Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Horse Health Research Abounds at 2012 Tevis Cup - Full Article

by: Marsha Hayes
July 31 2012, Article # 20407

When the 2012 Tevis Cup begins at dawn Aug. 4, more than 200 horses will leave Robie Park near Lake Tahoe, Calif., and proceed toward a finish line 100 miles away in Auburn, Calif. For some competitors it is a race for the cup; for others it's a personal challenge to simply complete the ride in the allotted 24 hours. But for the 15 ride veterinarians and two treating veterinarians, this year's renewal of the Tevis Cup offers a fertile research opportunity.

Head treating veterinarian Langdon Fielding, DVM, Dipl. ACVECC, of Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center, in Loomis, Calif., will lead a study during the ride titled "Creation of a Metabolic Score Based on Basic Laboratory Parameters." In Fielding's letter to ride participants he explained his objective was "to create a metabolic score using basic blood electrolyte and hydration parameters that can be used to identify endurance horses that are metabolically compromised." Tevis treating veterinarian Gary Magdesian, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVECC, ACVCP, associate professor at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, and head ride veterinarian Greg Fellers, DVM, have partnered with Fielding for the project.

For each horse that reaches the 36-mile check point, veterinarians will collect a small (1-3 milliliter) sample of blood into a heparinized syringe and analyze it on site. They will do this immediately after the horse has reached the required heart rate of 60 beats per minute or less and before starting the mandatory one-hour hold, or rest period. Anticipated collection time will be approximately five to 10 seconds per horse so as not to delay horses at the check point...

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