Indisputably, the use of antivenoms for the treatment of snakebite envenoming is beneficial for the victims. However, there are few studies addressing the effect of long-term hyperimmunization in inoculated horses. It is known that the injection of snake venoms and adjuvants leads to local and systemic reactions in horses, but little is known about the response of inflammatory proteins. The aim of this study was to evaluate serum proteins and the electrophoretic profile of horses undergoing crotalid venom hyperimmunization. Twenty horses were divided into two groups: an inoculated group, comprising ten horses that were already being used for production of a Crotalus sp. antivenom, and a control group, comprising ten animals that had never been used for hyperimmunization. All animals were clinically healthy and without laboratory abnormalities. Total protein and albumin concentrations were measured in serum. Serum globulins were obtained by calculation. Plasma fibrinogen estimates were determined by the heat precipitation method. Serum proteinograms were obtained using agarose gel electrophoresis. The results revealed a significant increase in the concentrations of total serum proteins, globulins, and β-globulins in the inoculated group, exceeding the reference values. There were slight increases in the α-1- and α-2-globulin subfractions in serum-producing horses, with no statistical significance. We also observed that horses used to produce hyperimmune plasma developed hypoalbuminemia, although the decrease in albumin production was not statistically significant. Our findings suggest that the continuous use of horses to produce crotalid antivenom may lead to a chronic inflammatory stimulus, with changes in plasma levels of inflammatory proteins.
Videodermoscopy is a method that enables the examination of many parameters of the skin and its structures. The aim of this study was to assess specific dermoscopic parameters in purebred Arabian horses during the summer. The study involved 21 clinically healthy purebred Arabian horses (18 mares and three stallions) that had not been used for breeding and were 1 to 25 years old. The videoderoscopic evaluation was performed on seven selected areas of the body: forehead, mane, neck, chest, flank, rump, and tail. The tests were carried out with Vidix and Olympus cellSens specialised software. Videodermoscopy revealed that the skin was pigmented in all of the bay horses, in one of the seal brown horses, and in the 10 grey horses. Only one grey horse and one chestnut horse had unpigmented skin. Hair thickness ranged from 44.82 µm (neck) to 75 µm (mane). Regarding the amount of hair in the field of view, the highest and lowest numbers of hairs were found on the neck (3,004) and mane (990), respectively. A valuable insight obtained from our research is that it is possible to use digital image analysis for precise quantitative and qualitative evaluations of the skin and its structures.
Vitamin D requirements for most animals are expected to be fulfilled through daily exposure of the skin to solar ultraviolet B radiation. The synthesis of vitamin D3 in skin depends on different factors including melanin pigmentation, the amount of UVB radiation reaching the skin, type of clothing/hair coat, latitude and altitude, season, and time of day. Alternatively vitamin D2 may be obtained from UVB irradiated pasture species. Recent studies have shown that in unsupplemented grazing horses 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 is the predominant form of vitamin D in plasma, and that 25OHD3 is undetectable suggesting horses may rely on diet to obtain vitamin D. In order to mimic the natural environment of skin to sunlight exposure, five equine and two ovine devitalized skin samples were irradiated with 5 J/cm2 of UVB light followed by measurement of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) and vitamin D3 concentrations using reverse-phase high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). HPLC revealed the presence of 7-DHC in the skin of both horses and sheep. Vitamin D3 was undetectable in both ovine and equine skin prior to irradiation, but after irradiation with UVB light, ovine skin showed an increase in vitamin D3 concentration (mean 0.16 ± 0.07 µg/g), whereas vitamin D3 was undetectable in equine skin. These results provide additional evidence that horses make negligible quantities of vitamin D3 in their skin after exposure to UVB light and may therefore rely on their diet as a primary source of vitamin D.
Cephalothin (CET) concentrations in body fluids (plasma, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, peritoneal fluid, and aqueous humor) and tissue samples (bone, lung, jejunum, hoof, and subcutaneous tissue) were investigated to consider the treatment of infectious diseases in horses. CET 22 mg/kg body weight was intravenously administered to 12 horses. Samples were collected from four different horses at 1, 3, and 5 hr after administration. The CET concentration in body fluids other than aqueous humor was maintained above the MIC90 values of Streptococcus zooepidemicus and Staphylococcus aureus until 5 hr, but it was not maintained above that of S. aureus in bone. CET (22 mg/kg twice a day) is effective for septic arthritis, pleuritis, and peritonitis caused by gram-positive bacteria but ineffective for osteomyelitis.