Effect of low-dose electrolyte supplementation to university riding horses during hot and humid weather

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Snyder, Alyson Jayne
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Middle Tennessee State University
Electrolyte supplementation is a frequent practice in human and equine athletes, as exercise in hot and humid weather can exacerbate electrolyte and fluid losses. Previous equine electrolyte research has focused on supplementation to horses in heavy workloads with limited research in horses in light to moderate workloads. This study covered 5 consecutive weekdays in hot and humid conditions. Five treatment horses received a low-dose oral electrolyte supplement daily comprised of 0.07g NaCl/kg BW and 0.02g KCl/kg BW, and six control horses received 0.09g/kg BW granulated sugar as a placebo. Measurements included water intake, blood glucose, and plasma electrolyte levels. Treatment did not affect water consumption (P=0.94), or serum levels of sodium (P=0.18), potassium (P=0.92), and chloride (P=0.26). Average blood glucose tended to be higher in control animals (P=0.06). These results suggest that horses in light to moderate work receiving a commercial concentrate may not require additional low-dose electrolyte supplementation.
Electrolytes, Equine, Glucose, Animal sciences