Clinical presentation and biochemical profile of horses during induction and treatment of hypocalcemia

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Raimundo A. Barrêto-Júnior
Antonio H. Minervino
Federico A. Rodrigues
Enoch B. Meira Júnior
Alessandra Lima
Rejane Sousa
Clara Mori
Carolina A. Araújo
Wilson R. Fernandes
Enrico Ortolani


The aim of this study was to examine the clinical presentation, biochemical profile and response to treatment among horses with experimentally-induced hypocalcemia. Twelve adult, mixed breed mares were used. A 5% ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid disodium (Na2EDTA) solution was infused into all the mares until the animals presented clinical signs of hypocalcemia, at which point they were divided into a control group (n = 5) and a treatment group (n = 7). The treated group received an infusion of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and glucose at a dosage of 1 mL/kg/BW during 30 minutes. The control group received 0.9% saline solution at the same dosage. Clinical examination and blood sample collection were performed at the times T0 (baseline- thirty minutes before beginning the Na2EDTA), T1 (at the end of the Na2EDTA infusion), T2 (at the end of the treatment) and T3 (24 hours after the end of the experiment). Serum calcium and magnesium concentrations decreased in response to Na2EDTA administration. The clinical signs of hypocalcemia in the mares included tachycardia, tachypnea, hypophonesis and cecal atony. These signs disappeared over the course of treatment, while total calcium and magnesium increased. Treatment produced recovery from clinical hypocalcemia within 30 minutes and promoted return of the main biochemical parameters to baseline values.

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Barrêto-Júnior, R. A., Minervino, A. H., Rodrigues, F. A., Meira Júnior, E. B., Lima, A., Sousa, R., Mori, C., Araújo, C. A., Fernandes, W. R., & Ortolani, E. (2017). Clinical presentation and biochemical profile of horses during induction and treatment of hypocalcemia. Austral Journal of Veterinary Sciences, 49(1), 9–14. Recuperado a partir de