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Hauck, Christina; Schmitz, Silke S.; Burgener, Iwan A.; Wehner, Astrid; Neiger, Retro; Kohn, Barbara; Rieker, Thomas; Reese, Sven ORCID: 0000-0002-4605-9791; Unterer, Stefan (20. June 2020): Prevalence and characterization of hypoadrenocorticism in dogs with signs of chronic gastrointestinal disease: A multicenter study. In: Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Vol. 34: pp. 1399-1405
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Abstract

Background Dogs with hypoadrenocorticism (HA) frequently show signs of gastrointestinal disease (SGD). The prevalence of dogs presented for chronic SGD with HA is unknown. Objectives The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of HA in dogs with chronic SGD and to identify clinical and laboratory variables for HA in this population. Animals One hundred fifty‐one dogs with chronic SGD. Methods In this multicentered prevalence study a standardized workup was performed in prospectively enrolled dogs with SGD > 3 weeks duration. Basal serum cortisol concentration was measured in every dog with ACTH stimulation test (ACTHST) if basal serum cortisol concentration was <3 μg/dL. Results Basal serum cortisol concentration was <3 μg/dL in 80/151 (53%) dogs, <2 μg/dL in 42/151 (28%) dogs, and < 1 μg/dL in 9/151 (6%) dogs. In 6/151 dogs HA was diagnosed based on ACTHST (stimulated serum cortisol concentration < 2 μg/dL), a prevalence of 4%. There was no difference in history, physical examination, and laboratory variables between dogs with HA and those with other causes of chronic SGD. In 4/6 dogs with HA, there was melena or hematochezia indicating gastrointestinal blood loss. Hyperkalemia, hyponatremia, or both was not observed in any dog. Conclusion and Clinical Importance The prevalence of HA among dogs with chronic SGD is higher than in the general population. Based on these results, testing adrenal function should be performed as a standard screening test in dogs with chronic SGD to differentiate between HA and chronic enteropathies.