A survey on serum lipid profile changes in dogs with tail chasing disorder in Iran

Document Type : Research Articles


Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz


Canine compulsive disorder such as tail-chasing is a syndrome of abnormal behaviors that affects many breeds. This disorder may be associated with serum lipid elevations in dogs, so the objective of the present survey was to characterize serum lipid profile changes in dogs with tail chasing behavior disorder. Twenty seven companion dogs with tail chasing were selected among the referred cases to the Veterinary Hospital of Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz. The affected dogs were diagnosed on the basis of the dog’s behavioral history (age, frequency and duration of bouts since onset, intensity of the behavior, current or previous medical assessments) and clinical signs. Serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL-C, LDL-C and VLDL-C levels were measured using commercial kits. Twenty seven control dogs were also enrolled on the basis of normal physical examination results, complete blood count and serum biochemistry profiles. Dogs with tail chasing disorder had significantly higher total
cholesterol (p < 0.001), HDL-C (p < 0.05) and LDL-C (p < 0.001) levels compared with control group dogs. Serum triglyceride and VLDL-C levels did not differ significantly between two groups (p > 0.05). When all parameters were compared, there was no significant difference between the affected dogs younger and older than one year (p > 0.05). In conclusion, tail chasing disorder may be associated with marked elevations of serum cholesterol, HDL-C and LDL-C levels in dogs. These indices may be used as biochemical parameters of tail chasing disorder in clinical settings.


Main Subjects

Agargun, M.Y., Dulger, H., Inci, R., Kara, H., Ozer, O.A., Sekeroglu, M.R. and Besiroglu, L. (2004) Serum lipid concentrations in obsessive-compulsive disorder patients with and without panic attacks. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 49, 776-778.
Bennett, P.C. and Rohlf, V.I. (2007) Owner–companion dog interactions: relationships between demographic variables and potentially problematic behaviors, training engagement and shared activities. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 102, 65–84.
Blackshaw, J.K., Sutton, R.H. and Boyhan, M.A. (1994) Tail chasing or circling behavior in dogs. Canine Practice 19, 7-11.
Blackwell, E., Twells, C., Seawright, A. and Casey, R.A. (2008) The relationship between training methods and the occurrence of behavior problems, as reported by owners, in a population of domestic dogs. Journal of Veterinary of Behavior 3, 207-217.
Brown, S.A., Crowell-Davis, S., Malcom, T. and Edwards, P. (1987) Naloxene-responsive compulsive tail chasing in a dog. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 190, 884-886.
Dodman, N.H., Karlsson, E.K., Moon-Fanelli, A., Galdzicka, M., Perloski, M., Shuster, L., Lindblad-Toh, K. and Ginns, E.I. (2010) A canine chromosome 7 locus confers compulsive disorder susceptibility. Molecular Psychiatry 15, 8–10.
Dodman, N.H., Knowles, K.E., Shuster, L., Moonfanelli, A.A., Tidwell, A.S. and Keen, C.L. (1996) Behavioural changes associated with suspected complex partial seizures in bull terriers. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 208, 688-691.
Fukunaga, K. and Orito, K. (2012) Time-course effects of St John’s wort on the pharmacokinetics of cyclosporine in dogs: interactions between herbal extracts and drugs. Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology Therapeutics 35, 446-451.
Goto, A., Arata, S., Kiyokawa, Y., Takeuchi, Y. and Mori, Y. (2012) Risk factors for canine tail chasing behavior in Japan. The Veterinary Journal 192, 445–448.
Hewson, C.J., Luescher, U.A. and Ball, R.O. (1999) The use of chance-corrected agreement to diagnose canine compulsive disorder: an approach to behavioral diagnosis in the absence of a ‘gold standard’. Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research 63, 201–206.
Huang, T.L., Wu, S.C., Chiang, Y.S. and Chen, J.F. (2003) Correlation between serum lipid, lipoprotein concentrations and anxious state, depressive state or major depressive disorder. Psychiatry Research 118, 147-153.
Irimajiri M., Luescher, A.U., Douglass, G., Robertson-Plouch, C., Zimmermann, A. and Hozak, R. (2009) Randomized, controlled clinical trial of the efficacy of fluoxetine for treatment of compulsive disorders in dogs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 235, 705–709.
Khoshnegah, J., Azizzadeh, M. and Mahmoodi Gharaie, A. (2011) Risk factors for the development of behavior problems in a population of Iranian domestic dogs: Results of a pilot survey. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 131, 123-130.
Luescher, A.U. (2002) Compulsive behavior. In: Horwitz, D.F., Mills, D.S., Heath, S. (Eds.), BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Behavioral Medicine. Gloucester, BSAVA, UK., pp 233.
Mashhadi Rafiei, S., sattari, B. and Naderi, M.M. (2011) Prevalence of behavior problems in domestic dogs in Tehran-Iran. Global Veterinary 6, 333-338.
Moon-Fanelli, A.A. and Dodman, N.H. (1998) Description and development of compulsive tail chasing in terriers and response to clomipramine treatment. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 212, 1252–1257.
Overall, K.L. (2000) Dogs as ‘natural’ models of human psychiatric disorders: assessing validity and understanding mechanism. Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol. Biological Psychiatry 2, 726–776.
Overall, K.L. and Dunham, A.E. (2002) Clinical features and outcome in dogs and cats with obsessive-compulsive disorder: 126 cases (1989–2000). Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 221, 1445-1452.
Peter, H., Hand, I., Hohagen, F., Koenig, A., Kindermann, O., Oeder, F. and Wittich, M. (2002) Serum cholesterol level comparison: control subjects, anxiety disorder patients, and obsessive-compulsive disorder patients. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 47, 557–561.
Pierantoni, L., Albertini, M. and Pirrone, F. (2011) Prevalence of owner-reported behaviours in dogs separated from the litter at two different ages. The Veterinary Record 169, 468.
Senturk, S. and Yalcin, E. (2003) Hypocholesterolemia in dogs with dominance aggression. Journal of Veterinary Medicine 50, 339-342.
Tilley, L.P. and Smith, F.W.K. (2005) The 5-minute veterinary consult, 3rd edn. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Maryland, pp 1325–1326.
Tiira, K., Hakosalo, O., Kareinen, L., Thomas, A., Hielm-Bjorkman, A., Escriou, C., Arnold, P. and Lohi, H. (2012) Environmental effects on compulsive tail chasing in dogs. PLoS One 7, e41684.
Yalcin, E. (2009) Comparison of clomipramine and fluoxetine treatment of dogs with tail chasing. Tierarztliche Praxis Ausgabe K, Kleintiere/Heimtiere 38, 295-299.
Yalcin, E., Icol, Y.O. and Batmaz, H. (2009) Serum lipid concentrations in dogs with tail chasing. The Journal of Small Animal Practice 50, 133-135.