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Taurine-reactive cardiomyopathy in related dogs
The role of taurine in the feline heart is well known, as well as the dilated cardiomyopathy as a common and progressive problem in certain large or giant dog breeds. But this extremely interesting recently published case series shows that taurine can be also very important in dogs and that dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy can be successfully treated with taurine.

A reversible taurine-deficient dilated cardiomyopathy occurred in five related golden retrievers.

An apical systolic heart murmur was the most common physical abnormality.

According to fractional shortening and end-systolic diameter on echocardiography, significant improvements (P<0.005) were recorded within 3 to 6 months of starting taurine supplementation.

The dogs regained substantial systolic function, and four were weaned off all cardiac medications except taurine.

This response to therapy was unusual, because canine dilated cardiomyopathy is generally progressive and fatal.



Source: Marie C. Bélanger, Mathieu Ouellet, Guillaume Queney, Maxim Moreau (2005): Taurine-Deficient Dilated Cardiomyopathy in a Family of Golden Retrievers. In: Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:284-291 (2005)



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SMALL ANIMAL PRACTICE

Reference intervals for blood parameters in Shetland Sheepdogsmembers
Several breeds have physiological peculiarities that induce variations in reference intervals (RIs) compared with the general canine population. Shetland sheepdogs (SSs) are reported to be more predisposed to different diseases (eg, hyperlipidemia, gallbladder mucocele, and hypothyroidism). Consequently, a breed‐specific approach is more often required. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine whether the RIs of the general canine population could be applied to that of SSs, and to generate breed‐specific RIs, where appropriate.

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