Effect of linseed cake supplementation on digestibility and faecal and haematological parameters in dogs
The experiment was conducted with a 6 × 4 cyclic changeover design. Six adult Alaskan huskies were assigned to diets containing 0%, 2%, 4%, 6% and 8% linseed cake. A linear decrease in the apparent digestibilities of organic matter (OM) (p < 0.020), ether extract (EE) (p < 0.003), neutral detergent fibre (p < 0.015), nitrogen-free extract (NFE) (p < 0.001) and crude carbohydrates (p < 0.001) was noted. Digestibilities of dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP) were unaffected by the treatment. Wet weight of faeces increased (p < 0.001) and DM of faeces decreased (p < 0.001) linearly as the percentage of dietary linseed cake increased. Serum cholesterol concentration tended to decrease (p = 0.094) as the proportion of linseed cake increased. Apparent OM, EE, CP and NFE digestibility coefficients for linseed cake were 52%, 77%, 54% and 37%, respectively, and the digestible energy (DE) value was 13.22 MJ/kg DM. Our results showed that working and racing dogs fed the extruded and kibbled diet can utilize up to 4.2% linseed cake of diet DM as a fibre source without severe reductions in nutrient digestibility or feed consumption. Even higher levels of linseed cake, up to 8.5% of diet DM, can be used for normal or obese dogs, but more faeces will be excreted.