Serum D-lactate concentrations in dogs with parvoviral enteritis

J Vet Intern Med. 2020 Mar;34(2):691-699. doi: 10.1111/jvim.15688. Epub 2020 Jan 10.


Background: Dogs infected with canine parvovirus (CPV) have compromised intestinal epithelial barrier integrity. Production of D-lactate by enteric bacteria may directly reflect disease severity or contribute to metabolic acid-base status in these dogs.

Hypothesis: Serum D-lactate concentration will be increased in CPV dogs compared to healthy controls and correlate with markers of disease severity and acid-base status.

Animals: Dogs with CPV undergoing treatment (n = 40) and healthy control dogs (n = 9).

Methods: Prospective observational study. Dogs with CPV had a baseline and daily CBC, venous blood gas with serum electrolyte concentrations, composite clinical severity score, and serum D-lactate concentration performed. A single serum D-lactate measurement was obtained from healthy control dogs.

Results: The CPV dogs had a higher D-lactate concentration (mean ± SD) of 469 ± 173 μM compared to controls, 306 ± 45 μM (P < .001). There was no difference in baseline D-lactate concentrations for CPV survivors (474 ± 28 μM), versus nonsurvivors (424 ± 116 μM; P = .70). D-lactate concentration decreased over the first 4 days of treatment (-9.6 μM/d; P = .46). Dogs hospitalized for <4 days had lower baseline D-lactate concentrations compared to those hospitalized ≥4 days (400 ± 178 μM versus 520 ± 152 μM; P = .03). No sustained correlation over time between serum D-lactate concentration and clinical severity score or recorded acid-base results.

Conclusions and clinical importance: Serum D-lactate concentrations are higher in dogs with CPV compared to healthy controls but do not appear to be clinically relevant. No relationship identified between serum D-lactate concentrations and markers of CPV disease severity, acid-base status, or outcome.

Keywords: D-lactic acid; acidosis; parvovirus.

Publication types

  • Observational Study, Veterinary

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dog Diseases / blood*
  • Dogs
  • Enteritis / blood
  • Enteritis / veterinary*
  • Enteritis / virology
  • Lactic Acid / blood*
  • Parvoviridae Infections / blood
  • Parvoviridae Infections / pathology
  • Parvoviridae Infections / veterinary*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Lactic Acid