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ELEVATED triglyceride concentrations are a common consequence of negative energy balance in equids (Naylor and others 1980). They are most often observed in overweight ponies, miniature horses and donkeys experiencing an increased energy demand, anorexia or subsequent to an underlying disease promoting the release of inflammatory mediators, which promote lipid catabolism. Clinical signs of equine dyslipidaemias are non specific, and can be masked by, or attributed to, any underlying disease process if present (Mogg and Palmer 1995); therefore, clinically significant increases in triglyceride concentrations may go undetected. Rapid diagnosis of elevated triglyceride concentration is important to allow prompt initiation of therapy, which is important for a successful outcome (Burden and others 2011).
The Accutrend Plus (Roche Diagnostics; AP) is a handheld monitor marketed for the measurement of blood cholesterol, glucose, lactate and triglyceride concentrations in human beings (Moses and others 1996, Luley and others 2000). The lactate function has been validated for use in horses (Tennent-Brown and others 2007) while the triglyceride function has been validated for use in dogs and cats (Kluger and others 2010a, b). The device costs approximately £250 and each test around £2.40. Currently, no point-of-care monitors are validated to measure blood triglyceride concentrations in horses. A point-of-care monitor with the facility to measure triglyceride concentrations would be useful in diagnosing dyslipidaemias and monitoring the response …