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Hydration of Colonic Ingesta and Feces in Horses Fed Large Grain Meals or Treated with Enteral Fluid Therapy, Saline Cathartics and Intravenous Fluid Therapy
Lopes, Marco A. F.
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Systemic hydration, plasma electrolytes, ingesta and fecal hydration and gastrointestinal passage of cobalt (after CoEDTA administration via nasogastric tube) in horses fed large grain meals or treated with enteral fluid therapy, IV fluid therapy and enteral laxatives were investigated. In the first study, 0.9% NaCl (10 L/h/8h) was administered slowly via a small-bore nasogastric tube or as 10 L boluses via a large-bore nasogastric tube to four normal horses. In the other studies, horses with a right dorsal colon fistula were used. To create the right dorsal colon fistula, a cannula with 5 cm internal diameter was implanted 2 to 6 weeks after a right dorsal colopexy had been created. Six horses with the right dorsal colostomy were alternately used to test three feeding regimes for 48 h: 1- hay free choice; 2- hay free choice plus 4.5 kg of sweet feed twice daily after a period of 5 days of adaptation; 3- sudden change from hay to hay plus sweet feed. Seven horses with the right dorsal colostomy were alternately used to test 6 experimental conditions while fasted for 24 h: 1- control (no treatment), 2- enteral MgSO4 (1 g/kg), 3- enteral Na2SO4 (1 g/kg), 4- IV lactated Ringer's solution (5 L/h/12 h), 5- enteral water (5 L/h/12 h), 6- enteral electrolyte solution (5 L/h/12 h). In the last study, four horses with the right dorsal colostomy were alternately treated with enteral electrolyte solution (10 L/h/6h) and enteral MgSO4 (1 g/kg) plus IV fluid therapy (10 L/h/6h). Despite the administration regimen, enteral administration of 0.9% NaCl produced diarrhea, hypernatremia and hyperchloremia. Colostomy allowed serial collection of large ingesta samples. Grain ingestion did not change PCV or plasma protein, but affected plasma electrolytes and produced dehydration of ingesta and formation of frothy ingesta. Fasting delayed gastrointestinal transit. Enteral fluid therapy was the most effective treatment in promoting ingesta hydration. Enteral water, MgSO4, Na2SO4, IV fluid therapy and enteral MgSO4 plus IV fluid therapy were either ineffective in promoting ingesta hydration or produced marked plasma electrolyte imbalance. These findings support the use of enteral fluid therapy in horses with gastrointestinal impaction.
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