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  • Author or Editor: Andrea P. Santos x
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Objective—To determine the body condition score (BCS) distribution for dogs examined at a teaching hospital and examine whether the BCS distribution for dogs with cancer differed significantly from the distribution for dogs without cancer.

Sample Population—1,777 dogs with cancer and 12,893 dogs without cancer.

Procedures—A retrospective prevalence case-control study was conducted that used medical records from 1999 to 2004. Information was collected on BCS (9-point system), age, breed, sex, neuter status, diagnosis, and corticosteroid administration. Body condition score at the time of examination for cancer (dogs with cancer) or first chronologic visit (dogs without cancer) was recorded. Logistic regression was used to compare BCS prevalence distributions between groups.

Results—The overall prevalence of obese dogs (BCS ≥ 7/9) was 14.8% (2,169/14,670), and the overall prevalence of overweight dogs (BCS ≥ 6/9 to < 7/9) was 21.6% (3,174/14,670). There was a significant difference in the BCS distribution between dogs with and without cancer, with a slightly lower prevalence of being overweight and obese in dogs with cancer. The prevalence of obese and overweight dogs varied with specific cancer types when compared with the prevalence for dogs without cancer.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Differences in obesity prevalence among cancer types is suggestive of an incongruous effect of this variable on cancer expression or a differential effect of specific cancer types on weight status. Systematic use of BCSs will help elucidate the association between obesity and cancer development.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To validate the use of a flow cytometric assay that uses 2‘,7‘-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (DCFH-DA) to measure reactive oxygen species in the erythrocytes of healthy dogs.


50 healthy adult dogs.


Erythrocytes were incubated with DCFH-DA or a vehicle control (dimethyl sulfoxide), then incubated with (stimulated) or without (unstimulated) hydrogen peroxide. The flow cytometric assay was evaluated for specificity with increasing concentrations of DCFH-DA and hydrogen peroxide, and a polynomial regression line was applied to determine optimal concentrations. For precision, samples were analyzed 5 consecutive times for determination of intra- and interassay variability. Stability of samples stored at 4°C for up to 48 hours after blood collection was determined with flow cytometric analysis. Coefficient of variation (CV) was considered acceptable at 20%. Baseline measurements were used to determine an expected range of median fluorescence intensity for unstimulated erythrocytes incubated with DCFH-DA.


Erythrocytes were successfully isolated, and stimulated samples demonstrated higher median fluorescence intensity, compared with unstimulated samples. The intra-assay CV was 11.9% and 8.9% and interassay CV was 11.9% and 9.1% for unstimulated and stimulated samples, respectively. Unstimulated samples were stable for up to 24 hours, whereas stimulated samples were stable for up to 48 hours.


Flow cytometry for the measurement of reactive oxygen species in the erythrocytes of healthy dogs by use of DCFH-DA had acceptable specificity, precision, and stability. Flow cytometry is a promising technique for evaluating intraerythrocytic oxidative stress for healthy dogs.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association