• Inflammation;
  • Metabolism;
  • Stress

Background: C-reactive protein (CRP) and cardiac troponin I (cTnI) are biomarkers of systemic inflammation and cardiac damage, respectively.

Objective: To investigate the effects of short-duration high-intensity exercise on plasma cTnI and serum CRP concentrations in sprint racing sled dogs.

Animals: Twenty-two Alaskan sled dogs of 2 different teams participating in a 2-day racing event.

Methods: In this prospective field study, cephalic venipuncture was performed on all dogs before racing and immediately after racing on 2 consecutive days. Plasma cTnI and serum CRP concentrations were evaluated at each time point.

Results: There was a mild, significant rise (P < .01) in median cTnI concentrations from resting (0.02 ng/mL; 0.0–0.12 ng/mL) on both days after racing (day 1 = 0.06, 0.02–0.2 ng/mL; day 2 = 0.07, 0.02–0.21 ng/mL). Serum CRP concentrations showed a mild significant increase (P < .01) on day 2 after racing mean (9.2 ± 4.6 μg/mL) as compared with resting (6.5 + 4.3 μg/mL) and day 1 after racing (5.0 + 2.9 μg/mL). Neither cTnI or CRP concentrations exceeded the upper reference range for healthy dogs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: Strenuous exercise of short duration did not result in cTnI concentrations above the reference range for healthy dogs. Although increased after 2 days of short-duration strenuous exercise, CRP did not reach concentrations suggestive of inflammation, as reported previously in the endurance sled dogs. Therefore, we surmise that moderate exercise does not present a confounding variable in the interpretation of cTnI and CRP concentrations in normal dogs.