Hematological and Biochemical Profiles in Peripartum Mares and Neonatal Foals (Heavy Draft Horse)

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Abstract

Peripartum mares and neonatal foals are physiologically unstable. Although hormonal changes around the parturition have been well studied in the field of endocrinology, hematological and biochemical changes have been studied little. The purpose of this study was to examine hematological and biochemical changes in peripartum mares and neonatal foals (n = 23; heavy draft horse). The number of white and red blood cells, hemoglobin concentration, hematocrit, mean cell volume, mean cell hemoglobin, mean cell hemoglobin concentration, platelet count in peripheral whole blood, and the concentration of glucose, nonesterified fatty acid, total cholesterol, triglyceride, total protein, albumin, globulin, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, aspartate aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyltransferase, alkaline phosphatase, creatine kinase, iron, calcium, inorganic phosphate, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and chlorine in serum were measured. The main changes observed in peripartum mares suggested the following: (1) dehydration at the foaling, (2) physical stress by the foaling, (3) muscle damage by the foaling, and (4) change of energy metabolism associated with the beginning of lactation. The main changes observed in neonatal foals suggested the following: (1) dehydration (hemoconcentration) at the birth, (2) intake of colostrum, (3) beginning of urination, (4) functional change of hematopoiesis, (5) change of liver metabolism associated with the beginning of enteral nutrition, and (6) change of milk composition. This study revealed hematological and biochemical dynamics in peripartum mares and neonatal foals.

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