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Am J Vet Res. 2008 Oct;69(10):1262-7. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.69.10.1262.

Respiratory alkalosis and primary hypocapnia in Labrador Retrievers participating in field trials in high-ambient-temperature conditions.

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Department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA.



To determine whether Labrador Retrievers participating in field trials develop respiratory alkalosis and hypocapnia primarily in conditions of high ambient temperatures.


16 Labrador Retrievers.


At each of 5 field trials, 5 to 10 dogs were monitored during a test (retrieval of birds over a variable distance on land [1,076 to 2,200 m]; 36 assessments); ambient temperatures ranged from 2.2 degrees to 29.4 degrees C. For each dog, rectal temperature was measured and a venous blood sample was collected in a heparinized syringe within 5 minutes of test completion. Blood samples were analyzed on site for Hct; pH; sodium, potassium, ionized calcium, glucose, lactate, bicarbonate, and total CO2 concentrations; and values of PvO2 and PvCO2. Scatterplots of each variable versus ambient temperature were reviewed. Regression analysis was used to evaluate the effect of ambient temperature (< or = 21 degrees C and > 21 degrees C) on each variable.


Compared with findings at ambient temperatures < or = 21 degrees C, venous blood pH was increased (mean, 7.521 vs 7.349) and PvCO2 was decreased (mean, 17.8 vs 29.3 mm Hg) at temperatures > 21 degrees C; rectal temperature did not differ. Two dogs developed signs of heat stress in 1 test at an ambient temperature of 29 degrees C; their rectal temperatures were higher and PvCO2 values were lower than findings in other dogs.


When running distances frequently encountered at field trials, healthy Labrador Retrievers developed hyperthermia regardless of ambient temperature. Dogs developed respiratory alkalosis and hypocapnia at ambient temperatures > 21 degrees C.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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