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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate changes in electrolyte concentrations and hydration status that take place in endurance horses prior to the start of a competition and determine whether these changes would be associated with elimination.

ANIMALS

19 horses entered in the 2016 Tevis Cup 100-Miles (160 km) One-Day Western States Trail Ride.

PROCEDURES

Heparinized blood samples were collected at 5 time points: prior to transport to the ride (T0), during check-in the day before the ride (T1), 1 to 2 hours before the start of the ride (T2), at the 15-km mark (T3), and at the 55-km mark (T4). Packed cell volume and plasma sodium, potassium, chloride, urea nitrogen, glucose, bicarbonate, and total protein concentrations were determined and compared across time points and between finishers and nonfinishers.

RESULTS

Signif icant differences were detected among plasma sodium, potassium, and urea nitrogen concentrations measured prior to the start of the ride (ie, T0, T1, and T2). For all variables except chloride and bicarbonate concentrations, significant differences were detected between values obtained prior to the start of the ride and values obtained during the ride (ie, T3 and T4). Only bicarbonate concentration at the 15-km mark of the ride was significantly associated with finishing status.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results suggested that significant changes in plasma sodium, potassium, and urea nitrogen concentrations can occur in endurance horses during transport to a competition and when horses are stabled overnight before an event. Additionally, a lower bicarbonate concentration following a steep climb early during the ride was associated with subsequent elimination.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine values for total body water (TBW), extracellular fluid volume (ECFV), intracellular fluid volume (ICFV), and plasma volume (PV) in healthy neonatal (< 24 hours old) foals and to create a multifrequency bioelectrical impedance analysis (MF-BIA) model for use in neonatal foals.

Animals—7 healthy neonatal foals.

Procedures—Deuterium oxide (0.4 g/kg, IV), sodium bromide (30 mg/kg, IV), and Evans blue dye (1 mg/kg, IV) were administered to each foal. Plasma samples were obtained following an equilibration period, and the TBW, ECFV, ICFV, and PV were calculated for each foal. An MF-BIA model was created by use of morphometric measurements from each foal.

Results—Mean ± SD values were obtained for TBW (0.744 ± 0.024 L/kg), ICFV (0.381 ± 0.018 L/kg), ECFV (0.363 ± 0.014 L/kg), and PV (0.096 ± 0.015 L/kg). The 95% limits of agreement between the MF-BIA and indicator dilution techniques were within ± 2 L for TBW and ECFV.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Fluid volumes in neonatal foals were found to be substantially larger than fluid volumes in adult horses. Multifrequency bioelectrical impedance analysis may be a useful technique for predicting TBW, ICFV, and ECFV in neonatal foals.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To compare results of point-of-care laboratory testing with standard veterinary clinical examination findings at a single time point during endurance competition to identify horses at risk for elimination.

ANIMALS 101 endurance horses participating in the 2013 Western States 160-km (100-mile) endurance ride.

PROCEDURES At the 58-km checkpoint, blood samples were collected from all horses. Samples were analyzed for pH, Pco 2, base excess, anion gap, PCV, and whole blood concentrations of sodium, potassium, chloride, total carbon dioxide, BUN, glucose, and bicarbonate. Corrected electrolyte and PCV values were calculated on the basis of plasma total protein concentration. Immediately following the blood sample collection, each horse underwent a clinical examination. In addition to standard examination variables, an adjusted heart rate was calculated on the basis of the variable interval between entry into the checkpoint and heart rate recording. A combination of stepwise logistic regression, classification and regression tree analysis, and generalized additive models was used to identify variables that were associated with overall elimination or each of 3 other elimination categories (metabolic elimination, lameness elimination, and elimination for other reasons).

RESULTS Corrected whole blood potassium concentration and adjusted heart rate were predictive for overall elimination. Breed, plasma total protein concentration, and attitude were predictive for elimination due to metabolic causes. Whole blood chloride concentration and corrected PCV were predictive for elimination due to lameness. Corrected PCV was predictive for elimination due to other causes.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that for horses in endurance competition, a combination of breed and clinical examination and laboratory variables provided the best prediction of overall elimination.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To identify clinical or clinicopathologic variables that can be used to predict a positive PCR assay result for Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection in equids.

ANIMALS 162 equids.

PROCEDURES Medical records were reviewed to identify equids that underwent testing for evidence of A phagocytophilum infection by PCR assay between June 1, 2007, and December 31, 2015. For each equid that tested positive (case equid), 2 time-matched equids that tested negative for the organism (control equids) were identified. Data collected included age, sex, breed, geographic location (residence at the time of testing), physical examination findings, and CBC and plasma biochemical analysis results. Potential predictor variables were analyzed by stepwise logistic regression followed by classification and regression tree analysis. Generalized additive models were used to evaluate identified predictors of a positive test result for A phagocytophilum.

RESULTS Total lymphocyte count, plasma total bilirubin concentration, plasma sodium concentration, and geographic latitude were linear predictors of a positive PCR assay result for A phagocytophilum. Plasma creatine kinase activity was a nonlinear predictor of a positive result.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Assessment of predictors identified in this study may help veterinarians identify equids that could benefit from early treatment for anaplasmosis while definitive test results are pending. This information may also help to prevent unnecessary administration of oxytetracycline to equids that are unlikely to test positive for the disease.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate selected hemodynamic, blood gas, and biochemical responses to mild to moderate acute blood loss in standing, awake horses.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—7 healthy mares.

Procedures—Each horse was restrained in standing stocks, and its head was maintained in a neutral position; sedatives and tranquilizers were not administered. During a 1-hour period, blood was collected into collection bags by use of a suction pump. The rate of blood collection was approximately 16 mL/kg/h (7.3 mL/lb/h). Thirty minutes after blood collection, the blood was readministered at the same rate. Central venous pressure (CVP), central venous blood gas, blood lactate concentration, and heart rate were measured at baseline (after placement of catheters), after removal of blood, and after readministration of blood.

Results—In response to blood loss, CVP decreased and blood lactate concentration increased significantly, compared with baseline values; heart rate and results of central venous blood gas analysis did not change significantly. After readministration of blood, CVP returned to baseline value and blood lactate concentration approached baseline value.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Changes in CVP and blood lactate concentration appear to be early indicators of hypovolemia in horses, which may represent acute blood loss in trauma patients; these variables should be monitored to assess the potential need for blood transfusions. These variables can be used to monitor responses of horses to blood transfusions when whole blood is administered as the replacement fluid.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify risk factors such as signalment, previous competition miles completed, ride characteristics, and physical examination variables associated with the elimination of horses during endurance competitions.

Design—Retrospective observational study.

Sample—Veterinary records for 3,493 endurance horse competition starts.

Procedures—Records were requested of all sanctioned 2007 endurance horse competitions in the United States. Only rides that provided data from all horses were included. The horse's signalment, previous endurance competition record, specific ride characteristics, weight division (ie, based on rider's weight with tack), and physical examination variables throughout the ride were included for analysis. Examination variables were separated into abnormalities occurring prior to the start of the ride, during the first half of the ride, and during the second half of the ride. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify risk factors for overall elimination and elimination subcategories (lameness and metabolic).

Results—Specific breeds, the heavyweight division, and distance of the ride were all associated with an increased risk of elimination. A variety of examination variables prior to the start of the ride and during the ride were associated with elimination and included heart rate, cardiac recovery index, and abnormal gastrointestinal sounds.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that specific risk factors were associated with elimination of horses from endurance competitions. These factors may be used to help identify horses at higher risk for elimination and prevent morbidity associated with competition.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To characterize signalment, clinical and laboratory findings, treatment, and outcome in horses with rattlesnake envenomation in northern California.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—58 client-owned horses evaluated for rattlesnake envenomation at 2 referral hospitals from 1992 to 2009.

Procedures—Records of horses with rattlesnake envenomation were reviewed, and data concerning signalment, clinical and laboratory findings, treatment, and outcome were collected. In addition, a rattlesnake-bite severity score (RBSS) was assigned to each horse. Variables were compared between horses that survived and those that did not.

Results—The overall mortality rate was 9%. Nine horses received antivenin; no complications were reported and none of the 9 died. The most common laboratory findings associated with severity of envenomation were thrombocytopenia, hypoproteinemia, hyperlactatemia, and a high RBSS.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Most horses in this study had a good prognosis after being bitten by rattlesnakes. Laboratory and clinical examination findings may be useful for identifying horses with a poorer prognosis. Treatment with antivenin may be beneficial and warrants further evaluation.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the pharmacokinetics and clinical effects of a subanesthetic, continuous rate infusion of ketamine administered to healthy awake horses.

Animals—8 adult horses.

Procedures—Ketamine hydrochloride was administered to 2 horses, in a pilot study, at rates ranging from 0.4 to 1.6 mg/kg/h for 6 hours to determine an appropriate dose that did not cause adverse effects. Ketamine was then administered to 6 horses for a total of 12 hours (3 horses at 0.4 mg/kg/h for 6 hours followed by 0.8 mg/kg/h for 6 hours and 3 horses at 0.8 mg/kg/h for 6 hours followed by 0.4 mg/kg/h for 6 hours). Concentration of ketamine in plasma, heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, physical activity, and analgesia were measured prior to, during, and following infusion. Analgesic testing was performed with a modified hoof tester applied at a measured force to the withers and radius.

Results—No signs of excitement and no significant changes in the measured physiologic variables during infusion rates of 0.4 and 0.8 mg of ketamine/kg/h were found. At 6 hours following infusions, heart rate and mean arterial pressure were decreased, compared with preinfusion measurements. An analgesic effect could not be demonstrated during or after infusion. Pharmacokinetic variables for 0.4 and 0.8 mg/kg/h infusions were not significantly different.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Ketamine can be administered to awake horses at 0.4 or 0.8 mg/kg/h without adverse behavioral effects. The observed pharmacokinetic values are different than those reported for single-dose IV bolus administration of this drug.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To apply the principle of sodium dilution to calculate the changes in the extracellular fluid (ECF) volume (ECFV) and intracellular fluid volume (ICFV) that occur during dehydration and rehydration in horses.

Animals—8 healthy horses of various breeds.

Procedures—Horses were dehydrated over 4 hours by withholding water and administering furosemide. Saline (0.9% NaCl) solution was administered IV during the next 2 hours (20 mL/kg/h; total 40 mL/kg). Horses were monitored for an additional hour following IV fluid administration. Initial ECFV was determined by use of multifrequency bioelectrical impedance analysis, and serum sodium concentration was used to calculate total ECF sodium content. Sodium and fluid volume losses were monitored and calculated throughout the study and used to estimate changes in ECFV and ICFV during fluid balance alterations.

Results—Changes during dehydration and rehydration primarily occurred in the ECFV. The sodium dilution principle estimated an overexpansion of the ECFV beyond the volume of fluid administered, indicating a small contraction of the ICFV in response to fluid administration. Serum and urinary electrolyte changes were recorded and were consistent with those of previous reports.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The sodium dilution principle provided a simple method that can be used to estimate the changes in ECFV and ICFV that occur during fluid administration. Results suggested an overexpansion of the ECFV in response to IV saline solution administration. The sodium dilution principle requires further validation in healthy and clinically ill horses, which could provide clinical applications similar to those in other species.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the use of multifrequency bioelectrical impedance analysis (MF-BIA) for estimating total body water (TBW), extracellular fluid volume (ECFV), and intracellular fluid volume (ICFV) in horses.

Animals—9 healthy mares.

Procedure—TBW and ECFV were measured by use of deuterium oxide and sodium bromide dilution techniques, respectively. Intracellular fluid volume was calculated as the difference between TBW and ECFV. Concurrently, MF-BIA recordings were obtained by use of 4 anatomic electrode positions and 3 measurements of length. Models for MF-BIA data were created for all combinations of length and anatomic electrode position. Models were evaluated to determine the position-length configuration that provided the most consistent estimates of TBW, ECFV, and ICFV, compared with values determined by use of the dilution techniques.

Results—Positioning electrodes over the ipsilateral carpus and tarsus and use of height at the tuber sacrale for length provided the closest estimate between values for TBW, ECFV, and ICFV predicted by use of MF-BIA and measured values obtained by dilutional techniques. This model had the narrowest 95% limits of agreement.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—MF-BIA techniques have been used to predict changes in TBW, ECFV, and ICFV in healthy and diseased humans. Results reported in this study provide an equine-specific model to serve as the basis for further evaluation of MF-BIA in horses with altered fluid states. The MF-BIA techniques have a number of potential applications for use in horses, including evaluation of exercise physiology, pharmacologic studies, and critical-care management. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:320–326)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research