00856-A: Effect of Treatment with Low Doses of Hydrocortisone on Blood Pressure and Mortality in Dogs with Septic Shock

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $7,699.6
Dr. Jamie Burkitt, D.V.M., University of California, Davis
November 1, 2006 - April 30, 2010
Sponsor(s): Basenji Club of America, Inc. & Basenji Health Endowment
Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Treatment

Project Summary

Severe infection (sepsis) is a common problem in critically ill dogs. Previous studies have reported survival rates of only 33 - 68 percent in septic dogs. Those with blood pressure that is dangerously low (septic shock) are even more likely to die. In times of severe stress and disease, the adrenal glands release cortisol, a steroid that is part of the natural stress response. Recent studies have shown that some humans and dogs with septic shock have inadequate cortisol production. Humans in septic shock who have poor cortisol production have improved blood pressure and survival if they are treated with low doses of cortisol. Whether low-dose cortisol would improve blood pressure and survival in dogs with septic shock that have poor cortisol production is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine whether dogs with septic shock and insufficient cortisol production would benefit from cortisol treatment. The researchers enrolled dogs with septic shock from veterinary intensive care units across the country to determine whether low-dose cortisol treatment helps those with poor cortisol production. Although they increased the number of participating centers, the researchers were not able to enroll the number of dogs over 3 � years needed to perform statistical analysis on the results. The dogs that were enrolled were tested for cortisol insufficiency using a standard blood test, and then received either cortisol or a placebo. Although the grant is completed, the investigators will continue to enroll dogs into the study to be able to analyze the results.

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