Objective—To determine correlations between dietary cation anion difference (DCAD) and urine pH, urine specific gravity, and blood pH in goats.
Animals—24 crossbred goat wethers. Procedures—Goats were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 DCAD groups (−150, −75, 0, or +75 mEq/kg of feed) and fed pelleted feed and ground hay for 7 days. The diet was then supplemented with ammonium chloride to achieve the assigned DCAD of each group for 7 days. Urine was obtained for pH and specific gravity measurements at hours −3 to −1, 1 to 3, 5 to 7, 9 to 11, and 13 to 15 relative to the morning feeding. Blood pH was determined on alternate days of the study period.
Results—Goats in the −150 and −75 mEq/kg groups had a urine pH of 6.0 to 6.5 two days after initiation of administration of ammonium chloride, and urine pH decreased to < 6.0 by day 7. Goats in the 0 mEq/kg group had a urine pH from 6.0 to 6.5 on day 5, whereas urine pH in goats in the +75 mEq/kg group remained > 6.5 throughout the trial. Urine specific gravity differed only between the −150 mEq/kg and the −75 mEq/kg groups. Blood pH in the −150 mEq/kg group was significantly lower than that in the other groups. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Goats in the 0 mEq/kg DCAD group had a urine pH of 6.0 to 6.5 five days after intitiation of feeding the diet, and that pH was maintained through day 7, without significant reduction in blood pH. This may serve as a target for diet formulation for the prevention of urolithiasis.
OBJECTIVE To determine whether prophylactic administration of valacyclovir hydrochloride versus initiation of treatment at the onset of fever would differentially protect horses from viral replication and clinical disease attributable to equine herpesvirus type-1 (EHV-1) infection.
ANIMALS 18 aged mares.
PROCEDURES Horses were randomly assigned to receive an oral placebo (control), treatment at detection of fever, or prophylactic treatment (initiated 1 day prior to viral challenge) and then inoculated intranasally with a neuropathogenic strain of EHV-1. Placebo or valacyclovir was administered orally for 7 or 14 days after EHV-1 inoculation or detection of fever (3 horses/group). Effects of treatment on viral replication and clinical disease were evaluated. Plasma acyclovir concentrations and viremia were assessed to determine inhibitory concentrations of valacyclovir.
RESULTS Valacyclovir administration decreased shedding of virus and viremia, compared with findings for control horses. Rectal temperatures and clinical disease scores in horses that received valacyclovir prophylactically for 2 weeks were lower than those in control horses. The severity of but not the risk for ataxia was decreased by valacyclovir administration. Viremia was decreased when steady-state trough plasma acyclovir concentrations were > 0.8 μg/mL, supporting the time-dependent activity of acyclovir.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Valacyclovir treatment significantly decreased viral replication and signs of disease in EHV-1–infected horses; effects were greatest when treatment was initiated before viral inoculation, but treatment was also effective when initiated as late as 2 days after inoculation. During an outbreak of equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy, antiviral treatment may be initiated in horses at various stages of infection, including horses that have not yet developed signs of viral disease.