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Acid-base and hidroelectrolytic balance in horses undergoing FEI* endurance ride simulation

N.S. Bernardi L.M.W. Gomide A.D. Antunes K. Gravena D.P.M. Dias D.J. Queiroz V.A. Canello A.M.G.B. Silva R.A. Brandi J.C. Lacerda-Neto About the authors


Endurance is an equestrian modality that demands high requirement of organic systems in order to maintain organism’s homeostasis. This study aimed to evaluate hydroelectrolyte and acid-base balance during an endurance test performed by FEI* horses. Nine horses were subjected to three months of training and, at the end, performed a test similar to the official competitions of equestrian endurance, with 80 km of distance, divided into four stages. Clinical and blood samples were taken for analysis of lactate concentration and blood gas parameters before the start of the test, immediately after the arrival of each phase and, after 15, 30 minutes, 1, 4, 6 and 12 hours after the end of the race. Only five animals completed the race and the data from these animals were used for statistical analysis. There was predominance of aerobic metabolism and the horses showed a good recovery rate. The electrolytes chloride, sodium, potassium and calcium had their concentration decreased while bicarbonate increased with the course of the exercise. There was an increase in pH due to the development of mixed alkalosis, characterized by hypochloremic metabolic alkalosis and respiratory alkalosis. Good performance of the animals was attributed to sufficient metabolic adaptation induced by training.

horse; electrolytes; exercise; blood gas analysis; lactate

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