• anemia;
  • blood transfusion;
  • intravascular hemolysis;
  • Oxyglobin®;
  • red maple toxicosis;
  • Heinz bodies


Objective: To report the use of ultrapurified bovine hemoglobin (PBHg) in the treatment of red maple toxicosis in horses.

Summary: The use of PBHg in a miniature horse and a pony with clinical signs of red maple toxicosis is described. Initial treatment of the horses included blood transfusion in Case 1, and intravenous crystalloid fluids, nasogastrically administered mineral oil, and activated charcoal in both cases. Both cases received PBHg (16 and 11 ml/kg, respectively) when the hematocrit dropped below 10%. Clinical stabilization of the horses (reflected by improved vital signs and mucous membrane color, increase in PvO2, and increase in plasma hemoglobin) was temporary, lasting 12 and 42 hours, respectively. A whole blood transfusion was given 16 hours after the infusion of PBHg in Case 1 and 42 hours after the infusion of PBHg in Case 2. The horses were discharged on days 15 and 17, respectively. Both were stable on discharge and were reported to be doing well 1 month after discharge.

New information provided: Ultrapurified bovine hemoglobin is shown to be safe in the treatment of red maple toxicosis. Ultrapurified bovine hemoglobin infusion resulted in temporary improvement in oxygen (O2) delivery as assessed by clinical and laboratory parameters. The use of PBHg may provide an ‘oxygen bridge’ in an acute hemolytic crisis in the horse. It may allow additional time in the treatment of red maple toxicity for the acute hemolysis to subside and for metabolism of the toxin to occur, thus providing a more optimal environment for an effective whole blood transfusion.