The Athletic and Working Dog Newsletter 6:2

Issue 6(2): ~ Vital Signs of Athletic Dogs

The trained and conditioned canine athlete or working dog’s metabolism performs at a different level than the pet dog. Some variation can be related to the breed of the dog, but a healthy, conditioned athletic dog can exhibit metabolic variants that have the potential to confuse the general practitioner or anyone not accustomed to these peculiarities. Practitioners use a dog’s vital signs to give a brief overview of the dog’s general health status. The vital sign measurements usually include body temperature (T), heart rate or pulse (HR, P) and respiration (R). They are sometimes referred to as the dog’s TPR. Having a normal temperature, resting heart rate, and resting respiratory rate are important indicators of good health. It is therefore important to know TPR normals in highly trained, conditioned dogs.


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