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Objective—To determine whether prolonged exercise by conditioned sled dogs affects urine concentrations of homovanillic acid (a metabolite of dopamine), vanillylmandelic acid (a metabolite of norepinephrine and epinephrine), and cortisol.

Animals—24 conditioned Alaskan sled dogs (2 to 8.5 years old) that were in training for a multiday endurance race.

Procedures—Voided urine samples were collected from 4 groups of dogs (randomly selected from 54 dogs) after no exercise (control group; n = 6 dogs), completion of a 160km run (group A; 3), completion of a 420-km run (group B; 7), and completion of a 560-km run (group C; 6). Urine cortisol concentrations were determined by use of an immunoassay technique; urine vanillylmandelic acid and homovanillic acid concentrations were measured via high-performance liquid chromatography.

Results—Compared with the control group, urine cortisol concentration in groups A, B, and C was significantly different (5.33 × 10−4 ± 2.62 × 10−4 μg/dL vs 1.04 × 10−4 ± 2.31 × 10−5 μg/dL, 8.88 × 10−4 ± 5.49 × 10−4 μg/dL, and 6.31 × 10−4 ± 5.09 × 10−4 μg/dL, respectively). Urine homovanillic acid concentration did not differ among the 4 groups. Vanillylmandelic acid was not detected in any urine samples.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that prolonged exercise by sled dogs did not affect urine homovanillic acid concentration but did increase urinary cortisol secretion, which is indicative of adrenocortical stimulation. The apparent lack of vanillylmandelic acid in voided urine samples requires further investigation.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To compare clinical outcome, healing, and effect of tracheostomy in conventional incisional and carbon dioxide (CO2) laser techniques for resection of soft palates in brachycephalic dogs.

Design—Prospective randomized trial.

Animals—20 adult brachycephalic dogs.

Methods—Dogs were randomly allocated into 4 groups, and 1 of the following was performed: palate resection by use of a CO2 laser; incisional palate resection and closure with suture; and palate resection by use of a CO2 laser or incision with tracheostomy. A clinical score for respiratory function was assigned to each dog at 0, 2, 8, 16, and 24 hours. Biopsy specimens of incision sites obtained at days 0, 3, 7, and 14 were examined. Data were analyzed to determine the effects of technique on clinical and histologic outcome.

Results—Mean surgical time for laser (309 seconds) was significantly shorter than for sharp dissection (744 seconds). Surgical technique significantly affected clinical scores at 3 of the 5 postoperative time points, but differences were not clinically apparent. Tracheostomy significantly affected clinical scores at 3 of 5 postoperative time points. After tracheostomy tube removal, clinical scores were similar to those of dogs without tracheostomies. Inflammation, necrosis, and ulceration were evident in all groups at day 3; these lesions had almost resolved by day 14. Most complications were associated with tracheostomy.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Clinical outcomes appear to be similar with the laser and incisional techniques. Regarding surgical time and ease, laser resection of the soft palate appears advantageous. Tracheostomy is not warranted in dogs that have uncomplicated surgeries and recoveries. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;219:776–781)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the impact of successive days of endurance exercise on select serum chemistry values in conditioned Alaskan sled dogs.

Design—Prospective cohort study.

Animals—10 conditioned Alaskan sled dogs.

Procedures—All dogs ran 160 km/d for 5 consecutive days. Serum was obtained prior to exercise and immediately after each exercise run; all samples were obtained before dogs were fed. Serum electrolyte, mineral, protein, total bilirubin, urea nitrogen, creatinine, and cardiac troponin-I concentrations and serum alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransfer-ase, creatine kinase, and aspartate aminotransferase activities were measured. Data were analyzed by means of analysis of covariance for a randomized complete block design with dog as a blocking variable, time as a covariate, and distance run as the treatment of interest. Least square mean values were compared with values obtained prior to exercise, and linear and quadratic contrasts were examined.

Results—Serum globulin concentration was low prior to exercise (mean ± SD, 2.2 ± 0.3g/dL) and progressively decreased as exercise continued. Exercise was associated with increases in serum chloride, urea nitrogen, and cardiac troponin-I concentrations and serum alanine aminotransferase, creatine kinase, and aspartate aminotransferase activities and with pro-gressive decreases in serum potassium, total protein, and albumin concentrations.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that multiple successive days of endurance exercise resulted in mild aberrations in serum chemistry variables in conditioned sled dogs. Changes likely reflected the metabolic stresses of prolonged endurance exercise as well as dietary composition. Hypoglobulinemia in resting, conditioned sled dogs may reflect the immunosuppressive or catabolic effects of intense endurance training.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association