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Oxidative stress, antioxidants, and assessment of oxidative stress in dogs and cats

Maureen A. McMichael DVM, DACVECC1
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  • 1 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4474.

Oxidative stress is defined as ROS in excess of antioxidant defense mechanisms. Oxidative stress can result from an excess of ROS, a reduction in antioxidants, or both. Damage attributable to oxidative stress is widespread, and oxidative stress is recognized as a prominent feature in numerous disease processes, including neoplasia and heart disease, as well as trauma and burns.1–3 Reactive oxygen species are produced endogenously and exogenously, and elaborate antioxidant defense mechanisms have developed in aerobic organisms to limit the damage caused by ROS.

It is debatable whether ROS are causative or an epiphenomenon of a specific disease process.

Contributor Notes

Dr. McMichael's present address is the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61802.