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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.
Equine Vet J. 2008 Sep; 40(6):558-64.EV

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.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Brooke Hospital for Animals, Broadmead House, 21 Panton Street, London SW1 Y 4DR, UK.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

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

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), 558-64. https://doi.org/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 -