Serum cobalamin concentrations in dogs with leishmaniosis before and during treatment.
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Hypocobalaminemia in dogs is most commonly associated with gastrointestinal disorders leading to impaired absorption and utilization of cobalamin. The objectives of this study were to compare serum cobalamin concentrations between dogs with leishmaniosis and clinically healthy dogs, and to assess possible alterations of serum cobalamin concentrations in dogs with leishmaniosis at different timepoints during treatment. Fifty-five dogs with leishmaniosis and 129 clinically healthy dogs were prospectively enrolled. Diagnosis of leishmaniosis was based on clinical presentation, positive serology and microscopic detection of Leishmania amastigotes in lymph node aspiration smears. Twenty of the dogs with leishmaniosis were treated with a combination of meglumine antimonate and allopurinol for 28 days and serum cobalamin concentrations were measured in blood samples that were collected before initiation of treatment (timepoint 0) and on days 14 and 28. In order to estimate alterations of serum cobalamin concentrations during treatment, cobalamin concentrations were measured in blood samples from 20 out of 55 dogs with leishmaniosis at all timepoints. Serum cobalamin concentrations were significantly lower in dogs with leishmaniosis before treatment (median: 362 ng/L; IQR: 277-477 ng/L) compared to clinically healthy dogs (median: 470 ng/L; IQR: 367-632 ng/L; P = 0.0035). Serum cobalamin concentrations increased significantly in dogs with leishmaniosis on day 14 of treatment compared to timepoint 0 (P = 0.02). In the present study, serum cobalamin concentrations were significantly lower in dogs with leishmaniosis compared to clinically healthy dogs. In addition, there was an increase in serum cobalamin concentrations during treatment. The clinical significance of hypocobalaminemia in dogs with leishmaniosis remains to be determined.