Electrocardiographic changes and changes in cardiac lactate and troponin I levels associated with search and rescue physical activity in military dogs


  • Caroline Sant’Anna Feitosa Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Centro de Ciências Agrárias e Engenharias, Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências Veterinárias, Alegre – ES, Brazil https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7480-0946
  • Hévila Dutra Barbosa de Cerqueira Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Centro de Ciências Agrárias e Engenharias, Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências Veterinárias, Alegre – ES, Brazil https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1180-8318
  • Franciely Mota de Oliveira Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Centro de Ciências Agrárias e Engenharias, Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências Veterinárias, Alegre – ES, Brazil https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0272-0461
  • Isabella Cosmo da Silva Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Centro de Ciências Agrárias e Engenharias, Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências Veterinárias, Alegre – ES, Brazil https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0272-0461
  • Karina Preising Aptekmann Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Centro de Ciências Agrárias e Engenharias, Departamento de Medicina Veterinária, Alegre – ES, Brazil https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3612-9936
  • Leonardo Oliveira Trivilin Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Centro de Ciências Agrárias e Engenharias, Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências Veterinárias, Alegre – ES, Brazil https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3039-3269




cardiac electrophysiology, dog, physiology, metabolism


Rescue and recovery dogs intercalate the activity intensity developed, which also triggers significant metabolic changes in cardiac physiology. Thus, we evaluated the changes that search simulation causes in glucose, lactate, and cardiac troponin I level (cTnI) and the electrocardiographic and heart rate during the activity and recovery phase to predict the physiological adaptation to the exercise. Five healthy adult dogs from the Rescue and Recovery Service of Military Firefighters Corps were submitted to 60 minutes search operation simulation in the woods. They covered a forest area of approximately 50,000 m2. The dogs were loose and accompanied by their driver, and they could perform any physical activity. Were evaluated serum biochemical analysis of glucose, lactate, cardiac troponin I, electrocardiographic, and heart rate (rest, exercise phase, and recovery time). No changes in glucose levels, heart rate, and cardiac rhythm were detected. In comparison to baseline values, there is an increase: in lactate at the end of the exercise phase [EXER] (60’EXER), and in the recovery phase [RCT] at 30’RCT and 60’RCT, and cTnI at 60’RCT, 120’RCT, and 4hRCT. P wave duration was significantly higher at 60’EXER, 15’RCT, and 30’RCT, with no alterations in wave amplitude. QRS interval duration significantly increased at 30’RCT, and the ST segment presented a significant difference at 60’EXER, 15’RCT, and 60’RCT compared to the rest moment. The moderate alterations in lactate and cTnI and few alterations in the electrocardiographic and heart rate maintenance suggest the adaptation of rescue and recovery dogs to the type, intensity, and duration of search operation simulation performed.


Download data is not yet available.


Allen SE, Holm JL. Lactate: physiology and clinical utility. J Vet Emerg Crit Care. 2008;18(2):123-32. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-4431.2008.00286.x.

Alves JC, Santos A, Brites P, Ferreira-Dias G. Evaluation of physical fitness in police dogs using an incremental exercise test. Comp Exerc Physiol. 2012;8(3-4):219-26. https://doi.org/10.3920/CEP12027.

Alves JC, Santos A. Physiological, haematological and biochemical shifts in police working dogs during a riot control exercise. Comp Exerc Physiol. 2016;12(4):193-8. https://doi.org/10.3920/CEP160016.

Angle CT, Wakshlag JJ, Gillette RL, Stokol T, Geske S, Adkins TO, Gregor C. Hematologic, serum biochemical, and cortisol changes associated with anticipation of exercise and short duration high-intensity exercise in sled dogs. Vet Clin Pathol. 2009;38(3):370-4. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1939-165X.2009.00122.x. PMid:19351341.

Bavegems V, Duchateau L, Ham LV, Rick AD, Sys SU. Electrocardiographic reference values in whippets. Vet J. 2009;182(1):59-66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2008.05.003. PMid:19524205.

Caputo F, De Oliveira MFM, Greco CC, Denadai BS. Exercício aeróbio: aspectos bioenergéticos, ajustes fisiológicos, fadiga e índices de desempenho. Rev Bras Cineantropom Desempenho Hum. 2009;11(1):94-102. https://doi.org/10.1590/1980-0037.2009v11n1p94.

Civelek T, Baser DF, Saritas ZK, Varol K. Case report: exercise induced cardiac hypertrophy in a dog. Rev Med Vet. 2012;163(2):79-84.

Constable PD, Hinchcliff KW, Olson JL, Stepien RL. Effects of endurance training on standard and signal-average electrocardiograms of sled dogs. Am J Vet Res. 2000;61(5):582-8. https://doi.org/10.2460/ajvr.2000.61.582. PMid:10803657.

Corpo de Bombeiros Militar de Goiás – CBMGO. Manual operacional de bombeiros: busca, resgate e salvamento com cães [Internet]. Goiás: CBMGO; 2020. 371 p. [cited 2022 Oct 10]. Available from: https://www.bombeiros.go.gov.br/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Manual_Busca_Resgate_e_Salvamento_com_Caes.pdf

Costantini O, Drabek C, Rosenbaum DS. Can sudden cardiac death be predicted from the T wave of the ECG? A critical examination of T wave alternans and QT interval dispersion. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2000;23(9):1407-16. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-8159.2000.tb00971.x. PMid:11025899.

Davis MS, Hinchcliff KW, Williamson KK, McKenzie EC, Royer CM. Effect of multiday exercise on serum hormones and metabolic substrate concentrations in racing sled dogs. Comp Exerc Physiol. 2020;16(3):197-205. https://doi.org/10.3920/CEP190068.

Diverio S, Barbato O, Cavallina R, Guelfi G, Iaboni M, Zasso R, Di Mari W, Santoro MM, Knowles TG. A simulated avalanche search and rescue mission induces temporary physiological and behavioural changes in military dogs. Physiol Behav. 2016;163:193-202. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.05.006. PMid:27174611.

Ferworn A. Canine augmentation technology for urban search and rescue. In: Helton WS, editor. Canine ergonomics: the science of working dogs. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis; 2009. p. 205-44. https://doi.org/10.1201/9781420079920.ch11.

Gordon LE. The contribution of rescue dogs during natural disasters. Rev Sci Tech. 2018;37(1):213-21. https://doi.org/10.20506/rst.37.1.2752. PMid:30209417.

Kosić SL, Trailović DR, Krstić N. Age-dependent electrocardiographic and echocardiographic changes in German Shepherd dogs. Iran J Vet Res. 2017;18(1):43-8. PMid:28588632.

Kraus MS, Gelzer AR, Rishniw M. Detection of heart rate and rhythm with a smartphone-based electrocardiograph versus a reference standard electrocardiograph in dogs and cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2016;249(2):189-94. https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.249.2.189. PMid:27379594.

Kumar A, Dey S, Mahajan S. Incidence and risk assessment of cardiac arrhythmias in dogs with respect to age, breed, sex and associated biochemical changes. Adv Anim Vet Sci. 2014;2(5):277-81. https://doi.org/10.14737/journal.aavs/2014/

Lima AM, Ferreira LT, da Silva SC, Jorge SF, Ramos MT, Pascon JPE, Moreira RM, Figueiredo MA. Electrocardiographic evaluation in dogs of the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro. Braz J Vet Med [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2022 Oct 10];38(Suppl 2):61-6. Available from: https://rbmv.org/BJVM/article/view/158

Lima AM, Moreira RM, Gomes MS, Ramos MT, Santos-Sousa CA, Souza-Júnior P, Abidu-Figueiredo M. Echocardiographic evaluation of working dogs of the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro: effects of the breed and body weight. Rev Bras Med Vet. 2022;44:e001322. https://doi.org/10.29374/2527-2179.bjvm00132. PMid:35775866.

Moraes VS, Soares JKI, Cabidelli JF, Fadini ANB, Ribeiro PA, Pinheiro RM, Conti LMC, Souza VRC, Coelho CS. Effects of resistance training on electrocardiographic and blood parameters of police dogs. Comp Exerc Physiol. 2017;13(4):217-26. https://doi.org/10.3920/CEP170007.

Mukherjee J, Das PK, Ghosh PR, Banerjee D, Sharma T, Basak D, Sanyal S. Electrocardiogram pattern of some exotic breeds of trained dogs: A variation study. Vet World. 2015;8(11):1317-20. https://doi.org/10.14202/vetworld.2015.1317-1320. PMid:27047036.

Muñoz A, Santisteban R, Rubio MD, Riber C, Agüera EI, Castejón FM. Locomotor response to exercise in relation to plasma lactate accumulation and heart rate in andalusian and Anglo-Arabian horses. Vet Res Commun. 1999;23(6):369-84. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1006337708920. PMid:10543366.

Nie J, George K, Duan F, Tong TK, Tian Y. Histological evidence for reversible cardiomyocyte changes and serum cardiac troponin T elevation after exercise in rats. Physiol Rep. 2016;4(24):e13083. https://doi.org/10.14814/phy2.13083. PMid:28003565.

Noszczyk-Nowak A, Michałek M, Kałuża E, Cepiel A, Pasławska U. Prevalence of arrhythmias in dogs examined between 2008 and 2014. J Vet Res. 2017;61(1):103-10. https://doi.org/10.1515/jvetres-2017-0013. PMid:29978061.

Piccione G, Casella S, Panzera M, Giannetto C, Fazio F. Effect of moderate treadmill exercise on some physiological parameters in untrained Beagle Dogs. Exp Anim. 2012;61(5):511-5. https://doi.org/10.1538/expanim.61.511. PMid:23095814.

Ponce Vázquez J, Pascual Gómez F, Álvarez Badillo A, Dolz Luna JF, Rodríguez Rodríguez LP. Arritmias cardíacas inducidas por el ejercicio dinâmico máximo de corta duración (sprint): estúdio em el galgo greyhound. Rev Esp Cardiol. 1998;51(7):559-65. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0300-8932(98)74790-6. PMid:9711104.

Queiroz RW, Silva VL, Rocha DR, Costa DS, Turco SHN, Silva MTB, Santos AA, Oliveira MBL, Pereira ASR, Palheta-Junior RC. Changes in cardiovascular performance, biochemistry, gastric motility and muscle temperature induced by acute exercise on a treadmill in healthy military dogs. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr. 2018;102(1):122-30. https://doi.org/10.1111/jpn.12667. PMid:28032379.

Rathore NS, Moolchandani A, Sareen M, Rajput DS. Effect of treadmill exercise on some physiological and hematological parameters in german sheperd dogs. Vet Pract. 2011;12:38-9.

Rovira S, Muñoz A, Benito M. Effect of exercise on physiological, blood and endocrine parameters in search and rescue-trained dogs. Vet Med. 2008;53(6):333-46. https://doi.org/10.17221/1860-VETMED.

Rovira S, Muñoz A, Benito M. Hematologic and biochemical changes during canine agility competitions. Vet Clin Pathol. 2007;36(1):30-5. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1939-165X.2007.tb00178.x. PMid:17311191.

Rovira S, Muñoz A, Riber C, Benito M. Heart rate, electrocardiographic parameters and arrhythmias during agility exercises in trained dogs. Rev Med Vet. 2010;161(7):307-13.

Santos POPR, Santos EA, Reis AC, Santos AMMR, Kuster MCC, Trivilin LO, Aptekmann KP. Effect of exercise on cardiovascular parameters in search and rescue-trained dogs. Arq Bras Med Vet Zootec. 2018;70(4):1036-44. https://doi.org/10.1590/1678-4162-10027.

Shave R, Baggish A, George K, Wood M, Scharhag J, Whyte G, Gaze D, Thompson PD. Exercise-Induced cardiac troponin elevation - Evidence, mechanisms, and implications. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2010;56(3):169-76. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2010.03.037. PMid:20620736.

Sleeper MM, Clifford CA, Laster LL. Cardiac troponin I in the normal dog and cat. J Vet Intern Med. 2001;15(5):501-3. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1939-1676.2001.tb01582.x. PMid:11596740.

Spratt DP, Mellanby RJ, Drury N, Archer J. Cardiac troponin I: evaluation of a biomarker for the diagnosis of heart disease in the dog. J Small Anim Pract. 2005;46(3):139-45. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-5827.2005.tb00304.x. PMid:15789809.

Stepien RL, Hinchcliff KW, Constable PD, Olson J. Effect of endurance training on cardiac morphology in Alaskan sled dogs. J Appl Physiol. 1998;85(4):1368-75. https://doi.org/10.1152/jappl.1998.85.4.1368. PMid:9760330.

Wakshlag JJ, Kraus MS, Gelzer AR, Downey RL, Vacchani P. The Influence of high-intensity moderate duration exercise on cardiac troponin I and C-reactive protein in sled dogs. J Vet Intern Med. 2010;24(6):1388-92. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1939-1676.2010.0594.x. PMid:20840303.

Wall L, Mohr A, Ripoli FL, Schulze N, Penter CD, Hungerbuehler S, Bach JP, Lucas K, Nolte I. Clinical use of submaximal treadmill exercise testing and assessments of cardiac biomarkers NT-proBNP and cTnI in dogs with presymptomatic mitral regurgitation. PLoS One. 2018;13(6):e0199023. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0199023. PMid:29902265.




How to Cite

Feitosa, C. S., Cerqueira, H. D. B. de, Oliveira, F. M. de, Silva, I. C. da, Aptekmann, K. P., & Trivilin, L. O. (2023). Electrocardiographic changes and changes in cardiac lactate and troponin I levels associated with search and rescue physical activity in military dogs. Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Research and Animal Science, 60, e210468. https://doi.org/10.11606/issn.1678-4456.bjvras.2023.210468




Most read articles by the same author(s)