Renal dysfunction in dogs envenomed by poisonous snakes is currently detected using traditional serum
and urinary biomarkers such as creatinine and proteinuria. However, these markers lack sensitivity at the
early stages of renal dysfunction and their diagnostic accuracy is affected by pre-analytical factors commonly
occurring in these dogs, such as haemolysis and haemoglobinuria. Early detection of renal dysfunction
would allow for the identification of dogs requiring intensive treatment and monitoring and
may help inform prognosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of several novel urinary
biomarkers of glomerular dysfunction, namely, urinary albumin (uAlb), immunoglobulin G (uIgG)
and C-reactive protein (uCRP) and of proximal tubular dysfunction (urinary retinol binding protein
(uRBP)) compared to traditional end points in dogs with renal damage caused by snake envenomation.
Biomarker results were compared between 19 dogs bitten by snakes producing either neurotoxins or
cytotoxins and 10 clinically healthy controls.
uAlb, uIgG, and uRBP were significantly increased in snake-envenomed dogs at presentation compared
to controls, whereas only uIgG and uCRP were significantly elevated 24 h post-envenomation. The urinary
protein:creatinine ratio was also increased in envenomed dogs compared to controls, but because
of the presence of haematuria and haemoglobinuria, differentiation between pre-renal and renal proteinuria
was not possible. The results showed that these novel urinary biomarkers may assist in better detecting
renal dysfunction in dogs envenomed by poisonous snakes at the acute disease stage compared to
traditional laboratory endpoints.