The acid–base disturbances in canine parvoviral (CPV) enteritis are not well described. In addition, the
mechanisms causing these perturbations have not been fully elucidated. The purpose of the present study
was to assess acid–base changes in puppies suffering from CPV enteritis, using a modified strong ion
model (SIM). The hypothesis of the study was that severe acid–base disturbances would be present
and that the SIM would provide insights into pathological mechanisms, which have not been fully appreciated
by the Henderson–Hasselbalch model.
The study analysed retrospective data, obtained from 42 puppies with confirmed CPV enteritis and 10
healthy control dogs. The CPV-enteritis group had been allocated a clinical score, to allow classification of
the data according to clinical severity. The effects of changes in free water, chloride, L-lactate, albumin
and phosphate were calculated, using a modification of the base excess algorithm. When the data were
summated for each patient, and correlated to each individual component, the most important contributor
to the metabolic acid–base changes, according to the SIM, was chloride (P < 0.001). Severely-affected animals
tended to demonstrate hypochloraemic alkalosis, whereas mildly-affected puppies had a hyperchloraemic
acidosis (P = 0.007). In conclusion, the acid–base disturbances in CPV enteritis are multifactorial
and complex, with the SIM providing information in terms of the origin of these changes.