Background Arginine vasopressin (AVP) is used in human medicine in the management of vasodilatory shock and cardiac arrest, but it is not widely used in equine neonatal intensive care because of concerns about potential side effects and suboptimal efficacy. This retrospective study reports the clinical use of AVP and norepinephrine (NE) in foals with refractory hypotension.
Objectives To report the cardiovascular responses and fluid balance in critically ill, hypotensive foals receiving either NE or AVP.
Design The medical records of neonatal foals (<7 days of age) from 2000 to 2007 admitted to the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center were reviewed.
Results The use of exogenous AVP infusion was associated with a significant increase in mean arterial pressure (MAP) and urinary output, and a significant decrease in heart rate. NE administration was also associated with a significant increase in MAP.
Conclusions The findings of this first report of the clinical treatment of foals with refractory hypotension support the use of AVP and NE.