Changes in plasma biochemistry in horses competing in a 160 km endurance ride



SUMMARY Plasma biochemical values were measured in 14 horses, before a 160 km endurance ride, immediately after 85 km, immediately after 160 km, after 30 min recovery period and the day after the ride. For statistical analysis, a group of 7 horses that completed the ride at a mean speed of 234 metres per min (m/min) (Fast Group) was compared with 7 horses that completed the ride at a mean speed of 144 m/min (Slow Group). Estimations were made of sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, glucose, creatinine, urea, bilirubin, iron, total protein, albumin, calcium, phosphate, cholesterol, alkaline phosphate, gammaglutamyl transferase, lactate dehydrogenase, a hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase, asparate amino transferase, alanine amino transferase, Cortisol and insulin. Disturbances in boichemical values associated with endurance exercise reflected dehydration, hepatic dysfunction, reduced renal function and muscle damage. The faster the speed of exercise, the greater was the stress as reflected by Cortisol values. The Fast Group of horses also demonstrated lower glucose and higher CK and LD values than the Stow Group of horses. However, biochemical values the day after the ride were similar to values before the ride.