Objective—To develop a standardized meal challenge test by assessing associations between food-withheld preprandial (ie, fasting) and postprandial triglyceride concentrations, determining the most appropriate sampling time to detect the peak concentration (highest postprandial concentration), and estimating reference intervals for fasting and postprandial concentrations in healthy dogs.
Animals—12 lean healthy mixed-breed dogs.
Procedures—Dogs were fed a dry commercially available diet (fat, 31% metabolizable energy) for 3 weeks. After food was withheld for 23 to 24 hours, plasma triglyceride concentrations were measured 1 and 0.083 hours before and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, and 12 hours after feeding of a standardized challenge meal (median amount eaten, 63 kcal/kg [127 kcal/kg0.75]). Correlation and agreement between concentrations at peak and other time points were assessed by use of correlation coefficients and Bland-Altman limits of agreement. Reference intervals were calculated by use of a robust method.
Results—Fasting and peak triglyceride concentrations were not closely associated. The highest concentration among samples obtained 2, 5, and 6 hours after meal consumption had closest agreement with peak concentration. In 5 of 12 dogs, concentrations 12 hours after eating were still significantly above baseline concentration (mean of each dog's fasting concentrations).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Fasting triglyceride concentration could not be used to accurately predict peak concentration. When estimating peak concentration, multiple samples should be collected 2, 5, and 6 hours after consumption of a standardized meal. Food may need to be withheld for > 12 hours when assessing fasting concentrations in healthy dogs.