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  • Author or Editor: Michelle D. Evason x
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Objective—To determine effects of athletic conditioning on thyroid hormone concentrations in a population of healthy sled dogs.

Animals—19 healthy adult sled dogs.

Procedure—Serum concentrations of thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free T4 (fT4), free T3 (fT3), and autoantibodies directed against T3, T4, and thyroglobulin were measured in sled dogs that were not in training (ie, nonracing season) and again after dogs had been training at maximum athletic potential for 4 months.

Results—Analysis revealed significant decreases in T4 and fT4 concentrations and a significant increase in TSH concentration for dogs in the peak training state, compared with concentrations for dogs in the untrained state. Serum concentrations of T4 and fT4 were less than established reference ranges during the peak training state for 11 of 19 and 8 of 19 dogs, respectively; fT4 concentration was greater than the established reference range in 9 of 19 dogs in the untrained state.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Decreased total T4 and fT4 concentrations and increased serum concentrations of TSH were consistently measured during the peak training state in healthy sled dogs, compared with concentrations determined during the untrained state. Although thyroid hormone concentrations remained within the established reference ranges in many of the dogs, values that were outside the reference range in some dogs could potentially lead to an incorrect assessment of thyroid status. Endurance training has a profound impact on the thyroid hormone concentrations of competitive sled dogs. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:333–337)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research