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Comparison of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the serum of hypothyroxinemic and euthyroid dogs.

  • Author(s): Lau, Grace
  • Walter, Kyla
  • Kass, Philip
  • Puschner, Birgit
  • et al.


To determine the profile of 14 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and 23 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in serum of domestic canines and whether this was predictive of thyroid hormone status.


Serum samples were collected from 51 client-owned dogs visiting the University of California Davis William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital during 2012 to 2016 for routine appointments. Fifteen dogs were diagnosed with hypothyroxinemia while 36 were euthyroid.


Concentrations of PBDEs and PCBs in canine serum samples were measured by gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the association between the presence/absence of canine hypothyroxinemia and the serum concentration of individual PBDE or PCB congeners.


The median concentrations of total PBDE and PCB congeners in the hypothyroxinemic group were 660 and 1,371 ng/g lipid, respectively, which were higher than concentrations detected in the control group. However, logistic regression analysis determined that current concentrations of PBDEs and PCBs in canines were not significantly associated with hypothyroxinemia. BDE 183 was the only congener showing near significance (p = 0.068).


PBDE and PCB congeners were detected in all canine samples confirming ongoing exposure to these pollutants. Because household dogs share the human environment, they may serve as biosentinels of human exposure to these contaminants.

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