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To measure and compare blood values in sled dogs before and after long-distance racing.


Prospective study.


17 adult sled dogs in the 1991 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and 21 in a simulated sled dog race.


Blood samples were obtained from 17 dogs 7 days before they began and after they finished (finisher group) or were eliminated from (nonfinisher group) the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Blood samples were also obtained from 21 dogs before and after a simulated sled dog race.


In finisher-group dogs, BUN and uric acid (UA) concentrations were increased after racing; nonfinisher-group dogs had significantly lower postrace BUN and UA concentrations. Significant increases in creatine kinase (CK) and aspartate transferase (AST) activities were detected in all dogs after racing, and postrace values were higher in nonfinisher-group dogs, compared with finisher-group dogs. Mean alkaline phosphate activities were significantly increased after racing in nonfinisher-group dogs only. In dogs that ran the simulated race, postrace values for serum albumin, total protein, calcium, and potassium concentrations, as well as Hct, hemoglobin concentration, and RBC count, were significantly lower than prerace values. Postrace values for alkaline phosphate, alanine transaminase, AST, lactate dehydrogenase, CK, BUN, and UA were significantly higher than prerace values.

Clinical Implications—

High CK activities are indicative of severe muscle degeneration and, in sled dogs, may represent a degree of muscle breakdown beyond which a dog cannot continue to work. Markedly high CK, and possibly AST, serum activities may be indicators of performance failure in sled dogs competing in long-distance races. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997; 211:175–179)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine effects of intraincisional bioactive glass on healing of sutured skin wounds in dogs.

Animals—9 purpose-bred mature female Beagles.

Procedure—3 small matched bilateral (treated vs control) full-thickness truncal skin incisions were made and sutured. Treated wounds received intraincisional particulate bioactive glass prior to closure. Laser Doppler perfusion imaging was used to assess percentage change in tissue perfusion 3 and 5 days after incision on 1 set of 2 matched wounds, and skin and subcutaneous tissue-cutaneous trunci breaking strength were assessed at 5 days. The other 2 sets of wounds were used for histologic evaluation at 5 and 21 days, respectively.

Results—Subjective signs of gross inflammatory reaction were not detected in treated or control wounds. At 5 days, median subcutaneous tissuecutaneous trunci breaking strength was significantly higher in treated wounds than in control wounds (188.75 vs 75.00 g). At 5 days, median scores were significantly higher for neutrophils (1 vs 0), macrophages (2 vs 1), and necrosis (1 vs 0) for treated wounds than for control wounds. At 21 days, median macrophage scores were significantly higher for treated wounds than for control wounds (2 vs1).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Bioactive glass in soft tissues does not cause a gross inflammatory reaction but causes an increase in histologic signs of inflammation, which decreases with time. Bioactive glass has potential for increasing tissue strength. Increased subcutaneous breaking strength could be beneficial in treating wounds in which early healing strength is needed. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1149–1153)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


After removal of 1 metatarsal pad and formation of a granulation tissue bed, free segmental 6- × 8-mm grafts from digital pads were sutured into recessed same-size recipient sites in the granulation tissue. In 5 dogs, the grafted area had been denervated by excision of a segment of the tibial nerve at the level of the tarsus. The grafted area was not denervated in the remaining 5 dogs. In both groups of dogs, the grafts placed around the periphery of the wound healed, blocked ingrowth of delicate epithelium from the surrounding skin, and provided a tough keratinized epithelium that covered the wound's center. As healing progressed, the grafts coalesced as the wounds contracted. Weight bearing resulted in graft expansion to provide functional weight-bearing tissue.

Dogs of the denervated group had clinical and histologic evidence of collateral sensory reinnervation of the denervated area. However, with the exception of 1 dog, results of sensory nerve action potential tests indicated that reinnervation may not have been by way of regeneration across the excisional gap in the nerve.

Evaluation of reinnervation of the tibial autonomous zone in 2 additional dogs revealed clinical evidence that collateral reinnervation began between 19 and 28 days after nerve excision and progressed proximad to distad. Results of sensory nerve action potential tests indicated that reinnervation may not have been via regeneration across the excision site. Results of fluorescent tracer studies did not have positive findings regarding the route of collateral reinnervation.

Segmental paw pad grafts can be used effectively to provide weight-bearing tissue on a dog's limb. With local nerve damage on the distal portion of the limb, collateral innervation can grow into the area to reinnervate tissues, including pad grafts.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research