*Mercedes García-Sancho, Ángel Sainz, Jacinto Delgado, Fernando Rodríguez-Franco
*Hospital Clínico Veterinario, Facultad de Veterinaria de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid
The recently discovered relationship between gastric disease (chronic gastritis, gastric ulcer and neoplasia) and Helicobacter spp. in humans has encouraged investigation around the role that these spiral-shaped bacteria may play in canine gastric disease.
The aim of this study is to assess the presence of Helicobacter spp. in canine gastric biopsies by urease test, and its relationship with gastrointestinal signs.
50 dogs of several breeds and both sexes (22 males and 28 females), aged between 1 and 9 years were included in the study. All of them were attended at the Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Service of the Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital of Madrid. The presence of gastrointestinal findings was assessed, distributing animals into 2 groups: 31 dogs with gastrointestinal signs and 19 without them. Detection of Helicobacter spp. in gastric biopsies acquired by gastroduodenoscopic examination was performed by means of a rapid in vitro urease test (Jatrox®- H.P.- Test, Industrial Farmacéutica Cantabria S.A.), evaluating the results after 30 minutes, 3 hours and 24 hours.
68% of the cases in this study (34 of 50 dogs) showed up a positive urease test, with the following distribution: 20 dogs urease positive with gastrointestinal signs (40%), 14 dogs urease positive without gastrointestinal signs (28%), 11 dogs urease negative with gastrointestinal signs (22%) and 5 dogs urease negative without gastrointestinal signs (10%). Amongst urease positive animals, 79% were positive after 30 minutes, 18% after 3 hours and 3% after 24 hours. Gastrointestinal findings more frequently observed among urease positive cases were: vomiting (70%), small intestine diarrhea (65%), appetite disorders (40%) and weight loss (30%).
Using the urease test, a 68% prevalence of Helicobacter spp was observed. 79% of the urease positive cases showed positivity after only 30 minutes, which could suggest a high density of spiral bacteria in the stomach of those cases. A statistically significant relationship between gastrointestinal signs and an urease positive test could not be established due to the high proportion of asymptomatic animals with urease positive test.
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