Assessment of body fat in the pony: part II. Validation of the deuterium oxide dilution technique for the measurement of body fat.
ABSTRACT Excessive accumulations or depletions of body fat have been associated with increased morbidity and mortality in horses and ponies. An objective, minimally-invasive method to accurately quantify body fat in living animals is required to aid nutritional management and define welfare/performance limits.
To compare deuterium oxide (D(2) O) dilution-derived estimates of total body water (TBW) and body fat with values obtained by 'gold standard' proximate analysis and cadaver dissection.
D(2) O dilution offers a valid method for the determination of TBW and body fat in equids.
Seven mature (mean ± s.e. 13 ± 3 years, 212 ± 14 kg, body condition scores 1.25-7/9), healthy, Welsh Mountain pony mares, destined for euthanasia (for nonresearch purposes) were used. Blood samples were collected before and 4 h after D(2) O (0.11-0.13 g/kg bwt, 99.8 atom percent excess) administration. Plasma was analysed by gas isotope ratio mass spectrometry following filtration and zinc reduction. After euthanasia, white adipose tissue (WAT) mass was recorded before all body tissues were analysed by proximate chemical analyses.
D(2) O-derived estimates of TBW and body fat were strongly associated with proximate analysis- and dissection-derived values (all r(2) >0.97, P≤0.0001). Bland-Altman analyses demonstrated good agreements between methods. D(2) O dilution slightly overestimated TBW (0.79%, limits of agreement (LoA) -3.75-2.17%) and underestimated total body lipid (1.78%, LoA -0.59-4.15%) and dissected WAT (0.72%, LoA -2.77-4.21%).
This study provides the first validation of the D(2) O dilution method for the minimally-invasive, accurate, repeatable and objective measurement of body water and fat in living equids.
- SourceAvailable from: Susan Elizabeth Girdwood[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The horse, as a hindgut fermenter, is reliant on its intestinal bacterial population for efficient diet utilisation. However, sudden disturbance of this population can result in severe colic or laminitis, both of which may require euthanasia. This study therefore aimed to determine the temporal stability of the bacterial population of faecal samples from six ponies maintained on a formulated high fibre diet. Bacterial 16S rRNA terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) analyses of 10 faecal samples collected from 6 ponies at regular intervals over 72 hour trial periods identified a significant pony-specific profile (P<0.001) with strong stability. Within each pony, a significantly different population was found after 11 weeks on the same diet (P<0.001) and with greater intra-individual similarity. Total short chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentration increased in all ponies, but other changes (such as bacterial population diversity measures, individual major SCFA concentration) were significant and dependent on the individual. This study is the first to report the extent of stability of microbes resident in the intestinal tract as represented with such depth and frequency of faecal sampling. In doing so, this provides a baseline from which future trials can be planned and the extent to which results may be interpreted.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(9):e75079. · 3.73 Impact Factor