Weight, water, and cation losses in horses competing in a three-day event

Frank M. Andrews From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, PO Box 1071, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071 (Andrews, Sommardahl, Green, Holmes, Geiser); Department of Animal Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903 (Ralston); Research Design Associates, Decatur, GA 30030 (Maykuth); and Department of Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (White, Williamson).

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Sarah L. Ralston From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, PO Box 1071, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071 (Andrews, Sommardahl, Green, Holmes, Geiser); Department of Animal Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903 (Ralston); Research Design Associates, Decatur, GA 30030 (Maykuth); and Department of Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (White, Williamson).

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Carla S. Sommardahl From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, PO Box 1071, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071 (Andrews, Sommardahl, Green, Holmes, Geiser); Department of Animal Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903 (Ralston); Research Design Associates, Decatur, GA 30030 (Maykuth); and Department of Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (White, Williamson).

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Patricia L. Maykuth From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, PO Box 1071, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071 (Andrews, Sommardahl, Green, Holmes, Geiser); Department of Animal Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903 (Ralston); Research Design Associates, Decatur, GA 30030 (Maykuth); and Department of Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (White, Williamson).

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Eleanor M. Green From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, PO Box 1071, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071 (Andrews, Sommardahl, Green, Holmes, Geiser); Department of Animal Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903 (Ralston); Research Design Associates, Decatur, GA 30030 (Maykuth); and Department of Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (White, Williamson).

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Susan L. White From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, PO Box 1071, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071 (Andrews, Sommardahl, Green, Holmes, Geiser); Department of Animal Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903 (Ralston); Research Design Associates, Decatur, GA 30030 (Maykuth); and Department of Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (White, Williamson).

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Lisa H. Williamson From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, PO Box 1071, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071 (Andrews, Sommardahl, Green, Holmes, Geiser); Department of Animal Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903 (Ralston); Research Design Associates, Decatur, GA 30030 (Maykuth); and Department of Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (White, Williamson).

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Cheryl A. Holmes From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, PO Box 1071, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071 (Andrews, Sommardahl, Green, Holmes, Geiser); Department of Animal Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903 (Ralston); Research Design Associates, Decatur, GA 30030 (Maykuth); and Department of Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (White, Williamson).

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Dennis R. Geiser From the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, PO Box 1071, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071 (Andrews, Sommardahl, Green, Holmes, Geiser); Department of Animal Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903 (Ralston); Research Design Associates, Decatur, GA 30030 (Maykuth); and Department of Large Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (White, Williamson).

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Summary

Body weight of 48 horses competing in a 3-day event was measured the day before the event (baseline), following the dressage phase of the event (day 1), after the endurance phases of the event (day 2), and 18 to 24 hours after the endurance phases (day 3). Plasma sodium and potassium concentrations were measured the evening before, immediately after, and 10 minutes after the endurance phases. Total body water, water loss, and net exchangeable cation loss were then calculated.

Body weight and total body water were significantly decreased, compared with baseline values, at all times during the event, and significant water loss was detected. The largest changes were recorded after the endurance phases of the event. Water deficits were still detected 18 to 24 hours after the endurance phases of the event.

Mean plasma sodium concentration was significantly increased immediately after the endurance phases of the event, compared with concentration measured the evening before, and remained increased after the 10-minute recovery period, presumably because of dehydration. Mean plasma potassium concentration was significantly increased immediately after the endurance phases of the event, compared with concentration measured the evening before, but was not increased after the 10-minute recovery period.

Summary

Body weight of 48 horses competing in a 3-day event was measured the day before the event (baseline), following the dressage phase of the event (day 1), after the endurance phases of the event (day 2), and 18 to 24 hours after the endurance phases (day 3). Plasma sodium and potassium concentrations were measured the evening before, immediately after, and 10 minutes after the endurance phases. Total body water, water loss, and net exchangeable cation loss were then calculated.

Body weight and total body water were significantly decreased, compared with baseline values, at all times during the event, and significant water loss was detected. The largest changes were recorded after the endurance phases of the event. Water deficits were still detected 18 to 24 hours after the endurance phases of the event.

Mean plasma sodium concentration was significantly increased immediately after the endurance phases of the event, compared with concentration measured the evening before, and remained increased after the 10-minute recovery period, presumably because of dehydration. Mean plasma potassium concentration was significantly increased immediately after the endurance phases of the event, compared with concentration measured the evening before, but was not increased after the 10-minute recovery period.

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