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J Vet Diagn Invest. 2012 Nov;24(6):1105-14. doi: 10.1177/1040638712461250. Epub 2012 Sep 26.

Evaluation of serum cobalamin concentrations in dogs of 164 dog breeds (2006-2010).

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Gastrointestinal Laboratory, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4474, USA.


Altered serum cobalamin concentrations have been observed in dogs with gastrointestinal disorders such as exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) or gastrointestinal inflammation. The aims of the current study were 1) to identify breeds with a higher proportion of dogs with a decreased serum cobalamin concentration, 2) to determine whether dogs with such decreased concentrations tend to have serum canine trypsin-like immunoreactivity (cTLI) concentrations diagnostic for EPI, and 3) to compare the number of submissions for serum cobalamin analysis by breed to the American Kennel Club (AKC) breed ranking list of 2009. In this retrospective study, results of 28,675 cobalamin tests were reviewed. Akitas, Chinese Shar-Peis, German Shepherd Dogs, Greyhounds, and Labrador Retrievers had increased proportions of serum cobalamin concentrations below the lower limit of the reference interval (<251 ng/l; all P < 0.0001). Akitas, Chinese Shar-Peis, German Shepherd Dogs, and Border Collies had increased proportions of serum cobalamin concentrations below the detection limit of the assay (<150 ng/l; all P < 0.0001). Akitas, Border Collies, and German Shepherd Dogs with serum cobalamin concentrations <150 ng/l were more likely to have a serum cTLI concentration considered diagnostic for EPI (≤2.5 µg/l; all P ≤ 0.001). The breed with the highest proportion of samples submitted for serum cobalamin analysis in comparison with the AKC ranking list was the Greyhound (odds ratio: 84.6; P < 0.0001). In Akitas and Border Collies, further investigations are warranted to clarify if a potentially breed-specific gastrointestinal disorder is responsible for the increased frequency of decreased serum cobalamin and cTLI concentrations.

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