Influence of obesity on plasma lipid and lipoprotein concentrations in dogs

Am J Vet Res. 2005 Jan;66(1):81-6. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.2005.66.81.


Objective: To determine effects of obesity and diet in dogs on plasma lipid and lipoprotein concentrations by assaying plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations and determining total plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations as well as the concentrations of cholesterol and triglycerides in various lipoprotein classes (ie, very-low-density, low-density, and high-density lipoproteins).

Animals: 24 Beagles; 12 lean (mean [+/- SEM] body weight, 12.7 +/- 0.7 kg) and 12 chronically obese (21.9 +/- 0.8 kg) dogs of both sexes, between 1 and 9 years old.

Procedures: Total plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations; lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations; and plasma ghrelin, leptin, free fatty acids, insulin, and glucose concentrations were measured and compared between lean and obese dogs, both of which were fed a complete and balanced maintenance diet. Chronically obese dogs were subsequently fed a high-protein low-energy diet to evaluate effects of diet composition on plasma lipid and lipoprotein measurements.

Results: Chronic obesity resulted in a significant decrease in plasma ghrelin concentration and a significant increase in plasma leptin, cholesterol, and triglyceride concentrations in dogs. High total plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations resulted from increased cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations in all lipoprotein fractions. In obese dogs, modification of diet composition resulted in beneficial effects on plasma lipid and leptin concentrations, even before weight loss was observed.

Conclusions and clinical relevance: Correlations exist between obesity and plasma measurements (ie, lipoproteins, leptin, insulin, and ghrelin) commonly associated with obesity. Modification of diet composition to control energy intake improves plasma lipid and leptin concentrations in obese dogs.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dog Diseases / blood*
  • Dogs
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Ghrelin
  • Hypercholesterolemia / veterinary*
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / veterinary*
  • Leptin / blood
  • Lipoproteins / blood*
  • Male
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / veterinary*
  • Peptide Hormones / blood


  • Ghrelin
  • Leptin
  • Lipoproteins
  • Peptide Hormones