Age-specific variations in hematological and biochemical parameters in middle- and large-sized of dogs

J Vet Sci. 2020 Jan;21(1):e7. doi: 10.4142/jvs.2020.21.e7.


Aging triggers cellular and molecular alterations, including genomic instability and organ dysfunction, which increases the risk of disease in mammals. Recently, due to the markedly growing number of aging dogs in the world, as much as 49% in total number of pet dogs, it is necessary to improve and maintain their quality of life by understanding of the biological effects of aging. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine specific biomarkers in aging dogs as a means of defining a set of hematological/biochemical biomarkers that influence the aging process. Blood samples were collected from younger (1-3 years) and older (7-10 years) dogs of middle/large size. The hematological/biochemistry analysis was performed to evaluate parameters significantly associated with age. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to target growth hormone (GH)/insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1), one of the main regulators of the aging process. Declining levels of total protein and increased levels of glucose in young dogs was observed regardless of their body size. Notably, a significantly high concentration of GH and IGF-1 in the younger dogs compared to the older dogs was found in middle/large-sized dogs. GH and IGF-1 were also found at significantly high levels in large-sized dogs compared to middle-sized dogs, suggesting a similar trend to that of elderly humans. Consequently, glucose, total protein, GH, and IGF-1 were identified as potential biomarkers for regulating the aging process in large/middle-sized dogs. These findings provide an invaluable insight into the mechanism of aging for the field of aging research.

Keywords: Aging; biomarkers; dog; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; hematological test.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Body Size*
  • Dogs / physiology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / veterinary*
  • Growth Hormone / blood*
  • Hematologic Tests / veterinary*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / analysis*
  • Reference Values


  • Biomarkers
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Growth Hormone