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OVC Researchers Are Advancing Animal Nutrition

At the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), several researchers are focusing on how advances in nutrition can optimize the health and welfare of animals. During March, Canada’s National Nutrition Month, we are featuring some of this ongoing work.

National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign that was established by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in the early ‘70s to educate on the importance of healthy eating. It is now observed across Canada and many institutions have since recognized March as Pet Nutrition Month.

Pet Nutrition

Dr. Adronie Verbrugghe, Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Endowed Chair in Canine and Feline Clinical NutritionDr. Caitlin Grant, Nestlé Purina Professorship in Companion Animal NutritionMembers of the Pet Nutrition team at OVC are conducting innovative research to optimize canine and feline nutrition. Led by Dr. Adronie Verbrugghe, Royal Canin Veterinary Diets Endowed Chair in Canine and Feline Clinical Nutrition, Dr. Caitlin Grant, Nestlé Purina Professorship in Companion Animal Nutrition, the team’s research focuses on the link between nutrition, the gastrointestinal microbiome and the whole-body metabolome – an emerging field to identify and better understand obesity and related health consequences.

Read more about the ongoing studies from OVC’s Pet Nutrition team here.

Dairy Cattle Nutrition

Dr. Todd Duffield, OVC’s Department of Population MedicineDr. Todd Duffield, professor in OVC’s Department of Population Medicine, and colleagues are studying metabolic disease in dairy cattle and exploring potential solutions for dairy producers. Metabolic diseases are challenging for dairy producers to treat and can impact cattle health, production and reproduction. Duffield and his team are researching possible diagnostic tools, risk factors, treatment and preventions that are critical to helping producers manage metabolic challenges in their dairy herds.

Read more about Dr. Todd Duffield’s ongoing research here.

Poultry Nutrition

Dr. Shayan Sharif, OVC’s Department of PathobiologyDr. Shayan Sharif and researchers in his laboratory are working to identify beneficial microbes, in the form of probiotics, for maintaining a healthy gut in poultry. Sharif, a professor in OVC’s Department of Pathobiology, is developing a poultry probiotic that will improve gut health and combat pathogens in poultry. Their research will provide an evidence-based intervention to improve gut and overall health in poultry.

Read more about Dr. Shayan Sharif’s work in this area.

 

Swine Nutrition

Dr. Robert Friendship, OVC’s Department of Population MedicineDr. Bob Friendship, professor in OVC’s Department of Population Medicine and swine research coordinator at the University of Guelph, and colleagues have found that piglets may require further iron supplementation after birth. His group examined iron supplementation in piglets and nursery pigs, a common practice in the swine industry. Friendship’s results suggest that additional iron supplementation at two to three weeks of age may improve pig performance, growth rate and the ability to combat disease.

Read more about Dr. Bob Friendship’s research here.