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Validity of indicators of dehydration in working horses: a longitudinal study of changes in skin tent duration, mucous membrane dryness and drinking behaviour.

Abstract

REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY

Dehydration is a serious welfare concern in horses working in developing countries. Identification of a valid and practical indicator of dehydration would enable more rapid treatment and prevention.

OBJECTIVES

To examine changes in bodyweight, clinical and blood parameters during rehydration of working horses, identify a 'gold standard' criterion for dehydration and use this to validate a standardised skin tent test, drinking behaviour and mucous membrane dryness as potential field indicators.

METHODS

Fifty horses with a positive skin tent test, working in environmental temperatures of 30-44 degrees C in Pakistan, were rested and offered water to drink ad libitum. Bodyweight, clinical and blood parameters, mucous membrane dryness, drinking behaviour and skin tent duration at 6 anatomical locations were measured at 0, 30, 60, 120, 180, 240 and 300 min.

RESULTS

Skin tent duration was affected by side of animal (P = 0.008), anatomical location and coat moisture (both P < 0.001). Younger animals had shorter skin tents at all time points (P = 0.007). There was no significant association between plasma osmolality (P(osm)) or water intake and skin tent duration. Horses with a higher P(osm) drank significantly more water (P < 0.001), and had longer (P < 0.001) and more frequent (P = 0.001) drinking bouts. Neither P(osm) nor water intake affected qualitative and semi-quantitative measurements of mucous membrane dryness significantly.

CONCLUSIONS AND POTENTIAL RELEVANCE

The standardised skin tent test and measures of mucous membrane dryness investigated in this study were not valid or repeatable indicators of dehydration when compared with P(osm) as a 'gold standard' criterion. The volume of water consumed and the number and duration of drinking bouts were the most reliable guide to hydration status currently available for mature working horses. Offering palatable water to drink ad libitum provides both the diagnosis and the remedy for dehydration in working horses.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Brooke Hospital for Animals, Broadmead House, 21 Panton Street, London SW1 Y 4DR, UK.

    , ,

    Source

    Equine veterinary journal 40:6 2008 Sep pg 558-64

    MeSH

    Age Factors
    Animal Welfare
    Animals
    Behavior, Animal
    Body Temperature
    Body Weight
    Dehydration
    Drinking
    Female
    Horse Diseases
    Horses
    Hot Temperature
    Hypovolemia
    Longitudinal Studies
    Male
    Mucous Membrane
    Osmolar Concentration
    Pakistan
    Skin
    Work

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
    Validation Studies

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    18356129

    Citation

    Pritchard, J C., et al. "Validity of Indicators of Dehydration in Working Horses: a Longitudinal Study of Changes in Skin Tent Duration, Mucous Membrane Dryness and Drinking Behaviour." Equine Veterinary Journal, vol. 40, no. 6, 2008, pp. 558-64.
    Pritchard JC, Burn CC, Barr AR, et al. Validity of indicators of dehydration in working horses: a longitudinal study of changes in skin tent duration, mucous membrane dryness and drinking behaviour. Equine Vet J. 2008;40(6):558-64.
    Pritchard, J. C., Burn, C. C., Barr, A. R., & Whay, H. R. (2008). Validity of indicators of dehydration in working horses: a longitudinal study of changes in skin tent duration, mucous membrane dryness and drinking behaviour. Equine Veterinary Journal, 40(6), pp. 558-64. doi:10.2746/042516408X297462.
    Pritchard JC, et al. Validity of Indicators of Dehydration in Working Horses: a Longitudinal Study of Changes in Skin Tent Duration, Mucous Membrane Dryness and Drinking Behaviour. Equine Vet J. 2008;40(6):558-64. PubMed PMID: 18356129.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Validity of indicators of dehydration in working horses: a longitudinal study of changes in skin tent duration, mucous membrane dryness and drinking behaviour. AU - Pritchard,J C, AU - Burn,C C, AU - Barr,A R S, AU - Whay,H R, PY - 2008/3/22/pubmed PY - 2009/1/14/medline PY - 2008/3/22/entrez SP - 558 EP - 64 JF - Equine veterinary journal JO - Equine Vet. J. VL - 40 IS - 6 N2 - REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: Dehydration is a serious welfare concern in horses working in developing countries. Identification of a valid and practical indicator of dehydration would enable more rapid treatment and prevention. OBJECTIVES: To examine changes in bodyweight, clinical and blood parameters during rehydration of working horses, identify a 'gold standard' criterion for dehydration and use this to validate a standardised skin tent test, drinking behaviour and mucous membrane dryness as potential field indicators. METHODS: Fifty horses with a positive skin tent test, working in environmental temperatures of 30-44 degrees C in Pakistan, were rested and offered water to drink ad libitum. Bodyweight, clinical and blood parameters, mucous membrane dryness, drinking behaviour and skin tent duration at 6 anatomical locations were measured at 0, 30, 60, 120, 180, 240 and 300 min. RESULTS: Skin tent duration was affected by side of animal (P = 0.008), anatomical location and coat moisture (both P < 0.001). Younger animals had shorter skin tents at all time points (P = 0.007). There was no significant association between plasma osmolality (P(osm)) or water intake and skin tent duration. Horses with a higher P(osm) drank significantly more water (P < 0.001), and had longer (P < 0.001) and more frequent (P = 0.001) drinking bouts. Neither P(osm) nor water intake affected qualitative and semi-quantitative measurements of mucous membrane dryness significantly. CONCLUSIONS AND POTENTIAL RELEVANCE: The standardised skin tent test and measures of mucous membrane dryness investigated in this study were not valid or repeatable indicators of dehydration when compared with P(osm) as a 'gold standard' criterion. The volume of water consumed and the number and duration of drinking bouts were the most reliable guide to hydration status currently available for mature working horses. Offering palatable water to drink ad libitum provides both the diagnosis and the remedy for dehydration in working horses. SN - 0425-1644 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/18356129/Validity_of_indicators_of_dehydration_in_working_horses:_a_longitudinal_study_of_changes_in_skin_tent_duration_mucous_membrane_dryness_and_drinking_behaviour_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.2746/042516408X297462 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -