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ABSTRACT OF THE WEEK

The Veterinary record
Volume 180 | Issue 9 (March 2017)

Effects of a structured exercise programme in sedentary dogs with chronic diarrhoea.

Vet Rec. March 2017;180(9):224.
H P Huang1, Y H Lien2
1 Institute of Veterinary Clinical Science, Veterinary School, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Section 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 100, Taiwan.; 2 Azu Clinic for Animals, No. 92, Section 1, Kin-Shan South Road, Taipei 100, Taiwan.
British Veterinary Association.

Abstract

The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the effects of a structured exercise programme in sedentary dogs with chronic diarrhoea. Twenty-two dogs were enrolled in the study. All dogs received oral prednisolone (1 mg/kg/day for 14 days, followed by a tapering dosage) for 10 weeks. After four weeks of prednisolone treatment, dogs were assigned to either the exercise or control group (n=11 each). Owners of dogs in the exercise group were instructed to guide their dogs in structured exercise training (low-intensity to moderate-intensity aerobic and resistance exercise three to five days per week). After 10 weeks of prednisolone treatment with concomitant 6 weeks of complementary exercise, the Canine Inflammatory Bowel Disease Activity Index (CIBDAI) score had decreased significantly in the exercise group (from 8.8±1.5 at the start of the exercise programme to 2.4±1.5; P<0.001); no such change was observed in the control group (from 9.2±0.9 to 9.2±1.1). CIBDAI scores differed significantly between the groups at the end of the 10-week study period (P<0.001). The exercise programme affected all six CIBDAI parameters significantly; bodyweight (P<0.001, adjusted r(2)=0.722) was most affected. A structured exercise programme may have positive effects on clinical symptoms in sedentary dogs with chronic diarrhoea.

Companion Notes

Prospective report on the effects of a structured exercise program on sedentary dogs with chronic diarrhea

Introduction on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

- in human medicine IBDs include Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis

- chronic, episodic inflammatory conditions involving the intestine

- cyclical disorders alternating between active and quiescent states

- there’s no cure for either disease

- benefits of exercise for IBD patients gradually gaining awareness

(in overall healthy humans)

- increased physical exercise reported to improve symptoms

- benefits of exercise for affected patients include the following:

- weight loss

- improved energy intake

- improved nutritional status

- improved quality of life

- may have a anti-inflammatory effect

- current recommendations for structured exercise

- aerobic activity (walking) for 20-60 minutes, 2-5 days/week

- resistance exercise at least twice/week

Study design

- study population: dogs seen National Taiwan University

- 22 sedentary dogs with chronic diarrhea

- dogs had chronic diarrhea (≥ 3 months with or without vomiting)

- indoor-only dogs with no type of exercise or regular walks

- no or incomplete response to the following for ≥ 2 months

- hypoallergenic elimination or hydrolyzed diet regimen

- poor response to symptomatic therapies

- parasiticidals

- antibiotics

- anticholinergics

- pancreatic enzyme supplements

- gastrointestinal protectants

- procedure:

- prednisolone for 12 weeks, all dogs

- 1 mg/kg/day for 14 days followed by tapering dose for 10 weeks

- after 4 weeks of prednisolone treatment

- dogs were assigned to 1 of 2 treatment groups

(assignment based on owners’ compliance and lifestyle)

- exercise group, 11 dogs

- Maltese terrier, 6 of the 11

- age: 9.8 ± 2.4 years

- control group, 11 dogs

- Maltese terrier, 7 of the 11

- age: 9.4 ± 2.0 years

- structured exercise program used by owners of dogs in exercise group

- low-intensity to moderate-intensity aerobic and resistance exercise

- to be done 3-5 days per week

- certified canine rehabilitation therapist instructed owners

- this therapist rechecked dogs weekly

- aerobic exercise:

- 1 set of brisk trotting for 10-60 seconds

- with 3-5 repetitions per set

- resistance training

- 1 or 2 sets of standing on a 15–30° incline for 30-60 seconds

- with 5 repetitions per set

- assessment methods

- Canine Inflammatory Bowel Disease Activity Index (CIBDAI) score

- six GI signs scored on a scale from 0-3 and summed

- activity

- appetite

- vomiting

- stool consistency

- stool frequency

- weight loss

Results

- results after 10 weeks of prednisolone treatment

- CIBDAI score in dogs with concomitant 6 weeks of exercise:

- CIBDAI score had decreased significantly in the exercise group

- CIBDAI score at start of the exercise program: 8.8 ± 1.5

- CIBDAI score after 6 weeks of exercise: 2.4 ± 1.5 (P<0.001)

- CIBDAI score in dogs without concurrent 6 weeks of exercise:

- CIBDAI score had not decreased significantly in this control group

- CIBDAI score at start of the exercise program: 9.2 ± 0.9

- CIBDAI score after 6 weeks of exercise: 9.2 ± 1.1

- CIBDAI scores differed significantly between the 2 groups after 10 weeks

- exercise program significantly affected all 6 CIBDAI parameters

- bodyweight was most affected (P<0.001, adjusted r2=0.722)

- pre-prednisone: 4.6 ± 2.6

- 4 weeks of prednisone: 4.6 ± 2.5

- 10 weeks of prednisone: 5.1 ± 2.8

- significantly different from control and 1st post-treatment

- fecal consistency

- pre-prednisone: 2.9 ± 0.3

- 4 weeks of prednisone: 1.8 ± 0.4

- 10 weeks of prednisone: 0.9 ± 0.7

- significantly different from control and 1st post-treatment

- fecal frequency

- pre-prednisone: 2.9 ± 0.3

- 4 weeks of prednisone: 1.8 ± 0.3

- 10 weeks of prednisone: 0.9 ± 0.3

- significantly different from control and 1st post-treatment

“This preliminary study demonstrated that low-intensity to moderate-intensity interval exercise diminished the symptoms of chronic diarrhoea in dogs, with no negative effect on general health.”

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Effects of a structured exercise programme in sedentary dogs with chronic diarrhoea.
After 10 weeks of prednisolone treatment with concomitant 6 weeks of complementary exercise, the Canine Inflammatory Bowel Disease Activity Index (CIBDAI) score had decreased significantly in the exercise group (from 8.8±1.5 at the start of the exercise programme to 2.4±1.5; P<0.001); no such change was observed in the control group (from 9.2±0.9 to 9.2±1.1).

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