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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1997 Oct;83(4):1133-43.

Rate and composition of sweat fluid losses are unaltered by hypohydration during prolonged exercise in horses.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1.


Rate and ionic composition of sweat fluid losses and partitioning of evaporative heat loss into respiratory and cutaneous components were determined in six horses during three 15-km phases of exercise at approximately 40% of maximal O2 uptake. Pattern of change in sweat rate (SR) and composition was similar during each phase. SR increased rapidly for the first 20 min of exercise but remained at approximately 24-28 ml . m-2 . min-1 during the remainder of each phase. Similarly, the concentrations of Na and Cl in sweat increased until 30 min of exercise but were unchanged thereafter. Sweat osmolality and concentrations of Na and Cl were positively correlated with SR. Sweat K concentration decreased during exercise but was not correlated with SR. Fluid losses were 33.8 +/- 1.5 liters, resulting in decreases of approximately 21% in plasma volume and approximately 11% in total body water. The approximately 6% hypohydration was not associated with an alteration in SR, sweat composition, or heat storage. Respiratory and cutaneous evaporative heat loss represented approximately 23 and 70%, respectively, of the total heat dissipated, and the partitioning of heat loss was similar in each exercise phase. We conclude that SR and the relative proportions of respiratory and cutaneous evaporative heat loss are unchanged in horses during prolonged low-intensity exercise despite moderate hypohydration.

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