The metabolic and clinical responses of Arabian horses with exertional rhabdomyolysis to a standardized field exercise test Public

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/honors_college_theses/hq37vq350

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  • Exertional rhabdomyolysis (ER), or the occurrence of muscle damage with exercise, is prevalent among Arabian horses, the most common breed participating in endurance racing. The cause and pathogenesis of this disease has yet to be determined, and due to the potential for significant morbidity and even mortality associated with ER in the endurance discipline, this disorder represents a growing welfare concern. This study represented a preliminary investigation of this disease, during which 10 horses with ER and 9 healthy control horses were evaluated while performing a standardized exercise test. Heart rate monitoring and visual assessment for clinical signs of disease were performed continuously during exercise. Blood was collected prior to and after exercise to measure changes in packed cell volume, and total protein, glucose, lactate, and electrolyte concentrations in response to exercise. Serum creatine kinase activity was measured as a marker of acute muscle damage. Observed changes in monitored variables were minor, corresponded to exercise intensity, and did not differ between ER and control horses. These findings suggest that Arabian horses with ER have a normal response to limited-duration submaximal exercise, and are unlikely to have a muscular disorder that persistently affects critical metabolic functions of skeletal muscle.
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