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Lineva, Anna; Benkovic, Eva Tavcar; Kreft, Samo and Kienzle, Ellen (2019): Remarkable frequency of a history of liver disease in dogs fed homemade diets with buckwheat. In: Tieraerztliche Praxis Ausgabe Kleintiere Heimtiere, Vol. 47, No. 4: pp. 242-246

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Objective In our nutrition consultation service we observed liver disease in 2 dogs of one owner who was feeding buckwheat. This led to the hypothesis that buckwheat may cause problems. The present retrospective study in a German and a Russian nutrition consultation service was carried out to see whether there is an increased incidence of liver disease in dogs fed buckwheat. Materials and methods A retrospective study was carried out on the nutrition consultation cases of the Chair of Animal Nutrition and Dietetics, LMU Munich and a Russian nutrition consultant. All cases of dogs with buckwheat in their nutritional history were evaluated and compared with randomly selected dogs that had not been fed buckwheat from the same case set. Two German and 1 Russian buckwheat samples were compared (appearance, nutrient content, starch gelatinization, flavonoids, fagopyrin) as well as cooking methods. Results In the years 2007-2017, 34 cases of dogs fed buckwheat were identified in Germany and 57 in Russia. Eighty-five control cases in Germany and 48 in Russia were evaluated. In Germany, the incidence of liver disease in dogs fed buckwheat was 32 %, while that of the control group was 3.5 %. However, in Russia there was no significant difference between dogs fed buckwheat and control dogs. The appearance of the German and Russian buckwheat differed, with smaller seeds and more greenish colour in the German specimens while the Russian buckwheat presented larger and more brownish seeds. There was no difference in the analyses of the 3 buckwheat samples in crude nutrient and rutin content. Quercetin, quercitrin and fagopyrin were not detectable in all three samples. The degree of starch gelatinization in the Russian sample was higher than in the German. In Russia it is recommended to remove the reddish scum during boiling whereas this is rarely mentioned in Germany. Conclusion and clinical significance German buckwheat may represent a risk in canine diets. With the difference remaining unclear, it is recommended to refrain from feeding buckwheat to dogs. In dogs fed homemade diets and suffering from liver disease, buckwheat should be considered in the nutrition history.

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