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Keywords:

  • Acidosis;
  • D-lactic acid;
  • Dysbiosis;
  • Encephalopathy;
  • Metabolic

Background

Increased D-lactate concentrations cause neurological signs in humans with gastrointestinal disease.

Hypothesis/Objectives

To determine if serum D-lactate concentrations are increased in cats with gastrointestinal disease compared to healthy controls, and if concentrations correlate with specific neurological or gastrointestinal abnormalities.

Animals

Systematically selected serum samples submitted to the Gastrointestinal Laboratory at Texas A&M University from 100 cats with clinical signs of gastrointestinal disease and abnormal gastrointestinal function tests, and 30 healthy cats.

Methods

Case-control study in which serum D- and L-lactate concentrations and retrospective data on clinical signs were compared between 30 healthy cats and 100 cats with gastrointestinal disease. Association of D-lactate concentration with tests of GI dysfunction and neurological signs was evaluated by multivariate linear and logistic regression analyses, respectively.

Results

All 100 cats had a history of abnormal gastrointestinal signs and abnormal gastrointestinal function test results. Thirty-one cats had definitive or subjective neurological abnormalities. D-lactate concentrations of cats with gastrointestinal disease (median 0.36, range 0.04–8.33 mmol/L) were significantly higher than those in healthy controls (median 0.22, range 0.04–0.87 mmol/L; = .022). L-lactate concentrations were not significantly different between the 2 groups of cats with gastrointestinal disease and healthy controls. D-lactate concentrations were not significantly associated with fPLI, fTLI, cobalamin, folate, or neurological abnormalities (> .05).

Conclusions and Clinical Importance

D-lactate concentrations can be increased in cats with gastrointestinal disease. These findings warrant additional investigations into the role of intestinal microbiota derangements in cats with gastrointestinal disease, and the association of D-lactate and neurological abnormalities.