It is thought that in order to effectively treat gastrointestinal dysfunction, it should be detected at an early stage. The present study aimed to observe the movement via Electrointestinography (EIG) in the small intestine, cecum, right ventral colon and right dorsal colon, and to examine the procedure for assessing gastrointestinal function. Seven healthy thoroughbred horses were used. They were allowed food twice a day. EIG was measured at ten-minute intervals over a 24 hr period, and running spectral analysis was used. As a result, it was clear that EIG could non-invasively assess gastrointestinal function by setting the cut-off value of the frequency band to 1.8-12.0 cpm for a part of the digestive tract which is in a comparatively fixed position. The running spectral analysis could be used to visually interpret the change in the EIG power. In the small intestine, cecum, right ventral colon and right dorsal colon, a significant increase was observed for about 1-4 hr during which feeding took place at the maximum amplitude and the total power of the EIG wave. Because 3 cpm of the total power could be influenced by artifacts, analysis at 6 cpm is recommended, when the total power was assumed to be an indicator. In conclusion, it was considered capable of effectively detecting two indicators of 6 cpm of the total power and maximum amplitude for assessing change in the digestive tract voltage in medical practice.
The response of the plasma concentration of free amino acids to the change in dietary levels of them is a parameter available to predict the amino acid requirements in some species. In order to confirm whether the response of plasma concentrations of free amino acids is also available in horses, three experiments were conducted repeatedly on four adult male Thoroughbreds. The diets were supplied twice a day at morning and evening. In Experiment 1, to determine the timing of blood sampling, blood samples were taken at 0, 1.5, 3, 5 and 7 hr after feeding the 14.9% CP diet. Plasma concentrations of all free amino acids except Arg, Gln and Gly increased by 1.5 hr and then gradually decreased to the levels before the start of the morning meal. In Experiment 2, to examine the quickness and the stability of response of plasma concentrations of free amino acids to the abrupt change in dietary Lys and Val levels, the horses were supplied with diets with 14.9% CP and different levels of Lys and Val successively at 10 day interval. Blood samples were taken at 3 and 7 hr after the morning meal at 0, 1, 3, 5 and 10 days after switching diets. Plasma concentrations of Lys and Val responded to the change in dietary levels of them by 3 days, and the responses were maintained for 10 days after switching diets. Those of all amino acids except Lys and Val did not respond. In Experiment 3, to confirm whether or not plasma concentrations of each amino acid respond to the change in dietary CP and/or amino acid levels, the horses were successively supplied with diets with different CP levels successively at 5 day intervals. Blood samples were taken at 3 hr after the morning meal 5 days after changing diets. Plasma concentrations of Cys, His, Ile, Leu, Phe, Tyr and Val responded, but those of other amino acids did not respond to changes in dietary CP and/or amino acid levels. These results indicated that the response of plasma concentrations of free amino acids which responded to the change in dietary levels might be available as a parameter to predict requirements of them for adult male thoroughbreds within a short period.
We performed two sets of experiments consisting of 36 hr and 41 hr of transportation to elucidate the road transit-induced stress response's profiles in horses with clinical signs of respiratory disease ("affected" horses) and horses without clinical signs of respiratory disease ("unaffected" horses). In both sets of experiments, "affected" horses showed a significantly greater increase or decrease in levels of the indices of the stress response, i.e., eosinophil count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, levels of serum glucose, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and 11-hydroxycorticosteroid (11-OHCS) than "unaffected" horses after road transportation. Compared with "unaffected" horses, "affected" horses had a different pattern of changes in indices of the stress response, suggesting that they failed to adapt to transportation.
The aim of this study was to investigate the high frequency of proximal sesamoid bone fracture in the horses at the Cypriot Hippodrome in relation to bone density. Sixty horses were included in the study, divided into three groups of twenty horses. The first subgroup included 20 Cypriot horses that were euthanised due to proximal sesamoid bone fractures. The second subgroup included 20 Cypriot horses that were euthanised or died due to reasons that were not related to fractures or any other bone disease. The third subgroup included 20 horses from the Greek race track that were euthanised or died due to reasons that were not related to fractures or any other bone disease. The bone density of the proximal sesamoid bones was determined with the aid of computed tomography. Statistical analysis of the collected data showed that there is a significant difference in bone density between Cypriot and Greek horses, which could be related to the high frequency of proximal sesamoid fracture.