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  • Author or Editor: Fairfield T. Bain x
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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


To investigate the possibility that a disorder of potassium balance may have a role in the development of equine rhabdomyolysis, the potassium concentration within erythrocytes (RBC [K+]) and plasma (P [K+]) was measured in 3 groups of horses: group 1, eight 2-year-old fillies that had postexercise muscle soreness within 48 hours of sample collection; group 2, ten 2-year-old fillies subjected to identical management and training conditions (as fillies of group 1) and that did not have signs of myopathy; and group 3, 32 yearlings of both sexes on the farm of origin of groups 1 and 2 that were pastured and not in training. Creatine kinase activity in serum from horses of groups 1 and 2 was also measured. The mean P [K+] was not significantly different between groups, whereas the mean RBC [K+] was significantly (P < 0.01) lower in group-1 fillies vs group-2 fillies and group -3 horses. Group-1 fillies also had markedly high serum creatine kinase activity. Results of the study revealed significantly lower RBC [K+] in horses that had had signs of myopathy within the preceding 48 hours. This does not prove a causal relationship between RBC potassium depletion and myopathy, but does suggest that decreased RBC [K+] may be observed in horses with exercise-related myopathy.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the effect of hydroxyethyl starch (HES) on colloid oncotic pressure (π) during fluid resuscitation of hypoproteinemic horses and to evaluate the clinical usefulness of direct and indirect methods for determination of π before and after infusion of a synthetic colloid.

Design—Prospective clinical study.

Animals—11 hypoproteinemic horses.

Procedure—Horses received IV infusions of 8 to 10 ml of a 6% solution of HES/kg (3.6 to 4.5 ml/lb) of body weight during fluid resuscitation. Blood samples were obtained for determination of plasma measured colloid oncotic pressure (πmeas) and plasma total protein and albumin (A) concentrations. Plasma globulin concentration (G) was calculated as the difference between plasma total protein and albumin concentrations. Calculated values for colloid oncotic pressure (πA + G) were determined by use of a predictive nomogram previously developed for horses.

Results—There was no significant difference between the means of πmeas and πA + G at the beginning of HES infusion. After HES infusion, the mean of πmeas was increased significantly from baseline for 6 hours. Mean plasma total protein and albumin concentrations and πA + G were decreased significantly from baseline for 24 hours. Differences between mean πmeas and πA + G after HES infusion were significant for 24 hours.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—There was good agreement between plasma πmeas and πA + G in blood samples obtained from hypoproteinemic horses immediately before infusion of HES. Use of a predictive nomogram did not, however, account for the oncotic effect of HES. Results of comparison of πmeas to πA + G after HES infusion suggest that a significant oncotic effect was maintained for 24 hours in the study horses. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218: 1130–1135)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine signalment, physical examination and clinicopathologic abnormalities, outcome, and subsequent fertility of mares with periparturient hemorrhage (PPH) and identify factors associated with outcome (ie, survival vs death).

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—73 mares.

Procedures—Medical records were reviewed for information on age, breed, initial complaint, physical examination and clinicopathologic abnormalities, treatment, outcome, and subsequent fertility.

Results—Median age was 14.0 years (range, 5 to 24 years), and median number of foals produced prior to the diagnosis of PPH was 8 (range, 1 to 16). Ten (14%) mares had prepartum hemorrhage and 63 (86%) had postpartum hemorrhage. Treatment was aimed at restoring cardiovascular volume, enhancing coagulation, controlling pain, and reducing the effects of endotoxemia. Sixty-one (84%) mares survived and 12 (16%) died or were euthanized. Common complications included fever, leukopenia, retained fetal membranes, increased digital pulses, thrombophlebitis, and cardiac arrhythmias. Of the 53 surviving mares for which subsequent breeding information was available, 26 (49%) produced 1 or more foals after recovering from PPH.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that PPH can develop in mares of any age and parity. Treatment was associated with a good prognosis for survival and a reasonable prognosis for future fertility.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To create a mathematical model to assist in early prediction of the probability of discharge in hospitalized foals ≤ 7 days old.

Study Design—Prospective study.

Animals—1,073 foals.

Procedures—Medical records from 910 hospitalized foals ≤ 7 days old for which outcome was recorded as died or discharged alive were reviewed. Thirty-four variables including historical information, physical examination findings, and laboratory results were examined for association with survival. Variables associated with being discharged alive were entered into a multivariable logistic regression model. Accuracy of the model was validated prospectively on data from 163 foals.

Results—Factors in the final model included age group, ability to stand, presence of a suckle reflex, WBC count, serum creatinine concentration, and anion gap. Sensitivity and specificity of the model to predict live discharge were 92% and 74%, respectively, in the retrospective population and 90% and 46%, respectively, in the prospective population. Accuracy of an equine clinician's initial prediction of the foal being discharged alive was 83%, and accuracy of the model's prediction was 81%. Combining the clinician's prediction of probability of live discharge with that of the model significantly increased (median increase, 12%) the accuracy of the prediction for foals that were discharged and nonsignificantly decreased (median decrease, 9%) the accuracy of the predication for nonsurvivors.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Combining the clinician's initial predication of the probability of a foal being discharged alive with that of the model appeared to provide a more precise early estimate of the probability of live discharge for hospitalized foals.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association