Assessment of gastrointestinal health in racing Alaskan sled dogs using capsule endoscopy and inflammatory cytokines. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVES: Exercise-induced gastrointestinal syndrome occurs in dogs and people and might compromise athlete performance by increasing intestinal permeability and causing gastrointestinal erosions. Racing sled dogs often receive acid suppressant prophylaxis which decreases the incidence of gastric erosions induced by exercise. The objectives were to quantify intestinal injury by measuring serum pro-inflammatory cytokine concentrations before and after exercise and to evaluate gastrointestinal mucosa using video capsule endoscopy after exercise. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Prospective study of 12 racing Alaskan sled dogs receiving approximately 1mg/kg omeprazole once daily from the day before the race until race completion. Blood was drawn before and 8 to 10hours after an endurance race for the quantification of cytokines. Gastrointestinal tract mucosa was assessed with video capsule endoscopy immediately post-race. RESULTS: Eight of nine dogs (89%; 95% confidence interval 52 to 100%) had gastric erosions; all dogs (100%, 95% confidence interval 63 to 100%) had small intestinal erosions. Most of the dogs (seven of nine) had straw or foreign material present. Cytokine levels were not different from before to after the race. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Video capsule endoscopy identified gastrointestinal tract mucosal erosions after exercise in all dogs receiving once-daily omeprazole treatment, though other causes for the lesions besides exercise are possible.

published proceedings

  • J Small Anim Pract

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Mabry, K., Davis, M. S., Gould, E., Gogal, R. M., Steiner, J. M., Tolbert, M. K., & Hill, T. L.

citation count

  • 0

publication date

  • May 2023