To determine breed-specific reference intervals for whole blood (WB) and plasma taurine concentrations in adult, overtly healthy Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCSs) and determine whether taurine concentrations differ across preclinical myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) stages or between CKCSs eating diets that meet World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) nutritional guidelines versus other diets.
200 privately owned CKCSs.
Clinically healthy adult CKCSs were recruited prospectively. Diet and supplement history was collected. Dogs were staged by echocardiography using MMVD consensus guidelines. Taurine concentrations were measured in deproteinized lithium heparin WB and plasma samples with the postcolumn ninhydrin derivatization method on a dedicated amino acid analyzer.
There were 12 stage A (6%), 150 stage B1 (75%), and 38 stage B2 (19%) CKCSs. Seventy-eight dogs (39%) were reported by their owners to be eating diets meeting WSAVA nutritional guidelines; 116 (58%) were not. Taurine concentrations in plasma (P = .444) and WB (P = .073) were not significantly different across MMVD stages or between CKCSs eating diets meeting WSAVA nutritional guidelines versus other diets (P = .345 and P = .527, respectively). Reference intervals for WB taurine (152 to 373 µM) and plasma taurine (51 to 217 µM) concentrations in CKCSs were generated.
In CKCSs, taurine concentrations do not differ significantly based on preclinical MMVD stage, nor do they differ significantly based on consumption of a diet that does or does not meet WSAVA nutritional guidelines.