Hematologic response of endurance horses that ran different distances in the post race period

R.F. Siqueira W.R. Fernandes About the authors


The aim of this study was to analyze the hematological changes after endurance races from different distances up to 14 days, a period of metabolic and musculoskeletal recovery that occured in trained horses that finished the competitions in a good health. A total of 32 Arabian horses were evaluated, with 400 (±32kg) trained for endurance races, who competed in four events in free speed categories 80 km (n = 13), 120km (n = 14) and 160km (n = 5). Blood samples were collected before the start (M0), immediately after leaving the last veterinary inspection (M1) and three hours later (M2). Already at their farms, samples were taken at three (M3), seven (M4) and 14 (M5) days after the race. There was an increase of values of erythrocytes, hemoglobin and packed cell volume after the end of the race in all horses and this increase was maintained until three hours after the race in the of 120 and 80km horses. There was an increase in the number of platelets in all horses, which remained elevated up to 3 hours after the test and normalized on the third day. All horses underwent increase in neutrophil counts and decreased lymphocyte count immediately after the race and three hours later, returning to normal after the third day. There was also pronounced increase in the number of eosinophils in all horses on the third day, which lasted until the seventh after the race. An unheard of data of this study was an increase in blood eosinophils after three days of competition that remained until the seventh day. This may signal the participation of these cells in the repair process. The evaluation of blood components proved to be an important tool for the assessment of recovery of the animals. As only horses that finished the race were evaluated, the changes found within days of effort, indicate the importance of further studies to investigate the steps and components of the metabolic and muscular recovery, in order not to commit excesses, returning the animals to activity at the right time.

endurance horse; hemogram; post race; recovery

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Escola de Veterinária Caixa Postal 567, 30123-970 Belo Horizonte MG - Brazil, Tel.: (55 31) 3409-2041, Tel.: (55 31) 3409-2042 - Belo Horizonte - MG - Brazil
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