Evaluation of Equine Albumin Solution in Fluid Therapy in Horses with Colic

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Abstract

Equine albumin solution can be a good therapeutic option in fluid replacement for treatment of horses with colic. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of initial fluid therapy with equine albumin solution in horses presenting with colic and mild-to-moderate dehydration, and to compare this therapy with fluid therapy based on crystalloids alone. Nineteen horses of both genders presenting with colic and mild-to-moderate dehydration were used. Animals were randomly assigned to one of two groups (control: fluid therapy based on crystalloid solutions; experimental: fluid therapy based on equine albumin and crystalloid solutions). Physical examination, hematocrit determination, blood gas analysis, serum biochemistry, blood and peritoneal lactate assessment, and measurement of colloid osmotic and arterial pressure were performed at predetermined times. Good results were obtained with equine albumin solution. More fluid is attracted into and maintained in the intravascular compartment, despite infusion of small volumes, as indicated by higher arterial pressure, lower capillary refill time, lower hematocrit and serum protein concentrations, lower colloid osmotic pressure, and better skin turgor. Equine albumin solution has good oncotic action and is a safe fluid therapy option for horses with colic and mild-to-moderate dehydration. Our results suggest it can be a good choice of fluid for correction of severe dehydration, although further research is necessary to determine the adequate dose in such cases.

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