Serum chemistry alterations in Alaskan sled dogs during five successive days of prolonged endurance exercise

Erica C. McKenzie Department of Physiological Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078

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Eduard Jose-Cunilleras Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210

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Kenneth W. Hinchcliff Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210

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Todd C. Holbrook Department of Physiological Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078

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Christopher Royer Department of Physiological Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078

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Mark E. Payton Department of Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078

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Kathy Williamson Department of Physiological Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078

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Stuart Nelson Iditarod Trail Committee, Mile 2.2 Knik Goose Bay Rd, Wasilla, AK 99654

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Michael D. Willard Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843

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Michael S. Davis Department of Physiological Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078

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Abstract

Objective—To determine the impact of successive days of endurance exercise on select serum chemistry values in conditioned Alaskan sled dogs.

Design—Prospective cohort study.

Animals—10 conditioned Alaskan sled dogs.

Procedures—All dogs ran 160 km/d for 5 consecutive days. Serum was obtained prior to exercise and immediately after each exercise run; all samples were obtained before dogs were fed. Serum electrolyte, mineral, protein, total bilirubin, urea nitrogen, creatinine, and cardiac troponin-I concentrations and serum alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransfer-ase, creatine kinase, and aspartate aminotransferase activities were measured. Data were analyzed by means of analysis of covariance for a randomized complete block design with dog as a blocking variable, time as a covariate, and distance run as the treatment of interest. Least square mean values were compared with values obtained prior to exercise, and linear and quadratic contrasts were examined.

Results—Serum globulin concentration was low prior to exercise (mean ± SD, 2.2 ± 0.3g/dL) and progressively decreased as exercise continued. Exercise was associated with increases in serum chloride, urea nitrogen, and cardiac troponin-I concentrations and serum alanine aminotransferase, creatine kinase, and aspartate aminotransferase activities and with pro-gressive decreases in serum potassium, total protein, and albumin concentrations.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that multiple successive days of endurance exercise resulted in mild aberrations in serum chemistry variables in conditioned sled dogs. Changes likely reflected the metabolic stresses of prolonged endurance exercise as well as dietary composition. Hypoglobulinemia in resting, conditioned sled dogs may reflect the immunosuppressive or catabolic effects of intense endurance training.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the impact of successive days of endurance exercise on select serum chemistry values in conditioned Alaskan sled dogs.

Design—Prospective cohort study.

Animals—10 conditioned Alaskan sled dogs.

Procedures—All dogs ran 160 km/d for 5 consecutive days. Serum was obtained prior to exercise and immediately after each exercise run; all samples were obtained before dogs were fed. Serum electrolyte, mineral, protein, total bilirubin, urea nitrogen, creatinine, and cardiac troponin-I concentrations and serum alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransfer-ase, creatine kinase, and aspartate aminotransferase activities were measured. Data were analyzed by means of analysis of covariance for a randomized complete block design with dog as a blocking variable, time as a covariate, and distance run as the treatment of interest. Least square mean values were compared with values obtained prior to exercise, and linear and quadratic contrasts were examined.

Results—Serum globulin concentration was low prior to exercise (mean ± SD, 2.2 ± 0.3g/dL) and progressively decreased as exercise continued. Exercise was associated with increases in serum chloride, urea nitrogen, and cardiac troponin-I concentrations and serum alanine aminotransferase, creatine kinase, and aspartate aminotransferase activities and with pro-gressive decreases in serum potassium, total protein, and albumin concentrations.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that multiple successive days of endurance exercise resulted in mild aberrations in serum chemistry variables in conditioned sled dogs. Changes likely reflected the metabolic stresses of prolonged endurance exercise as well as dietary composition. Hypoglobulinemia in resting, conditioned sled dogs may reflect the immunosuppressive or catabolic effects of intense endurance training.

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