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Re: lactic acid and cramping

In a message dated 12/24/98 11:05:20 AM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

<< If that is true, do you think that the product Pro-Burst would NOT be
 useful on those horses that cramp later in a ride? It is supposed to
 reduce muscle lactic acid and control 'tie up'. Do you think it would
 only have potential benefits for horses that tie up early on as
 opposed to those that cramp (not necessarily tie up) after prolonged
 exercise? >>

There are many reasons that horses can tie up other than lactic acid build-up.
Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can cause enough muscle damage to cause
tying up.  Selenium deficiency can make muscle membranes less stable,
predisposing horses to tying up.  Swings in carbohydrates, insulin levels,
etc. can contribute to tie-ups.  Etc., etc.  The thing to do when your horse
cramps is to draw blood and run a chem panel to determine if it is "just a
cramp" or is really a tie-up.  Also, just to rule it out, go ahead and have
lactate levels run.  And selenium levels, while you're at it.  Until you know
exactly what is going on, you don't really have any clue as to how to treat
it.  I would hesitate to recommend ANY product until you know WHY your horse
is doing what he is doing!  And usually, one can solve the problem through
dietary management, pacing, etc. once one understands what is going on,
without the need for this or that product.

Heidi Smith, DVM

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