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Serum cobalamin and folate as prognostic factors in canine exocrine pancreatic insufficiency: An observational cohort study of 299 dogs

Soetart, N., Rochel, D., Drut, A., Jaillardon, L.
The veterinary journal 2019 v.243 pp. 15-20
appetite, blood serum, cohort studies, dogs, folic acid, gastrointestinal system, males, nutrient uptake, prognosis, risk factors, therapeutics, vitamin B12
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) in dogs is a gastrointestinal condition leading to a severe impairment of nutrient absorption. The disease is frequently associated with vitamin disturbances especially regarding cobalamin and folate. Dogs with EPI need daily expensive supportive treatment. The aim of the present study was to identify prognostic factors for EPI in dogs, through a long-term survival study of 299 dogs, taking into account epidemiological, clinical, biological and therapeutic data, with particular emphasis on serum cobalamin and folate concentration.The prevalence of low serum cobalamin (cobalamin<350ng/L) and high serum folate (folate>12μg/L) concentrations were 67% (200/299) and 55% (164/299), respectively. Dogs with hypocobalaminemia at diagnosis were significantly older than those with serum cobalamin concentration within the reference interval (P<0.001). Hypocobalaminemia at diagnosis (P=0.04), male sex (P=0.01), decreased appetite at diagnosis (P=0.008) and not receiving enzyme replacement therapy (P=0.003) were significant and independent risk factors for decreased survival in EPI. In contrast, hyperfolatemia was associated with improved prognosis (P=0.02). These results confirm the importance of measuring serum cobalamin and folate concentrations at the time EPI is diagnosed, as hypocobalaminemia is negatively associated with prognosis, particularly in the absence of a high serum folate concentration.