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Dietary factors associated with faecal consistency and other indicators of gastrointestinal health in the captive cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)

(2015) PLOS ONE. 10(4).
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Abstract
Gastrointestinal diseases pose significant risks to captive cheetah survival and welfare. Multiple factors are thought to be associated with these diseases, but to date a comprehensive epidemiological survey of disease risk factors has not been conducted. A survey of diet and health parameters was completed for 184 captive cheetahs in 86 international facilities. Comparisons were made among dietary factors with respect to disease status and observed faecal consistency, incidence of vomiting and diarrhoea in the past 4 weeks. Extremely dry faeces were most common in cheetahs fed carcasses, but was still of low incidence (15%). Contrastingly, cheetahs fed commercially prepared diets had the highest prevalence of liquid faeces "always" or "often" (9%). Cheetahs fed raw meat diets had the highest prevalence of soft faeces with no shape (22%), as well as of firm and dry faeces (40%). No broad category of diet exerted any influence on the health parameters investigated. However, feeding of ribs at least once per week reduced the odds of diarrhoea (P = 0.020) and feeding of long bones (limbs) at least once per week was associated with a lower odds of vomiting (P = 0.008). Cheetahs fed muscle meat at least once per week had reduced odds of suffering from chronic gastritis (P = 0.005) or non-specific gastrointestinal disease (P < 0.001). The only factor identified as increasing the odds of chronic gastritis was feeding of horse "often" or "always" (P = 0.023). The findings of the current study build on existing empirical research to support a recommendation towards a greater inclusion of skeletal components. Current husbandry guidelines advocating the use of supplemented raw meat diets are likewise supported, but the use of horse meat, as well as commercially prepared diets for captive cheetahs, warrants caution until further research is conducted.
Keywords
MARKERS, INOCULUM, FELIDS, NUTRIENT, GASTRITIS, FERMENTATION, DOGS, DISEASE, BLOOD VALUES, STRICT CARNIVORES

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Chicago
Whitehouse-Tedd, Katherine M, Sandra L Lefebvre, and Geert Janssens. 2015. “Dietary Factors Associated with Faecal Consistency and Other Indicators of Gastrointestinal Health in the Captive Cheetah (Acinonyx Jubatus).” Plos One 10 (4).
APA
Whitehouse-Tedd, K. M., Lefebvre, S. L., & Janssens, G. (2015). Dietary factors associated with faecal consistency and other indicators of gastrointestinal health in the captive cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). PLOS ONE, 10(4).
Vancouver
1.
Whitehouse-Tedd KM, Lefebvre SL, Janssens G. Dietary factors associated with faecal consistency and other indicators of gastrointestinal health in the captive cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). PLOS ONE. 2015;10(4).
MLA
Whitehouse-Tedd, Katherine M, Sandra L Lefebvre, and Geert Janssens. “Dietary Factors Associated with Faecal Consistency and Other Indicators of Gastrointestinal Health in the Captive Cheetah (Acinonyx Jubatus).” PLOS ONE 10.4 (2015): n. pag. Print.
@article{7259763,
  abstract     = {Gastrointestinal diseases pose significant risks to captive cheetah survival and welfare. Multiple factors are thought to be associated with these diseases, but to date a comprehensive epidemiological survey of disease risk factors has not been conducted. A survey of diet and health parameters was completed for 184 captive cheetahs in 86 international facilities. Comparisons were made among dietary factors with respect to disease status and observed faecal consistency, incidence of vomiting and diarrhoea in the past 4 weeks. Extremely dry faeces were most common in cheetahs fed carcasses, but was still of low incidence (15\%). Contrastingly, cheetahs fed commercially prepared diets had the highest prevalence of liquid faeces {\textacutedbl}always{\textacutedbl} or {\textacutedbl}often{\textacutedbl} (9\%). Cheetahs fed raw meat diets had the highest prevalence of soft faeces with no shape (22\%), as well as of firm and dry faeces (40\%). No broad category of diet exerted any influence on the health parameters investigated. However, feeding of ribs at least once per week reduced the odds of diarrhoea (P = 0.020) and feeding of long bones (limbs) at least once per week was associated with a lower odds of vomiting (P = 0.008). Cheetahs fed muscle meat at least once per week had reduced odds of suffering from chronic gastritis (P = 0.005) or non-specific gastrointestinal disease (P {\textlangle} 0.001). The only factor identified as increasing the odds of chronic gastritis was feeding of horse {\textacutedbl}often{\textacutedbl} or {\textacutedbl}always{\textacutedbl} (P = 0.023). The findings of the current study build on existing empirical research to support a recommendation towards a greater inclusion of skeletal components. Current husbandry guidelines advocating the use of supplemented raw meat diets are likewise supported, but the use of horse meat, as well as commercially prepared diets for captive cheetahs, warrants caution until further research is conducted.},
  articleno    = {e0120903},
  author       = {Whitehouse-Tedd, Katherine M and Lefebvre, Sandra L and Janssens, Geert},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  journal      = {PLOS ONE},
  keyword      = {MARKERS,INOCULUM,FELIDS,NUTRIENT,GASTRITIS,FERMENTATION,DOGS,DISEASE,BLOOD VALUES,STRICT CARNIVORES},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {20},
  title        = {Dietary factors associated with faecal consistency and other indicators of gastrointestinal health in the captive cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0120903},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2015},
}

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