• Open Access

Prospective Evaluation of Clinically Relevant Type B Hyperlactatemia in Dogs with Cancer


  • This study was done at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada. This work has been presented as an abstract at the Annual ACVIM Forum, June 2009, Montreal, Canada.

Corresponding author: Dr M. Touret, Department of Oncology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1; e-mail: mtouret@uoguelph.ca.


Background: Cancer is considered a cause of type B hyperlactatemia in dogs. However, studies evaluating cancer as a cause of clinically relevant type B hyperlactatemia (>2.5 mmol/L) are lacking. Cancer cells have a higher lactate production because of increased aerobic glycolysis, known as the “Warburg effect.” The mechanisms through which aerobic glycolysis occurs are not well elucidated, but neoplasia may cause type B hyperlactatemia via this process.

Objectives: To determine if malignant tumors of dogs are associated with clinically relevant type B hyperlactatemia (>2.5 mmol/L).

Animals: Thirty-seven client-owned dogs with malignant tumors: 22 with hematopoietic and 15 with solid tumors.

Methods: Histology was used to confirm the diagnosis (cytology was considered adequate for diagnosis of lymphoma). Confounding conditions associated with hyperlactatemia were excluded. Lactate measurements were immediately performed on free-flow jugular whole blood samples using the LactatePro analyzer.

Results: All dogs had lactate concentrations <2.5 mmol/L. Mean blood lactate concentration was 1.09 mmol/L. Mean blood lactate concentrations for solid and hematopoietic tumors were 0.95 and 1.19 mmol/L, respectively. Dogs with lymphoma (n = 18) had a mean blood lactate concentration of 1.15 mmol/L.

Conclusions: Malignant tumors were not considered a cause of clinically relevant type B hyperlactatemia. Therefore, cancer-related type B hyperlactatemia in dogs is uncommon, and hyperlactatemia should prompt careful investigation for causes other than cancer.