Andressa da Silva AlvesUniversity of Northern Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Title: Effects of feed deprivation on physical and blood parameters of horses
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of feed restriction on some physical and blood parameters in horses kept outdoors under natural conditions. Twenty horses were deprived of food for 48 h. They were closely monitored and examined, and blood samples were taken at the beginning (0) of the experiment and 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 42 and 48 hours afterward. During the experimental period, the control group (12 animals) had free access to water and hay, while the restricted group had free access to water only. Data were submitted to two-way analysis of variance with repeated measures, and statistical significance was P ? 0.05. The horses tolerated feed restriction without complications. Feed restriction had no effect on body mass and body condition score, heart rate, respiratory rate, capillary filling time and body temperature. However, feed restriction decreased the intensity of gastrointestinal sounds (P<0.05) compared to the control horses.
Feed restriction did not cause any changes in erythrocyte variables and gamma glutamyl transferase, creatinine, total protein, and albumin concentrations. During fasting, there was a reduction in the leukocyte response (P<0.05). Feed restriction significantly raised the levels of blood urea nitrogen (24 to 48 hours), aspartate aminotransferase (36 to 48 hours) and total cholesterol (42 to 48 hours). During 48 hours of fasting, there was a continuous increase in triglyceride concentration. Feed restriction for 48 h had a marked effect on the intensity of gastrointestinal sounds and was responsible for important metabolic changes in the healthy horses of our sample .