Four standardbred horses with subcutaneously relocated carotid arteries were given a seven week training programme of treadmill exercise at a gradient of 19 per cent in order to assess if there were any effects of exercise and training on haematology, arterial blood gas and acid base measurements, plasma biochemistry and heart rate. The exercise consisted of one minute walking at 110 metres/minute followed by five minutes trotting at 200 metres/minute, twice daily in the first week. The period of trotting exercise was increased by one minute per week so that by the seventh week the horses were being given 12 minutes trotting twice daily. Before training commenced venous blood samples, for complete blood counts and plasma biochemistry, and arterial samples, for blood gas, acid base and lactate measurements, were taken at rest, after five minutes and 15 minutes of treadmill exercise (200 metres/minute) and 30 minutes and 60 minutes after completing the exercise. Heart rate was measured by telemetric electrocardiogram at similar intervals. This exercise test and blood collection were repeated after one, three, five and seven weeks of training. The only significant changes were a decrease in exercise lactate with training, increases in exercise and recovery total protein. The haematological response to treadmill exercise included an increase in certain red cell parametes and a leucocytosis which was caused by both a neutrophilia and a lymphocytosis. These effects had largely disappeared by 30 minutes after exercise and all values had returned to resting values by one hour after exercise.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.
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