Objective—To compare orocecal transit time (OCTT) as assessed by use of the sulfapyridine appearance time in plasma after oral administration of sulfasalazine in dogs of varying age and body size and determine whether OCTT correlates with fecal quality.
Animals—6 Miniature Poodles (MP), 6 Standard Schnauzers (SS), 6 Giant Schnauzers (GS), and 6 Great Danes (GD).
Procedure—Determinations of OCTT were made at 12, 22, 36, and 60 weeks of age. Dogs were fed sulfasalazine mixed with a meal. Blood samples were then collected for 6 hours. The OCTT was the time from ingestion of the meal to detection of sulfapyridine in plasma. Fecal moisture content and consistency were recorded during the same periods.
Results—Mean OCTT decreased during growth of GS and GD dogs. No correlation was found between OCTT and fecal variables during growth in the 4 breeds. Effect of body size was observed at 12 and 22 weeks of age, with a longer OCTT in GS and GD than in MP and SS dogs. Similar OCTTs were observed at 36 and 60 weeks of age in all breeds, although GS and GD dogs had poorer fecal quality during those periods.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—An effect of age on OCTT was observed only in large-breed dogs, with longer transit times in puppies (12 weeks old) than in adults (60 weeks old). Mean OCTT is not correlated with body size in adult dogs. No relationship was detected between OCTT and fecal variables in healthy dogs. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:1105–1109)