Journal Scan: Cachexia and sarcopenia in dogs warrant increased attention

Aug 06, 2012

What they did
This review discusses the syndromes of cachexia (loss of lean body mass secondary to illness) and sarcopenia (loss of lean body mass that occurs with aging) in veterinary medicine.

What they found
Both syndromes are associated with increased morbidity and mortality and have multifactorial pathophysiology. Emerging veterinary research into the four major aspects of cachexia pathophysiology (increased energy demand, decreased nutrient absorption, decreased intake, and altered metabolism) may offer potential targets for treatment in the future. The author notes that these conditions are becoming more prevalent in veterinary medicine and require increased vigilance and research.

Take-home message
Early recognition of these syndromes and treatment of underlying medical conditions will help lessen their negative impact on our patients until further research establishes the benefits of other interventions.

Freeman LM. Cachexia and sarcopenia: emerging syndromes of importance in dogs and cats. J Vet Intern Med 2012;26(1)3-17.

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