Electrolyte and total protein changes in nonheat acclimated horses performing treadmill exercise in cool (20 degrees C/40%RH), hot, dry (30 degrees C/40%RH) or hot, humid (30 degrees C/80%RH) conditions.Equine Vet J Suppl. 1995 NovEV
Four horses (H, J, N and M) undertook a simulated competition exercise test (CET), designed to simulate physiological and metabolic stresses of the Speed and Endurance (S & E) test of a 3-day-event, under 3 different environmental conditions: 20 degrees C/40% relative humidity (RH) (cool, dry [CD] 2 sessions); 30 degrees C/40% RH (hot, dry [HD]) and 30 degrees C/80% RH (hot, humid [HH]) (Marlin et al. 1995a). Venous blood samples for electrolyte and total protein (TP) determinations were collected from indwelling catheters at predetermined time points throughout each CET and initial 30 min recovery period. Venous blood samples were collected by jugular venepuncture at 2 h and 24 h after the end of the final 8 min canter (Phase D). The effects of exercise, environmental condition and horse on venous TP, sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), chloride (Cl-), calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+) and phosphate (PO4(3-)) plasma concentrations were investigated. In addition, the effect of environmental condition on estimated cation loss was evaluated. All horses completed the full CET under the CD and HD conditions, but only one horse completed the full 8 min of the final canter Phase D under HH conditions. Exercise had a significant (P < 0.05) effect on all parameters similar to those reported previously in field competitions. There was a significant (P < 0.05) interaction between time and horse for TP, Na+ and Cl-. Overall, the environmental condition had a significant (P < 0.05) effect on all parameters, but the differences were not considered to be of any physiological relevance, other than for Cl- and TP. There was a significant (P < 0.05) interaction between time and environmental condition for Cl- and TP only. During much of the CET and recovery period, mean Cl- values were higher with the first CD session than the second CD session or under the HH or HD conditions. For TP after 2 min of Phase D and during the initial recovery period, concentrations were higher under the HH conditions and returned to the Pre- values less quickly. There were marked individual variations in the estimated cation losses and no consistent effect of environmental condition was found. Although estimated fluid loss was similar following both HD and HH sessions, restoration of bodyweight was slower following the CET studies under HH conditions.