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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Catestatin, vasostatin, cortisol, and visual analog scale scoring for stress assessment in healthy dogs

Srithunyarat, T.; Hagman, R.; Hoglund, O. V.; Stridsberg, M.; Hanson, J.; Lagerstedt, A. S.; Pettersson, A.


The neuroendocrine glycoprotein chromogranin A is a useful biomarker for stress in humans. Chromogranin A epitopes catestatin and vasostatin can be measured in dogs using radioimmunoassays. The objective of this study was to evaluate catestatin and vasostatin as canine stress biomarkers in a clinical setting. Blood and saliva were collected from 33 healthy dogs that were familiar with sampling procedures and the animal hospital environment (control group) and 30 healthy dogs that were unacquainted (stress group). During sampling, stress behavior was scored by the same observer using visual analog scale (VAS). Plasma was analyzed for catestatin and vasostatin, serum for cortisol, and saliva for catestatin. Differences between groups were analyzed using two sample t-tests and P < 0.05 was considered significant. Stress behavior VAS score in the control group was significantly lower than in the stress group during blood (P = 0.002) and saliva (P = 0.0009) sampling. Serum cortisol and saliva catestatin concentrations in the stress group were higher than the control group (P = 0.003 and P < 0.0001, respectively). Serum cortisol concentrations were correlated with those of saliva (r = 0.34, P = 0.04) and plasma catestatin (r = 0.29, P = 0.03). Plasma catestatin and vasostatin did not differ significantly between groups. In conclusion, concentrations of saliva catestatin, and serum cortisol, and stress behavior VAS scores were significantly higher in the stress group. The results indicate that saliva catestatin may be useful as a biomarker for acute psychological stress in dogs.


Biomarker; Canine; Chromogranin A; Psychological stress; Saliva

Published in

Research in Veterinary Science
2018, Volume: 117, pages: 74-80