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  • Author or Editor: Brooke D. Luce x
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Author: Brooke D. Luce

An 8.7-year-old 3.9-kg (8.6-lb) spayed female Shih Tzu was evaluated for dyspnea and episodes of coughing that started after being retrieved from a dog daycare facility earlier in the day. The owners reported that a larger dog had collided with their Shih Tzu and that no other trauma or violent interactions had been observed. The owners also reported that their dog was not receiving any medications, was current on vaccinations, and had not had any previous abnormal clinical signs, except during an instance of pancreatitis 5 years earlier.

On physical examination, the dog was quiet and alert and had

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To determine the proportion of abnormal results for a point-of-care pancreas-specific lipase assay screening test in dogs lacking clinical evidence of acute pancreatitis with and without gastrointestinal foreign body obstruction (GIFBO).


50 client-owned dogs with acute abdomen syndrome between April 2019 and January 2021.


In this prospective observational cohort study, dogs were enrolled into a control non-GIFBO group (n = 25) or GIFBO group (25) on the basis of clinical diagnostics performed at presentation. Dogs with evidence of pancreatitis were excluded. Data collected included signalment, body weight, clinical signs, hematologic test results, abdominal imaging findings, and intraoperative findings. SNAP canine pancreatic lipase (cPL) tests were performed for all dogs within 24 hours of presentation and prior to any surgical procedure. Results were analyzed across all dogs for any clinical associations.


The proportions of abnormal SNAP cPL test results in the GIFBO and non-GIFBO groups were 12% (3/25) and 16% (4/25), respectively, with no significant difference. The only differences between groups were that GIFBO canines were more likely to be male (P = 0.02) and had a slightly longer duration of clinical signs at presentation (P = 0.01). Abnormal SNAP cPL test results were associated with increasing age (P = 0.01).


SNAP cPL test results are mostly reliable but can still be abnormal in a small percentage of dogs with GIFBO. Abnormal results in dogs without pancreatitis occurred more frequently in older dogs of the present study. Abdominal imaging is advised for dogs with abnormal SNAP cPL test results.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association