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  • Author or Editor: Kevin T. T. Corley x
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Objective—To compare cardiac output (CO) obtained by the lithium dilution method (LiDCO) with CO calculated from the Fick principle (FickCO), in horses maximally exercising on a high-speed treadmill.

Animals—13 Thoroughbreds.

Procedures—In part 1 of the study, 5 horses performed a warm-up (walk, trot, and canter) and exercise test (walk, trot, canter, and gallop [90% to 100% maximum oxygen consumption [{O2max}]) with measurements of LiDCO and FickCO obtained simultaneously after 60 seconds at each exercise level, for a total of 7 measurements. In part 2 of the study, 8 horses performed a warm-up (walk, trot, and canter) followed by an exercise test (walk and gallop [90% to 100% O2max], repeated twice). Measurements of LiDCO and FickCO were obtained 60 seconds into the first walk and each gallop of the exercise tests, for a total of 3 measurements.

Results—Cardiac output increased significantly with increasing speeds by use of both methods. In part 1, lithium dilution significantly overestimated CO, compared with the Fick principle, during the exercise test (as both injection number and exercise intensity increased). Mean ± SD bias was 246 ± 264 mL of blood/min/kg in part 1 and 67 ± 100mLof blood/kg/min in part 2. Three injections of lithium (part 2) did not result in the same degree of overestimation of LiDCO that was observed with 7 injections (part 1).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Lithium dilution may be an acceptable substitute for the Fick principle as a means to measure CO in maximally exercising client-owned horses.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To identify the types of injuries sustained by horses that competed in steeplechase races and determine the prevalence of and risk factors for those injuries.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—2,680 horses that competed in various types of steeplechase races from 1996 through 2000.

Procedure—Data regarding races; environment; equipment problems; the number of horses that entered, started, and finished races; the number of riders that fell; and the number of horses that were slowed or stopped by the rider, ran off the course, fell, and sustained injuries or physical abnormalities during races were collected on a standard form by the official veterinarian who attended each meet. Data from all meets were not recorded; however, in recorded meets, data from every race were reported.

Results—Data for 197 hurdle, 65 timber, 76 flat, and 8 mixed races were recorded. Nine (3.4/1,000 horses that started in races) horses died or were euthanatized, and 7 of those were associated with catastrophic musculoskeletal injury. Seven fractures were recorded. Four fractures involved forelimbs, 1 involved a hind limb, and 2 involved the cervical portion of the vertebral column. All horses with fractures were euthanatized. Deep or hard course conditions were associated with an increased risk of breakdown injuries.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Successful development and implementation of strategies to prevent injuries and death in horses in steeplechase races depend on a clear understanding of the types and prevalence of injuries involved and risk factors associated with those injuries. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1788–1790)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association