00883-A: Training and Racing Associated Hypoglobulinemia in Elite Alaskan Sled Dogs

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $9,022
Erica McKenzie, PhD; Oregon State University
February 1, 2007 - August 31, 2007

Sponsor(s): Versatility in Poodles, Inc.

Breed(s): Siberian Husky, Akita, Alaskan Malamute
Research Program Area: Immunology and Infectious Disease
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Globulin proteins play a critical role in protecting against infection. Trained Alaskan sled dogs have low blood globulin concentrations at rest with a further decline in blood globulins during long distance exercise. The cause and prevalence of this phenomenon and the specific globulin fractions affected (immunoglobulins A, E, G, and M) are currently unknown. To determine the prevalence and severity of depressed blood globulin concentrations in trained Alaskan sled dogs prior to and following a long distance endurance race, and to determine the specific immunoglobulin fractions affected, venous blood samples will be collected from 100 randomly selected Alaskan sled dogs that successfully complete the Iditarod Trail Race. Samples will be retrospectively matched with each dog�s pre-race blood sample and all samples will be analyzed for total globulin concentration and immunoglobulin A, E, G and M concentrations. The information derived from this study may aid further investigations into possible causes of low serum globulin concentrations in racing sled dogs, and the potential impact of low blood globulin concentrations on sled dog health.


McKenzie, E., Lupfer, C., Banse, H., Hinchcliff, K., Love, S., Nelson, Jr, S., … Pastey, M. (2010). Hypogammaglobulinemia in Racing Alaskan Sled Dogs. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 24(1), 179–184. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1939-1676.2009.0416.x

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