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Association of breed with the diagnosis of congenital portosystemic shunts in dogs: 2,400 cases (1980–2002)

Karen M. Tobias DVM, MS, DACVS1 and Barton W. Rohrbach VMD, MPH, DACVPM2
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  • 1 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996.
  • | 2 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the annual and overall proportion of diagnoses of congenital portosystemic shunts (CPSS) in dogs and identify breeds at increased risk for CPSS.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—2,400 dogs with CPSS from veterinary teaching hospitals that reported to the Veterinary Medical Database (VMDB) from January 1, 1980 to February 28, 2002.

Procedure—The proportion of diagnoses of CPSS was calculated for all dogs and each breed recorded in the VMDB annually and for the 22.2-year period. Odds ratios and adjusted confidence intervals were calculated for breeds with at least 100 accessions by comparing odds of each breed with a diagnosis of CPSS with that of mixed-breed dogs.

Results—Congenital portosystemic shunts were reported in 0.18% of all dogs and 0.05% of mixedbreed dogs. The proportion of diagnoses of CPSS increased from 5 in 10,000 dogs in 1980 to 5 in 1,000 dogs in 2001. Yorkshire Terriers had the greatest total number of diagnoses of CPSS. Thirty-three breeds were significantly more likely to have a diagnosis of CPSS, compared with mixed-breed dogs. The greatest proportions of diagnoses were found in Havanese (3.2%), Yorkshire Terriers (2.9%), Maltese (1.6%), Dandie Dinmont Terriers (1.6%), and Pugs (1.3%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Certain breeds appear to be at increased risk for CPSS, compared with mixed-breed dogs. The increased odds ratios among specific breeds support the hypothesis of a genetic predisposition for CPSS. Clients and veterinarians should consider appropriate diagnostic tests for dogs with clinical signs and those used for breeding from breeds with increased risk of CPSS. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1636–1639)