Prevalence of gastric lesions in racing Alaskan sled dogs.
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Human and equine athletes are reported to have a high prevalence of gastric disease, and anecdotal evidence suggests a similar phenomenon applies to racing sled dogs. To investigate the prevalence of gastric disease in racing sled dogs, we conducted 2 gastroscopy studies on dogs competing in the annual Iditarod Sled Dog Race. A pilot study of dogs that were either dropped from the 2000 Iditarod Sled Dog Race because of illness or that finished the race indicated that, approximately 5 days after competing, 10 of 28 dogs (35%) had endoscopic evidence of gastric ulceration, erosion, or hemorrhage. The next year, an endoscopic study of 73 dogs participating in the 2001 Iditarod race was performed in order to evaluate a larger population of dogs. Data from 70 of these dogs could be used; 34 (48.5%) had ulceration, erosion, gastric hemorrhage, or some combination of these findings. When this group of 70 dogs was compared retrospectively to a control group of 87 dogs presented to the Texas A&M University (TAMU) Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, the Iditarod sled dogs had a significantly higher prevalence (P = .049) of gastric lesions. These findings suggest that, similar to athletes of other species, elite canine athletes have an increased prevalence of gastric disease compared to the canine population at large.
author list (cited authors)
Davis, M. S., Willard, M. D., Nelson, S. L., Mandsager, R. E., McKiernan, B. S., Mansell, J. K., & Lehenbauer, T. W.
complete list of authors
Davis, MS||Willard, MD||Nelson, SL||Mandsager, RE||McKiernan, BS||Mansell, JK||Lehenbauer, TW