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Gastritis and Gastric Ulcers in Working Dogs

Discussion in 'Doberman Health and News Articles' started by strykerdobe, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber

    Interesting read and info!

    Gastritis and Gastric Ulcers in Working Dogs
    [​IMG]Michael S. Davis1* and [​IMG]Katherine K. Williamson2
    • 1Department of Physiological Sciences, Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA
    • 2Purina Animal Nutrition, Land O’Lakes Inc, Gray Summit, MO, USA
    Gastritis and gastric ulcers are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in canine athletes. Although the majority of scientific work on this condition has been performed in ultraendurance racing sled dogs, this condition has been identified in other canine athletes, including sled dogs competing in shorter events and dogs performing off-leash explosive detection duties. The cause of the syndrome is unknown, but current hypotheses propose a link between exercise-induced hyperthermia and loss of gastric mucosal barrier function as an early event in the pathogenesis. Treatment is focused on prevention of clinical disease using acid secretion inhibitors, such as omeprazole, which has excellent efficacy in controlled clinical studies.


    1). Eleven of those deaths were either directly or indirectly related to gastric disease (blood loss or vomiting and aspiration of gastric contents, respectively). Comprehensively collated statistics such as these are not available for other major races, but anecdotal evidence supports a similar proportional pattern (albeit with smaller numbers overall due to the fewer numbers of dogs involved in these other events). These statistics do not reflect the unknown number of dogs that may have been affected in a less severe manner, and were dropped off at checkpoints along the racecourse. Strenuous exercise requires the consumption of considerable amounts of food and water – ultraendurance racing sled dogs will burn from 8000 to 12000 kcal/day (2, 3) and turnover 5 l of bodywater/day (4). Any illness that reduces a dog’s appetite or makes them reluctant to eat or drink or promotes vomiting/regurgitation – as gastric disease is known to do – will rapidly cause poor performance and dehydration under these conditions.

    Some of the earliest studies of the prevalence of gastric disease in athletic dogs were done in association with the Iditarod Sled Dog race. In 2000, a small pilot study was performed to follow-up on anecdotal work done by Drs. Jack Morris and Phil Meyer, in which they reported frequently finding gastric lesions in dogs following the race. The 2000 study was conducted on dogs returning from the race, and found a gastric lesion prevalence of approximately 35% in dogs that were examined from 3 to 7 days post-exercise (5). Some of these subjects had completed the race, but most had been “dropped” for various medical reasons (not always due to suspected gastrointestinal disease). The first systematic evaluation of gastric health in racing sled dogs was performed the following year. Gastric endoscopy was performed on 73 dogs within 24 h of finishing the race (5). Using the visible presence of at least one area of erosion or ulceration in the gastric mucosa as the criterion, nearly half of the dogs had endoscopically visible lesions that were considered clinically significant. This percentage has held up through seven different studies: unmedicated racing sled dogs can be expected to have between 50 and 70% prevalence of clinically significant lesions after at least a single day of exercise (6), whether it is a long training day (7), a mid-distance race (8), or one of the ultraendurance races (5, 911). It seems intuitive that exercise intensity has some influence on disease severity, but further discussion of this type requires more careful definition of “exercise intensity,” which can be quantified many different ways. Within the scope of a 1000+-mile race, finishing place does not seem to have a major influence on prevalence – teams finishing in 12 days (averaging 83 miles/day) had similar prevalence values to teams finishing in 9 days (averaging 111 miles/day) (5). Although data are not available from this study to assess whether the difference in daily distance was due to higher speeds or shorter rests in the teams finishing in 9 days, in general the lower-placing teams do so by resting longer as well as traveling slower. Teams competing in mid-distance races averaging 150 miles/day, during which substantially less rest/day is taken compared to the longer distance races, had noticeably higher prevalence and average gastric endoscopy severity scores (ESSs), suggesting that intensity of exercise (or something that is strongly correlated to intensity of exercise) has an influence on EIGD (8).

    There have been studies of other athletic dog populations that have helped clarify the scope of this issue in the world of canine athletes. A study of field trial retrievers participating in a simulated single-day competition found a statistically significant worsening of the gastric endoscopy scores, but the scores stayed within the range that is considered not clinically significant (12). Thus, this population is probably not at risk for exercise-induced gastritis/gastric ulcers as a primary disease process, but consideration should be given to taking preventive measures if an individual competitive dog has additional risk factors for gastric disease. On the other hand, retrievers used for off-leash explosive detection work (during which the dogs may be exercising intermittently for up to 9 h/day) had an 84% prevalence of clinically severe gastric ulcers after five consecutive days of exercise, with the mean endoscopy score of the exercising dogs being higher than any other group of exercising dogs examined in other studies (13). Thus, it is clear that dogs other than racing sled dogs are at risk for EIGD if they perform sufficiently strenuous exercise.

    511, 13). At the opposite end of this clinical spectrum are the dogs that are withdrawn from competition due to unequivocal evidence of gastric disease (i.e., repeated vomition or vomiting of fresh blood, aspiration pneumonia), but these dogs are relatively rare. The proportion of dogs that are withdrawn from competition that may have EIGD as an underlying cause (for example, due to lack of appetite or dehydration) is unknown, but it is likely that these “dropped” dogs have a prevalence at least as high as those dogs that continue to perform well.

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    Gastritis and Gastric Ulcers in Working Dogs

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2017

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