• horse;
  • anaesthesia;
  • frusemide;
  • exercise


Six horses were randomly assigned to receive either frusemide (F) (0.5 mg/kg i.v.) or an equivalent volume of saline (S) i.V., 4 h prior to treadmill exercise. Horses were instrumented to enable measurement of heart rate (HR), systolic (SAP), mean (MAP), and diastolic (DAP) carotid arterial pressures, pulmonary artery pressure (PAP), central venous pressure (CVP), pulmonary arterial temperature (TEMP), blood gases, and cardiac output (CO). Plasma (PV) and blood volumes (BV) were measured using 2 injections of Evan's Blue dye. Baseline parameters were recorded while the horse stood quietly. Horses were then administered F or S. Four hours later, they were warmed up for 3 min at 4 m/s and then exercised to the point of fatigue at 115% V̇o2max. Horses were anaesthetised immediately following exercise by administration of detomidine (0.04 mg/kg bwt i.v.) followed 5 min later by tiletamine-zolazepam (1.25 mg/kg bwt i.v.). After transporting the horse to a recovery stall, anaesthesia was maintained with isoflurane in 100% O2. Data were analysed using a 2-way ANOVA with repeated measures with post hoc differences identified using the Student-Newman-Keul's procedure. Exercise was associated with increases in HR, SAP, MAP, DAP, PAP, CVP, TEMP, PCV, and BV, and decreases in PV, pH, arterial bicarbonate and base excess. Anaesthesia was associated with marked hypercapnia, a decrease in HR following detomidine administration, and persistent pulmonary hypertension despite carotid arterial pressure which returned to baseline. No effects attributable to F were identified at any time during the study.