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Vet Clin Pathol. 2003;32(3):136-9.

Fecal alpha1-proteinase inhibitor concentration in dogs receiving long-term nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug therapy.

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Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.



Fecal alpha(1)-proteinase inhibitor (alpha(1)-PI) clearance is a reliable, noninvasive marker for protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) in human beings. An assay for measurement of this protein in the dog has been developed and validated and may be useful for the investigation of gastrointestinal disease in this species. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) frequently are administered to dogs and may have adverse effects on the gastrointestinal tract, including gastroduodenal ulceration and altered mucosal permeability. The value of fecal alpha(1)-PI measurement in detecting unrelated gastrointestinal disease may be limited in dogs on NSAID therapy, but alpha(1)-PI may be a useful marker for NSAID-induced gastrointestinal damage.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of long-term administration of NSAIDs on fecal alpha(1)-PI concentrations in dogs.


Fecal samples were collected from 2 groups of dogs: 1) 21 clinically-healthy client-owned dogs without signs of gastrointestinal disease and receiving no NSAIDs and 2) 7 dogs referred for investigation and treatment of orthopedic disorders; the dogs had received either meloxicam or carprofen daily for at least 30 days. Fecal alpha(1)-PI concentration was measured by ELISA.


Fecal alpha(1)-PI concentrations, expressed as micro g/g of feces, were not significantly different between groups 1 and 2 (median [range], group 1: 9.9 micro g/g [0.0-32.1 micro g/g]; group 2: 5.6 micro g/g [1.1-32.3 micro g/g]; P =.81).


These results suggest that use of cyclooxygenase-2-selective NSAIDs, such as carprofen and meloxicam, does not significantly affect fecal alpha(1)-PI measurements. However, study numbers were small, and larger prospective trials are required to assess more accurately the gastrointestinal effects of NSAIDs in dogs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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