Objective—To compare effects of 3 methods of topically applied cold treatment (cryotherapy) on digital laminar and venous temperatures in horses.
Animals—9 healthy adult Thoroughbreds.
Procedures—Thermocouples were placed in palmar digital veins and digital laminae of both forelimbs of horses. Three methods of cryotherapy were applied to the distal aspects of the limbs: wader boot (63-cm-tall vinyl boot filled with ice and water [ice slurry]), ice bag (5-L fluid bag filled with ice slurry), and a gel pack boot (boot containing frozen gel packs). Gel packs and ice slurries were replenished every hour during cryotherapy. The forelimb that received the first treatment was randomly assigned; thereafter, control and treated forelimbs were alternated for each treatment. For each treatment, temperatures were recorded every minute during 15-minute pretreatment, 2-hour treatment, and ≥ 30 minute rewarming periods. Once temperatures had returned to within 3°C below pretreatment values, the experiment was repeated in a similar manner for other cryotherapy methods.
Results—Digital venous temperatures were similar to laminar temperatures during each treatment. Ice bag and wader boot treatments caused similar cooling of digits. Gel boot treatment did not cause substantial cooling of digits.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Ice bag treatment caused laminar and digital venous cooling equivalent to that of wader boot treatment. Cryotherapy by use of 5-L fluid bags with an ice slurry may be a readily available, practical, and efficient method for prevention of laminitis in horses. Digital laminar and venous temperatures were similar in forelimbs of horses before and during cryotherapy.
Objective—To compare cardiac troponin I (cTnI) concentrations determined by use of a point-of-care analyzer with values determined by use of a bench-top immunoassay in plasma samples obtained from clinically normal horses with and without experimentally induced cardiac disease, and to establish a reference range for plasma equine cTnI concentration determined by use of the point-of-care analyzer.
Animals—83 clinically normal horses, 6 of which were administered monensin to induce cardiac disease.
Procedures—A blood sample was collected from each of the 83 clinically normal horses to provide plasma for analysis by use of the point-of-care analyzer; some of the same samples were also analyzed by use of the immunoassay. All 83 samples were used to establish an analyzer-specific reference range for plasma cTnI concentration in clinically normal horses. In 6 horses, blood samples were also collected at various time points after administration of a single dose of monensin (1.0 to 1.5 mg/kg) via nasogastric intubation; plasma cTnI concentration in those samples was assessed by use of both methods.
Results—The analyzer-specific reference range for plasma cTnI concentration in clinically normal horses was 0.0 to 0.06 ng/mL. Following monensin treatment in 5 horses, increases in plasma cTnI concentration determined by use of the 2 methods were highly correlated (Pearson correlation, 0.83). Peak analyzer-determined plasma cTnI concentrations in monensin-treated horses ranged from 0.08 to 3.68 ng/mL.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In horses with and without experimentally induced cardiac disease, the point-of-care analyzer and bench-top immunoassay provided similar values of plasma cTnI concentration.
Objective—To evaluate whether administering a tart cherry juice blend (TCJB) prior to exercise would reduce skeletal and cardiac muscle damage by decreasing the inflammatory and oxidative stress response to exercise in horses.
Procedures—Horses were randomly allocated into 2 groups in a crossover study with a 2-week washout period and orally administered either TCJB or a placebo solution (1.42 L, twice daily) in a double-masked protocol for 2 weeks prior to a stepwise incremental exercise protocol. Horses were tested for serum activities of creatine kinase and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and concentrations of cardiac troponin I (cTnI), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS; an indicator of oxidative stress), and serum amyloid A (SAA; an indicator of inflammation). To ensure that treatment would not result in positive results of an equine drug-screening protocol, serum samples obtained from each horse prior to and after 2 weeks of administration of TCJB or the placebo solution were tested.
Results—All horses had negative results of drug screening at both sample times. The exercise protocol resulted in a significant increase in TBARS concentration, SAA concentration, and serum AST activity in all horses. Administration of TCJB or placebo solution was not associated with an effect on malondialdehyde or SAA concentrations. However, administration of TCJB was associated with less serum activity of AST, compared with administration of placebo solution.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administration of TCJB may diminish muscle damage induced by exercise.