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Objective—To determine effects of long-distance racing exercise on iron status in endurance racing sled dogs, with or without anemia.

Design—Prospective cohort study.

Animals—114 dogs that participated in the 2007 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race (59 and 55 dogs that did or did not complete the race, respectively).

Procedures—Stored serum samples obtained from 85 endurance-racing sled dogs that were expected to participate in the race were used to establish study reference intervals and prerace group values for iron-related variables. Blood samples collected from 114 study dogs before (ie, baseline) and after participation in the race were used to determine PCV and serum total protein concentrations before and after racing and assess iron-related variables after racing.

Results—Mean values for PCV and serum total protein concentration were decreased after racing, compared with baseline values in the same dogs. Mean serum iron concentration was low, and mean serum ceruloplasmin and C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations were high in dogs after racing, compared with prerace group values. Mean serum ferritin concentration was high in dogs that did not complete the race, compared with the prerace group value and that of dogs that finished the race; 4 of 113 (3.5%) study dogs had low ferritin concentrations (< 73 ng/mL) after racing, suggestive of possible iron deficiency.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Decreased PCV and serum total protein concentrations were consistently detected, whereas iron deficiency appeared to be uncommon, in study dogs after race participation. High serum concentrations of ceruloplasmin and CRP after racing suggested that changes indicative of iron deficiency may be masked by inflammation. Alternatively, changes in serum iron and CRP concentrations may reflect a physiologic response.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To describe the character and frequency of causes of death and associated lesions in long-distance racing sled dogs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—23 dogs.

Procedures—Medical records of dogs that died during or soon after competition in the Iditarod Trail sled dog races (1994 through 2006) were examined for findings of gross necropsy and histologic evaluation of tissue samples. From the data, descriptive and comparative statistics were obtained.

Results—Recognized causes of death included aspiration of gastric contents (n = 4), aspiration pneumonia (4), acute blood loss secondary to gastric ulceration (3), and sled dog myopathy (2). A cause of death was not established for 7 dogs. Prevalent lesions among the study population included rhabdomyolysis (n = 15), enteritis (10), gastritis (10), aspiration pneumonia (8), and gastric ulceration (8). All dogs with aspiration pneumonia had concurrent gastric mucosal lesions. Subjective biventricular cardiac hypertrophy was evident in most dogs; other lesions detected frequently included centrilobular hepatic fibrosis, gastric dilatation, and mild cardiac myodegeneration and necrosis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Unexpected death is a rare event among conditioned sled dogs during competition in endurance races. Potentially life-threatening conditions of dogs that are associated with periods of long-distance physical exertion include aspiration pneumonia, gastric mucosal lesions, and severe rhabdomyolysis. Dogs that develop clinical signs suggestive of these conditions should be excluded from strenuous activities. Epidemiologic investigations are required to clarify the risk for death associated with these lesions in dogs competing in endurance races.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine whether administration of Crandell-Rees feline kidney (CRFK) cell lysates or vaccines against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia (FVRCP vaccines) that likely contain CRFK cell proteins induces antibodies against CRFK cell or feline renal cell (FRC) lysates in cats.

Animals—14 eight-week-old cats.

Procedure—Before and after the study, renal biopsy specimens were obtained from each cat for histologic evaluation. Each of 4 FVRCP vaccines was administered to 2 cats at weeks 0, 3, 6, and 50. Between weeks 0 and 50, another 3 pairs of cats received 11 CRFK cell lysate inoculations SC (10, 50, or 50 µg mixed with alum). Clinicopathologic evaluations and ELISAs to detect serum antibodies against CRFK cell or FRC lysates were performed at intervals.

Results—Cats had no antibodies against CRFK cell or FRC lysates initially. All cats administered CRFK cell lysate had detectable antibodies against CRFK cell or FRC lysates on multiple occasions. Of 6 cats vaccinated parenterally, 5 had detectable antibodies against CRFK cell lysate at least once, but all 6 had detectable antibodies against FRC lysate on multiple occasions. Cats administered an intranasal-intraocular vaccine did not develop detectable antibodies against either lysate. Important clinicopathologic or histologic abnormalities were not detected during the study.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Parenteral administration of vaccines containing viruses likely grown on CRFK cells induced antibodies against CRFK cell and FRC lysates in cats. Hypersensitization with CRFK cell proteins did not result in renal disease in cats during the 56-week study. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:506–511)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine hepatotoxicity of stanozolol in cats and to identify clinicopathologic and histopathologic abnormalities in cats with stanozololinduced hepatotoxicosis.

Design—Clinical trial and case series.

Animals—12 healthy cats, 6 cats with chronic renal failure, and 3 cats with gingivitis and stomatitis.

Procedures—Healthy cats and cats with renal failure were treated with stanozolol (25 mg, IM, on the first day, then 2 mg, PO, q 12 h) for 4 weeks. Cats with gingivitis were treated with stanozolol at a dosage of 1 mg, PO, every 24 hours.

Results—Most healthy cats and cats with renal failure developed marked inappetence, groomed less, and were less active within 7 to 10 days after initiation of stanozolol administration. Serum alanine transaminase (ALT) activity was significantly increased in 14 of 18 cats after stanozolol administration, but serum alkaline phosphatase activity was mildly increased in only 3. Four cats with serum ALT activity > 1,000 U/L after only 2 weeks of stanozolol administration had coagulopathies; administration of vitamin K resolved the coagulopathy in 3 of the 4 within 48 hours. All 18 cats survived, and hepatic enzyme activities were normal in all cats tested more than 4 weeks after stanozolol administration was discontinued. Two of the 3 cats with gingivitis developed evidence of severe hepatic failure 2 to 3 months after initiation of stanozolol treatment; both cats developed coagulopathies. Histologic evaluation of hepatic biopsy specimens from 5 cats revealed diffuse hepatic lipidosis and cholestasis without evidence of hepatocellular necrosis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that stanozolol is hepatotoxic in cats. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:681–684)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association