Predictive formulas for food base excess and urine pH estimations of cats
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Food base excess (BE, mEq/kg) can be calculated from the diet macroelements, together with either the sulfur amino acids methionine and cysteine (BEaa) or total sulfur (BEs) concentrations. The present study compared the use of sulfur or methionine and cysteine for calculating the food BE (experiment 1) and investigated the influence of food BE on blood gas analysis and the urine pH of cats, and proposes a prediction equation to estimate the urine pH of cats fed kibble diets based on the calculated food BE (experiments 2 and 3). In experiment 1, nine healthy, adult cats were used in a change-over design and fed with nine commercial dry cat foods. The cats were housed in metabolism cages over seven days for adaptation and three days for total urine collection. All of the urine produced over 24h was pooled by cat and diet. The cats' acid-base status was assessed through blood gas analysis after 10 days of diet consumption. A mean difference of -115mEq/kg between BEs and BEaa was observed, which could be explained by a greater concentration of sulfur in the whole diet than in methionine and cysteine. Urine pH presented a stronger correlation with food BEs (R2=0.95; P<0.001) than with food BEaa (R2=0.86; P<0.001). Experiment 2 included 30 kibble diets, and each diet was tested in six cats. The food BEs varied between -180 and +307mEq/kg, and the urine pH of the cats varied between 5.60 and 7.74. A significant correlation was found between the measured urine pH and the food BEs (urinary pH=6.269+[0.0036×BEs]+[0.000003×BEs2]; R2=0.91; P<0.001). In experiment 3, eight kibble diets were tested (food BEs between -187mEq/kg and +381mEq/kg) to validate the equation proposed in experiment 2 and to compare the obtained results with previously published formulae. The results of the proposed formula presented a high concordance correlation coefficient (0.942) and high accuracy (0.979) with the measured values, and the estimates of urine pH did not differ from the values obtained in cats (P>0.05). The cats' venous blood pH, bicarbonate, and blood BE were correlated with food BEs (P<0.001); the consumption of diets with low food BEs induced a reduction in these parameters. In conclusion, food macroelement composition has a strong influence on cats' acid-base equilibrium and food BEs calculation is a useful tool to formulate and balance kibble diets for felines. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
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