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Citrulline Supplements May Improve Health in Dogs with Parvovirus Enteritis

Canine parvovirus enteritis, an acute viral intestinal disease in puppies, has a 20 percent mortality rate. The high mortality rate is mostly caused by a breakdown of the intestinal barrier, which allows bacteria to enter the body. Treatment of severe cases requires extended periods of hospitalization and is, therefore, expensive. Blood concentrations of the amino acid citrulline can predict the severity of intestinal damage in inflammatory bowel disease in humans, so with Morris Animal Foundation funding, scientists from the University of Illinois set out to investigate whether decreases in plasma citrulline concentrations could serve as a marker of intestinal damage in dogs with parvovirus enteritis. They measured and analyzed citrulline concentration in blood taken from affected dogs and healthy dogs and found a marked decrease in plasma citrulline concentration in parvovirus-infected dogs. Supplementing the diets of parvovirus-infected patients with citrulline has been proposed in human medicine and may also be valuable in dogs. Citrulline is not currently a component of critical care diets used in veterinary medicine. (D08CA-009)

Posted by MAFon March 14, 2011.

Categories: Animal health, Canine health, Dog health


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