OBJECTIVE To determine the effect of hospitalization on gastrointestinal motility and pH in healthy dogs.
DESIGN Experimental study.
ANIMALS 12 healthy adult dogs.
PROCEDURES A wireless motility capsule (WMC) that measured pressure, transit time, and pH within the gastrointestinal tract was administered orally to dogs in 2 phases. In the first phase, dogs received the WMC at the hospital and then returned to their home to follow their daily routine. In the second phase, dogs were hospitalized, housed individually, had abdominal radiography performed daily, and were leash exercised 4 to 6 times/d until the WMC passed in the feces. All dogs received the same diet twice per day in both phases. Data were compared between phases with the Wilcoxon signed rank test.
RESULTS Data were collected from 11 dogs; 1 dog was excluded because the WMC failed to exit the stomach. Median gastric emptying time during hospitalization (71.8 hours; range, 10.7 to 163.0 hours) was significantly longer than at home (17.6 hours; range, 9.7 to 80.8 hours). Values of all other gastric, small bowel, and large bowel parameters (motility index, motility pattern, pH, and transit time) were similar between phases. No change in gastric pH was detected over the hospitalization period. High interdog variability was evident for all measured parameters.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Hospitalization of dogs may result in a prolonged gastric emptying time, which could adversely affect gastric emptying of meals, transit of orally administered drugs, or assessments of underlying motility disorders.