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Objective—To determine accuracy of the use of triaxial accelerometry for measuring daily activity as a predictor of maintenance energy requirement (MER) in healthy adult Labrador Retrievers.

Animals—10 healthy adult Labrador Retrievers.

Procedures—Dogs wore an accelerometer for two 2-week periods, with data on daily activity successfully collected for 24 to 26 days. These data, along with body weight, were used as independent variables in a multiple linear regression model to predict the dependent variable of daily MER. The predictive accuracy of the model was compared with that of a model that excluded activity. Dietary energy intake at a stated amount of body weight stability was used as an equivalent measure of MER in these analyses.

Results—The multiple linear regression model that included body weight and daily activity as independent variables could be used to predict observed MER with a mean absolute error of 63.5 kcal and an SE of estimation of 94.3 kcal. Removing activity from the model reduced the predictive accuracy to a mean absolute error of 129.8 kcal and an SE of estimation of 165.4 kcal.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Use of triaxial accelerometers to provide an independent variable of daily activity yielded a marked improvement in predictive accuracy of the regression model, compared with that for a model that used only body weight. Improved accuracy in estimations of MER could be made for each dog if an accelerometer was used to record its daily activity.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To evaluate skin perfusion in cats receiving dexmedetomidine compared to a placebo.


9 healthy adult research cats.


A randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled study design was used. Two sites, the dorsal metatarsus (site: limb) and lateral flank (site: flank), were evaluated with laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI) at baseline and following administration of dexmedetomidine (1, 3, or 5 mcg/kg, IV) or a placebo (0.9% saline, IV). Mean speckle contrast (MSC), a surrogate for perfusion, was obtained from LSCI and compared between treatments. Heart rate, sedation score, and body temperature were recorded. Skin perfusion to the flank and limb, reported as MSC, was assessed via LSCI at baseline and at 5, 10, and 15 minutes posttreatment.


There was a significant decrease in heart rate (P < .001) in cats receiving 1, 3, and 5 mcg/kg dexmedetomidine compared to placebo. There was a significant increase in median sedation score at all time points postsedation compared to baseline (P < .018). Changes in MSC for the metatarsus were not significantly different between treatments at any time point (P = .12). For the flank, MSC was significantly higher for cats treated with dexmedetomidine compared to baseline (P ≤ .01). Skin perfusion to the flank decreased as early as 5 minutes posttreatment with dexmedetomidine and persisted for at least 15 minutes, regardless of dexmedetomidine dose.


Dexmedetomidine decreased skin perfusion in cats, even at low doses. Veterinarians may elect for an alternative sedative medication when decreased skin perfusion is a concern.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research