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Thiamine supplementation in dogs and cats with anorexia or a reduced appetite

** Please note this study is closed/completed and no longer recruiting patients ** 


To determine if ICU patients should be routinely supplemented with thiamine as part of their standard treatment by assessing:

  • A, reference range for thiamine in the blood of healthy adult dogs and cats;
  • B, prevalence of thiamine deficiency and response to subcutaneous repletion in critically ill dogs and cats (including Oncology patients).


What is thiamine?

Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, is a nutrient that is important for both metabolism and proper functioning of the nervous system. Thiamine, a water-soluble vitamin, cannot be produced in the body and is not stored in the body’s tissues, so it must regularly be taken in through the diet.

What are the dietary sources of thiamine?

Thiamine in commercial pet foods can come from whole grains (e.g. wheat germ), legumes, yeast, organ meats (e.g. liver, heart, and kidneys), or from supplements (e.g. thiamine mononitrate or thiamine hydrochloride).

When can thiamine deficiency occur?

During critical illness, many dogs and cats often have reduced appetites and are not able to consume enough energy and nutrients to meet their needs. This means they are also not consuming sufficient thiamine and are at risk of deficiency.

Cats are more susceptible to thiamine deficiency than dogs, as they require 4-5 times more thiamine in their diets.


  • Nutrition Service will provide a diet plan to primary clinician
  • Thiamine supplementation for up to 72 hrs
  • Body condition and muscle condition scores

Samples required:

  • Blood upon enrollment & after 48-72 hrs

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Dogs 1-10 years old or cats 1-15 years old
  • Reduced appetite or food intake, or anorexia, for past 3-5 days
  • Anticipated 48-72 hrs of hospitalization @ OVC

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Anticipated red blood cell/whole blood transfusion
  • Conditions that preclude multiple subcutaneous injections


  • Dr. Adronie Verbrugghe (PI)
  • Dr. Jackie Parr (PI)
  • Georgia Kritikos (MSc. student)


Vicky Sabine (PhD), Clinical Research Coordinator

Email:; Work Cell #: 226-218-0338

Funded by American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition/Waltham

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