Interpretation of PetMETA results is easy, since the results are provided with reference intervals and a description of the effects of the biomarkers. Many different physiological conditions, such as diseases, feeding and exercise can affect metabolism. The clinically most reliable results are obtained after 8-12 hours of fasting, since eating affects multiple metabolic pathways. Suitable sample materials are heparinized plasma, serum and EDTA plasma.
Holistic approach on disease diagnostics and monitoring
In addition to their primary effects, many internal diseases cause widespread metabolic changes. Some of these changes occur early in the disease course, whereas other metabolic pathways have a large reserve capacity, so that changes occur only in later stages of the disease. PetMETA allows the clinician to monitor these disease-associated metabolic changes. Read examples about existing research data on disease-induced, known metabolic changes and their effects on dog care from the links below.
Reference intervals: typical results of healthy animals
In veterinary medicine, the animal’s laboratory results are typically compared to reference intervals. The reference intervals indicate the typical concentration range of the metabolite in healthy animals. The reference intervals have upper and lower limits, which are called the reference limits. Determination of PetMETA reference limits has been conducted according to the ASVCP reference interval guidelines. Reference intervals are calculated so that 95% of healthy dogs fall within the reference interval for each biomarker. Thus, a healthy dog has a 5% probability of being outside the reference intervals for each biomarker. Because reference intervals are calculated using all dogs that are defined healthy, the reference intervals don’t necessarily indicate what the most desirable result for the well-being or performance of the dog would be, or what the values of a sick dog are.
Feeding affects metabolism
Diet and feeding affect multiple metabolic pathways, which is why 12 hours of fasting is recommended before obtaining clinical blood samples. After eating, sugar and lipids are released into the bloodstream, which might affect the interpretation of the results.
The future of metabolomics: individualized petcare
Metabolomics is a research field that has been expanding greatly during the last decades. One of the biggest future changes in healthcare is the shift from using single metabolites for diagnostics into using disease-associated metabolic fingerprints. Metabolic fingerprints sum up the metabolic changes associated with the disease, enhancing diagnostic accuracy. Metabolomics also allows development of preventative medicine by enabling risk prediction and is a promising tool for individualized medicine, since disease-associated metabolic alterations can affect the treatment of the patient.