or preventive agent that could alleviate chronic and acute inflammation. We found that lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a stress-induced potent endogenous inflammatory molecule, causes a broad range-regulation of inflammation related genes inflammation in swine macrophages. We further investigated the genome scaled transcriptional regulatory effect of a novel LPA-signaling antagonist, KA-1002 on swine macrophages, inducing the alleviated LPA-mediated inflammation related gene expression. Therefore, KA-1002 could potentially serve as a novel therapeutic or preventive agent to maintain physiologically healthy and balanced conditions of pigs.
Animals, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/ani10030529
Our previous studies demonstrated that lauric acid (LA) stimulated mammary gland development during puberty. However, the roles of LA on lactation in mice remain indeterminate. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of dietary LA supplementation on lactation functioning and to study the potential mechanisms during lactation. in vivo, there was no effect of 1% LA dietary supplementation during lactation on the feed intake or body weight of breast-feeding mice. However, maternal LA supplementation significantly expanded the number of mammary gland alveoli of mice during lactation and the average body weight of the offspring, suggesting that LA supplementation enhanced the development and lactation function of the mammary glands. in vitro, 100 μM of LA significantly increased the content of triglycerides (TG) in the cell supernatant of induced HC11 cells, however, with no effect on the expression of the genes associated with fatty acid synthesis. LA also activated the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt) signaling pathway. LA dietary supplementation significantly expanded the serum levels of lipid metabolites, including sphingomyelin and other metabolites with the sn-2 position of C12 and sn-1 position of C18 in the TG of the lactating mice. Taken together, dietary supplementation of LA during lactation could promote the lactation function of mice, which might be related to increasing the development of the mammary glands and alternation of serum lipid metabolites. These findings provided more theoretical and experimental basis for the application of lauric acid in the development of mammary glands and lactation function of lactating animals.