Serum Total Globulin and IgA, IgE, IgG and IgM Concentrations in Alaskan Sled Dogs Participating in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
ACVIM 2008
Erica McKenzie1; Christopher Lupfer2; Manoj Pastey2;Heidi Banse3; Kenneth Hinchcliff4; Stuart Nelson Jr.5; Michael Davis6; Mark Payton7
1Department of Clinical Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA; 2Department of Biomedical Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA; 3Department of Large Animal Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA; 4Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Melbourne, Werribee, Victoria, Australia; 5Iditarod Trail Committee, Wasilla, AK, USA; 6Department of Physiological Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA; 7Department of Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA

This study characterized hypoglobulinemia in racing sled dogs. Serum was collected from all dogs participating in the 2007 Iditarod within one month of race start. In addition, serum was collected from 118 dogs that finished, and retrospectively matched with each dog's pre-race sample. Blood was also obtained 3 months later from 51 dogs that finished the race. Serum globulin was determined by subtraction from chemically determined serum total protein (TP) and albumin. Serum [IgA], [IgE], [IgG] and [IgM] were determined by ELISA.

TP was lower immediately after (5.8 ± 0.5mg/dl) and three months after racing (6.0 ± 0.4) than before racing (6.4 ± 0.5). Immediately after racing, 28.6% of dogs were hypoproteinemic compared to ~2% of dogs before and three months after racing. Mean serum globulin was below reference range for the general canine population (<2.7mg/dl) in all three groups. Serum [IgG] was significantly lower before and immediately after racing, than three months after racing (8.21 ± 4.95, 7.97 ± 5.62 and 18.88 ± 5.76mg/ml respectively). Serum [IgM] and [IgE] displayed a similar pattern ([IgM]: 0.97 ± 0.46, 0.88 ± 0.44, 1.21 ± 0.39mg/ml; [IgE]: 0.07± 0.07,0.05 ± 0.06,0.12 ± 0.10mg/ml). Serum [IgA] was higher immediately after (1.50 ± 1.07mg/ml) and three months after racing (1.43 ± 0.82) than before racing (1.23 ± 1.00).

Hypoglobulinemia is prominent in racing sled dogs although a previous study demonstrated increases in specific antibody titers during racing. Hypoglobulinemia may reflect exercise effects or need for more appropriate references ranges for exercising dogs.

Speaker Information
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Erica McKenzie, BSc, BVMS, PhD, DACVIM
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR

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