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Re: Tieing up/Cardiac Recovery

In a message dated 2/20/00 1:32:49 PM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

<< I have been following this thread with interest because as both a ride
 manager and a rider, I need to know which horses are "not fit to continue".
 If we assume that the presently used parameters are poor predictors, what
 predictors should be used, or researched, so that better prediction of
 metabolic difficulties can be made?
 When you answer keep in mind the following constraints:
 1. The method must be usable in the field.  That is, far from laboratories,
 120 V electric outlets etc.
 2. The total cost of any instrumentation be such that a veterinarian can
 afford to purchase it.  A Minnesota vet I know says that an upper limit
 would be about $3000.
 3. The initial examination can take no longer than 2 to 5 minutes.  Any
 tests would have to be completed within a 30 minute hold.>

We are currently experimenting with some ideas like this in the UAE. There 
are now "portable" blood analyzers available that can deliver results 
quickly. The parameters we are looing at include indicators of dehydration, 
muscle enzymes, cortisol, blood glucose, and some other odds and ends. 

We're also nows using computerized HR monitors, comparing speed to HR, and 
trying to find individual indicators of unusual stress while the horse is 
working--heartrates tend to be more "truthful" under those conditions.

Also looking into core/surface temperature measurements, hoping to find a way 
to do continual computerized recording, as we do with heartrates.

In the back of my mind there is still the old New Bolton "shiver factor" 
machine--4 force plates on the ground that measured subtle lameness in horses 
by fluctuations in leg stance. 

Also, electronic scales for measuring rapid weight drops. 

One of these parameters may become useful. If we find one, I'll let you know. 
 >It is my feeling that better methods of predicting (that is before the
 problem becomes a medical crisis) the following would be of great help:
 1. Metabolic difficulties.
         a. dehydration>  blood test is most accurate

>         b. tying up > instant muscle enzymes via portable machine

<         c. electrolyte imbalance> Tough, because of large fluctuatinos in 
blood minerals, but intant blood tests may lead in the correct directions.
 >2. Colic>  Again, blood tests will help.
 >3. Lameness> the shiver factor--very interesting concept. Don't know how 
hard it would be to set up, though.

>         By this I mean better differentiation of small harmless gait
 abnormalities from pain caused by damage to structures.  Currently, and
 rightly so, vets  pull horses on the basis of gait abnormalities and leave
 soundness determination to others after the ride.  Everyone please note:  I
 am not advocating that hurting horses be allowed to continue, I'm just
 saying that a good lameness examination takes an hour and can't be done in
 the field.   In my opinion the need for better methods here is much less
 than items 1 and 2. >

With subtle lamenesses, even an extended exam tends to produce limited 
results--you need the real equipment--x-ray, ultrasound, thermography. But 
the device New Bolton was using (I believe it's still there) was an 
interesting approach--telling you "yes, it's there, probably in the left 

But I agree with you--it's not the responsibility of the ride manager to 
prevent lameness--nobody can do that. Rather, it is to protect a horse truly 
in danger of severe injury or death. 
Glad to have you thinking about these things in depth.
 Ed and Wendy Hauser
 1140 37th St.
 Hudson, WI 54016>


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