Taurine status in normal dogs fed a commercial diet associated with taurine deficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy

J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2003 Oct;87(9-10):359-72. doi: 10.1046/j.1439-0396.2003.00446.x.


Taurine (Tau) deficiencies have been associated with the feeding of commercial lamb-meal and rice diets to dogs. We hypothesized that the poor digestibility of some lamb-meals may limit sulphur amino acids availability for Tau synthesis and/or increase of Tau degradation in the gut. Growing dogs were fed either a lamb-meal-based (Diet A) or poultry by-product-based (Diet B) commercial diet. Plasma, whole blood and urinary Tau were measured for 22 weeks. Plasma and whole blood Tau concentrations were similar between the groups throughout the study. Urinary excretion of Tau in dogs fed diet A was 3.2 times greater than that from dogs fed Diet B, suggesting greater renal reabsorption and the need for conservation of Tau in the Diet A group. Food restriction affected Tau status as indicted by a positive correlation of food intake and urinary Tau. Dogs fed Diet A were given antibiotics to inhibit bacterial activity in the gut. Increases in breath hydrogen, indicative of increased bacterial activity, correlated negatively with urinary Tau. Urinary Tau increased by 54% when methionine (Met) was supplemented to Diet A, supporting the suggestion of a low bioavailability of sulphur amino acids and/or an increased fecal loss of Tau in dogs consuming Diet A.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids, Sulfur / metabolism*
  • Animal Feed / standards*
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Animals
  • Biological Availability
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / etiology
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / veterinary
  • Digestion
  • Dogs / blood
  • Dogs / metabolism*
  • Dogs / urine
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Food Deprivation
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Male
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Nutritional Status
  • Random Allocation
  • Taurine / administration & dosage
  • Taurine / analysis*
  • Taurine / deficiency


  • Amino Acids, Sulfur
  • Taurine