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September 29, 1917


JAMA. 1917;LXIX(13):1082-1083. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590400042016

An important advance in the study of that perplexing disease, pellagra, has been made in the discovery by Chittenden and Underhill1 of Yale University that symptoms closely resembling those found in human subjects can be induced experimentally in dogs. As may be anticipated, diet plays the dominant part in initiating the pellagra-like condition. When the animals are fed on a ration consisting of boiled dried peas, cracker meal and cottonseed oil or lard, they rapidly develop symptoms indicating abnormal nutrition. Unless definite changes in the food are made, this condition eventually terminates in death.

The pathologic manifestations which attend the usually quite sudden onset of the symptoms center especially along the alimentary tract. A foul mouth and bloody diarrhea are accompanied by hemorrhagic conditions in the lower bowel. There may be ulcers in the duodenum, particularly in those animals which die with exhibition of nervous symptoms, such as convulsions.