Blood ionized calcium concentrations in horses before and after the cross-country phase of three-day event competition

Dennis Richard Geiser From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071 (Geiser, Andrews, Rohrbach, Green, Provenza); Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (White); and Research Design Associates Inc, Decatur, GA 30030 (Maycuth).

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Frank Michael Andrews From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071 (Geiser, Andrews, Rohrbach, Green, Provenza); Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (White); and Research Design Associates Inc, Decatur, GA 30030 (Maycuth).

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Barton W. Rohrbach From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071 (Geiser, Andrews, Rohrbach, Green, Provenza); Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (White); and Research Design Associates Inc, Decatur, GA 30030 (Maycuth).

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Susan Laraine White From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071 (Geiser, Andrews, Rohrbach, Green, Provenza); Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (White); and Research Design Associates Inc, Decatur, GA 30030 (Maycuth).

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Patricia L. Maykuth From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071 (Geiser, Andrews, Rohrbach, Green, Provenza); Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (White); and Research Design Associates Inc, Decatur, GA 30030 (Maycuth).

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Eleanor Myers Green From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071 (Geiser, Andrews, Rohrbach, Green, Provenza); Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (White); and Research Design Associates Inc, Decatur, GA 30030 (Maycuth).

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Melanie Kay Provenza From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071 (Geiser, Andrews, Rohrbach, Green, Provenza); Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (White); and Research Design Associates Inc, Decatur, GA 30030 (Maycuth).

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SUMMARY

Blood ionized calcium (Ca2+) and pH; plasma lactate concentrations; and total protein, total calcium (CaT), albumin, and phosphorus concentrations in serum were determined in 40 healthy horses before (T1), at the finish line (T2), and 10 minutes after the finish (T3) of the cross-country phase of a 3-day-event competition. Mean (± sem) Ca2+ concentrations decreased from 6.22 ± 0.04 mg/dl at T1 to 5.04 ± 0.07 mg/dl at T2 (P ≤ 0.05). This decrease was accompanied by a nonsignificant increase in CaT between T1 and T2. The mean (± sem) percent ionization of calcium decreased significantly (P ≤ 0.05), from 50.9 ± 2.75% at T1 to 40.3 ± 3.58% at T2. Significant increases in mean albumin, total protein, phosphorus, and lactate concentrations and a significant decrease in mean pH were observed at T2 (P ≤ 0.05). At T3, mean Ca2+ and percent ionization had increased, but remained significantly less than resting values. Mean CaT was significantly decreased at T3, compared with values at T1 and T2. Correlation of mean Ca2+ concentration with all other measured variables at each time was evaluated; correlation coefficients between mean Ca2+ and all other variables were low (r2 ≤ 0.38), indicating low biological significance.

SUMMARY

Blood ionized calcium (Ca2+) and pH; plasma lactate concentrations; and total protein, total calcium (CaT), albumin, and phosphorus concentrations in serum were determined in 40 healthy horses before (T1), at the finish line (T2), and 10 minutes after the finish (T3) of the cross-country phase of a 3-day-event competition. Mean (± sem) Ca2+ concentrations decreased from 6.22 ± 0.04 mg/dl at T1 to 5.04 ± 0.07 mg/dl at T2 (P ≤ 0.05). This decrease was accompanied by a nonsignificant increase in CaT between T1 and T2. The mean (± sem) percent ionization of calcium decreased significantly (P ≤ 0.05), from 50.9 ± 2.75% at T1 to 40.3 ± 3.58% at T2. Significant increases in mean albumin, total protein, phosphorus, and lactate concentrations and a significant decrease in mean pH were observed at T2 (P ≤ 0.05). At T3, mean Ca2+ and percent ionization had increased, but remained significantly less than resting values. Mean CaT was significantly decreased at T3, compared with values at T1 and T2. Correlation of mean Ca2+ concentration with all other measured variables at each time was evaluated; correlation coefficients between mean Ca2+ and all other variables were low (r2 ≤ 0.38), indicating low biological significance.

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