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J Vet Diagn Invest. 2009 May;21(3):338-43.

Clinical findings and serum cardiac troponin I concentrations in horses after intragastric administration of sodium monensin.

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Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Six adult horses were administered sodium monensin, 1.0-1.5 mg/kg, via gastric gavage. Anorexia and/or diarrhea occurred within 24 hr after monensin administration in all 6 horses. Cardiac disease and dysfunction were evaluated by both elevations in heart rate, echocardiography, and an increase in serum concentrations of cardiac troponin I (cTnI), occurred in 4 horses. The development and severity of cardiac disease was likely affected by the monensin dose, vehicle (water or corn oil) mixed with monensin, and/or whether the monensin was administered to fed or fasted horses. Initial increases in cTnI concentrations occurred between 24 and 72 hr after monensin administration. The 2 horses with the highest cTnI concentrations died or were euthanized within 5 days after monensin administration and had severe cardiac disease. One horse had increased cTnI concentrations from day 2 to day 16, but no apparent change in ventricular contractile function was evident on echocardiography. The fourth diseased horse did not return to cTnI reference intervals until day 27 after monensin administration, and the ventricular function was still abnormal just before euthanasia 9 months later. Cardiac troponin I measurements could be useful in managing farm outbreaks of accidental monensin feeding by the early identification of horses with cardiac disease.

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