Individual study: Effect of diet on the incidence of and mortality owing to gastritis and renal disease in captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in South Africa
Lane E.P., Miller S., Lobetti R., Caldwell P., Bertschinger H.J., Burroughs R., Kotze A. & van D.A. (2012) Effect of diet on the incidence of and mortality owing to gastritis and renal disease in captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in South Africa. Zoo Biology, 31, 669-682
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Carnivores: Feed commercially prepared diets
A replicated, controlled study in 2012 of cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus in a wildlife centre in South Africa, found that cheetahs fed commercial dry feline food had a similar likelihood of developing gastritis compared to cheetahs fed horsemeat and bone with supplement. Cheetahs on the commercial diet had a daily hazard of developing gastritis 2.2 times higher than cheetahs on the meat-based diet (gastritis grade 3 or above), although this difference was not significant. Serum urea levels were lower (14.76 vs 19.15 mmol/litre) and creatine levels higher (256.9 vs 249.1 umol/litre) on the commercial compared to the meat-based diet. Serum urea and creatine are expected to increase with renal disease. Forty-eight cheetahs which had a gastritis grade of less than 3 and whose blood protein creatine levels were below 300 umol/litre were studied. They were fed either 4 kg of horsemeat and bone, 5 g of vitamin/mineral supplement and 20 ml of fish-oil supplement (n=26) or 500 g of commercial adult feline food (n=22) daily, both diets included one whole eviscerated chicken twice a week. A concurrent study comparing a meat-based diet with a commercial food formulated for renal disease in cheetahs diagnosed with gastritis and/or renal disease was inconclusive. Gastritis was graded 0-9 based on biopsies, with 9 being most inflamed.