Serial plasma lactate concentrations in 68 puppies aged 4 to 80 days

Maureen A. McMichael, George E. Lees, Jennifer Hennessey, Mary Sanders, May Boggess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine a reference range for venous blood lactate concentrations in healthy neonatal dogs. Design: A prospective cohort study. Setting: All work was conducted at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University. Animals: Clinically healthy dogs: 68 puppies and 30 adults. Measurements and main results: A blood sample was collected from each puppy into lithium heparin via jugular venipuncture at 4, 10, 16, 28, 70, and 80 days of age. A single venous sample was collected from each adult dog. Lactate concentration in each sample was measured immediately using an automated analyzer. Two hundred seventy-seven blood samples were analyzed. Blood lactate concentrations of adult dogs were 1.80 ± 0.84 mmol/L (mean ± SD). Mean blood lactate concentrations of puppies were significantly higher at 4, 10, 16, and 28 days of age compared with those of adult dogs. The reference range for lactate concentration for puppies at 4 days of age was 1.07-6.59, and for the puppies from 10 to 28 days of age was 0.80-4.60. Conclusions: Assessment of perfusion can be challenging in neonates due to normal physiologic variation and small size. Measurement of lactate is rapid, minimally invasive, and has potential to be a useful marker of perfusion in neonatal dogs. However, lactate concentrations of neonatal dogs in this study were significantly higher than those of adult dogs. Reference ranges for venous lactate concentrations in adult dogs should not be used for puppies younger than 70 days of age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-21
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Hypoperfusion
  • Lactic acidosis
  • Neonatal dogs
  • Perfusion
  • Pyruvate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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