To determine whether administration of glycerol-containing solutions induces a state of transient hyperhydration in resting euhydrated horses, changes in plasma and urine constituents were measured in four horses for 1 h before and 5 h after nasogastric administration of each of four treatments (Experiment 1). Treatments were applied in a randomized fashion and included: (1) 1.0 g.kg(-)(1)glycerol in 8 L of water (G); (2) 8 L of water (W); (3) 8 L of 0.9% NaCl solution (S); and (4) 1.0 g.kg(-)(1)glycerol in 8 L of 0.9% NaCl solution (GS). In a subsequent study, voluntary water intake was measured hourly for 5 h after nasogastric administration of each treatment (Experiment 2). All treatments produced mild plasma volume expansion ranging from 3.2 to 5.8% in Experiment 1. Administration of glycerol containing solutions increased serum glycerol concentration approximately 100-fold and plasma osmolality (P(osm)) by approximately 10 mOsm/kg and resulted in a tendency towards increased renal water conservation despite increased osmole excretion. In contrast, W treatment decreased plasma and urine osmolality and was accompanied by increased urine production and decreased renal water conservation. Plasma and urine osmolality, as well as renal osmole and water excretion, were unchanged after S administration. In Experiment 2, horses treated with GS voluntarily drank an additional 5.2 +/- 0.9 L of water during the initial hour following nasogastric administration of 8 L of solution. Voluntary water intake with the other treatments was less than 1.0 L for the entire 5 h observation period. Collectively, the results of both experiments suggest that administration of glycerol in saline would produce transient hyperhydration in resting euhydrated horses by enhancing renal water conservation and stimulating voluntary water intake.