Internal Medicine Service

Vitamin D a Predictor of Poor Clinical Outcomes

Gastrointestinal diseases are one of the most common disorders in dogs and are an important cause of significant morbidity and mortality. However, the cause of chronic enteropathies remains poorly understood and it is challenging for clinicians to predict treatment outcomes.

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The R(D)SVS medicine service have recently published two studies which have investigated the underlying cause of gastrointestinal inflammation and explored what factors predict treatment success.

R(D)SVS medicine clinicians have previously published work showing that many dogs with gastrointestinal disorders have low vitamin D concentrations leading to abnormalities in calcium homeostasis. In their recent studies they have demonstrated that low vitamin D status is a powerful predictor of poor clinical outcomes and correlates with systemic and local inflammation.

Future studies will examine whether vitamin D is a cause or consequence of gastrointestinal inflammation. In addition, we are currently exploring why many dogs with gastrointestinal disorders have low vitamin D status and if vitamin D supplementation improves clinical outcomes in dogs with gastrointestinal diseases.

Both papers have been published open access and are freely available at links below