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Re: Tieing up/Cardiac Recovery
In a message dated 2/20/00 1:32:49 PM Pacific Standard Time,
<< 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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