Markers of iron metabolism in retired racing Greyhounds with and without osteosarcoma

Vet Clin Pathol. 2013 Sep;42(3):360-3. doi: 10.1111/vcp.12066.


Background: Greyhounds have well-described clinicopathologic idiosyncrasies, including a high prevalence of osteosarcoma (OSA). Hematocrit, HGB, and HGB oxygen affinity are higher than in other dogs, while haptoglobin concentration is lower, so we hypothesized that Greyhounds have a different iron metabolism. To our knowledge, there are no reports on serum iron profiles in Greyhounds.

Objectives: To elucidate iron metabolism in Greyhounds, we wanted to compare serum iron concentration, total iron-binding capacity (TIBC), and percent transferrin saturation (%SAT) in healthy retired racing Greyhounds (RRGs) with OSA (RRGs - OSA), and also with non-Greyhounds (NGs), without and with OSA (NGs - OSA).

Methods: Serum iron concentration and unsaturated iron-binding capacity (UIBC) were measured by standard methods, and TIBC and %SAT were calculated in RRGs (n = 25), RRGs - OSA (n = 28), NGs (n = 30), and NGs - OSA (n = 32).

Results: TIBC was lower in RRGs than in NGs (P < .0001), and in RRGs - OSA than in NGs - OSA (P < .0001). NGs - OSA had lower TIBC than healthy NGs (P = .003). Percent SAT was higher in RRGs than in NGs (P < .0001) and in RRGs - OSA (P = .008), and %SAT was also lower in NGs than in NGs - OSA (P = .004). Percent SAT was also higher in RRGs - OSA than in NGs - OSA (P = .001). Both RRGs - OSA (P = .02) and NGs - OSA (P < .0001) had lower serum iron concentrations than their healthy counterparts.

Conclusion: Lower TIBC and higher %SAT may constitute another Greyhound idiosyncrasy compared with other dogs. In this study, all dogs with OSA had higher serum iron concentrations and %SAT than healthy dogs.

Keywords: Dihydroartemisinin; iron sequestration; percent transferrin saturation; serum iron concentration; total iron-binding capacity.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Dog Diseases / blood*
  • Dog Diseases / metabolism
  • Dogs
  • Iron / blood*
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Iron-Binding Proteins / blood*
  • Iron-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Osteosarcoma / blood
  • Osteosarcoma / metabolism
  • Osteosarcoma / veterinary*
  • Transferrin / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Iron-Binding Proteins
  • Transferrin
  • Iron