Changes in selected biochemical constituents of blood collected from horses participating in a 50-mile endurance ride.Am J Vet Res. 1982 Dec; 43(12):2239-43.AJ
The effects of strenuous exercise on serum electrolytes, blood metabolites, and serum enzymes were studied in a group of 13 horses participating in a 50-mile endurance ride. Blood samples were collected before, during, and at the end of the ride, as well as 1 hour and 16 hours after the completion of the ride. There were significant changes in these values when preride values were compared with those of samples taken at different sample-collection periods. Significant (P less than 0.001) decreases were observed in serum concentrations of chloride, potassium, and calcium. A significant increase in the serum concentration of phosphorous also was observed. The mean concentrations of chloride and calcium remained significantly reduced in the 16-hour postride sample. A small, but significant (P less than 0.05), increase in sodium and decrease in glucose concentrations were observed at the midride sample. Although midride samples did not reflect a significant change in blood pyruvate concentration, a significant (P less than 0.05) increase was observed at the end of the ride. Changes in the hematocrit and the total protein concentration were statistically significant at levels of P less than 0.001 and P less than 0.01, respectively. The horses showed highly significant increases in concentrations of free fatty acids, serum enzymes (P less than 0.001), and lactate (P less than 0.005) during the ride. The elevated values of creatine kinase and lactic dehydrogenase decreased, while the aspartate aminotransferase values remained increased long after completion of the ride. The lactate and free fatty acids, which rose significantly during the ride, decreased to approximately preride values by 16 hours after the ride was completed. We conclude that the changes in serum electrolytes, enzymes, and blood metabolites reflect the sweating, muscle damage, and increased dependency on anaerobic glycolysis and lipid mobilization that these horses experienced during the competitive endurance ride.