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Open AccessArticle

Cardiovascular Clinical Assessment in Greyster Dogs in Bikejöring Training

1
Department of Animal Medicine and Surgery, Canine Sports Medicine Service, Veterinary School, Universidad Cardenal Herrera-CEU, 46115 Valencia, Spain
2
DVM, 88220 Hadol, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1635; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091635
Received: 17 July 2020 / Revised: 3 August 2020 / Accepted: 5 August 2020 / Published: 11 September 2020
Regular intense exercise is known to induce cardiac hypertrophy in some dogs engaged in different physical activities, but the cardiovascular response in dogs that routinely carry out aerobic exercise in the form of bikejöring (a form of dryland mushing) is unknown. The pre- and post-competition clinical examinations usually carried out in canine athletes include an electrocardiogram due to its diagnostic value, but some cardiac structural disturbances may go unnoticed at rest, especially in the early stages of disease. In our study, changes in systolic, mean and pulse pressure were detected after exercise, while diastolic blood pressure remained stable. Numerous changes in echocardiographic variables (LVFS-left ventricle fractional shortening, LVEF-left ventricle ejection fraction, EPSS-E-point to septal separation, CO-cardiac output, CI-cardiac index, PWd-posterior wall thickness at end-diastole and major/minor axis ratio) were also found. No association was found between the sex of the animals and the differences in the data. Our findings lead us to recommend theLVF introduction of echocardiograms for the clinical evaluation of canine athletes competing in this form of mushing. Furthermore, by including echocardiograms in clinical examinations during physical training, knowledge of the individual cardiovascular response after exercise can be improved.
Bikejöring is a type of dryland mushing requiring high-intensity aerobic effort, with speed peaks close to 42 km/h. Greysters (crosses between the German Shorthaired Pointer and the Greyhound) often participate in such events and perform well. The objective of this comparative study was to evaluate the clinical use of non-invasive methods in assessing the cardiovascular health of 22 Greyster dogs in physical training, by determining the differences between different cardiovascular parameters before and after physical training. Blood pressure, heart rate and echocardiographic results were compared. The mean age of the dogs was 4.4 years ± 1.8% and 54.5% were female. All participating dogs regularly participated in bikejöring. Post-exercise increases were observed in systolic blood pressure (SBP), mean arterial pressure (MBP) and pulse pressure (SBPD), with diastolic blood pressure (DBP) remaining stable. Changes of clinical interest were observed in numerous echocardiographic variables such as left ventricle fractional shortening (LVFS), left ventricule ejection fraction (LVEF), E-point to septal separation (EPSS), cardiac output (CO), cardiac index (CI), posterior wall thickness at end-diastole (PWd) and major/minor axis ratio (MA/ma), including a decrease in the shortening fraction and an increase in EPSS after exercise. These clinical findings were observed in both males and females; they do not appear to be associated with dilated cardiomyopathy, but rather with a cardiovascular response to physical training. This study derives from the real interest of clinical veterinarians who care for highly trained canine athletes. It contributes to an increase in knowledge of the different cardiac adaptations of such dogs after intense exercise and serves to differentiate these from pathologic conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: canine athlete adaptation; bikejöring; echocardiography; Greyster; doppler; dryland mushing; cardiovascular response canine athlete adaptation; bikejöring; echocardiography; Greyster; doppler; dryland mushing; cardiovascular response
MDPI and ACS Style

Benito, M.; Boutigny, L. Cardiovascular Clinical Assessment in Greyster Dogs in Bikejöring Training. Animals 2020, 10, 1635.

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