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Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 2011 Apr;27(1):35-47. doi: 10.1016/j.cveq.2010.12.011.

Endocrine dysregulation in critically ill foals and horses.

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, 601 Vernon Tharp Street, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


Critical illness challenges many endocrine homeostatic systems to overcome diseases, stress, and hostile conditions that threaten survival. Coordinated and consecutive responses by the autonomic nervous system, endocrine metabolic adaptations to mobilize and conserve energy and electrolytes, cardiovascular adjustments to maintain organ perfusion, and immunomodulation to overcome infections and inflammation are required. Because most admissions to equine intensive care units are related to horses with gastrointestinal disease and septic foals, most endocrine information during critical disease are generated from these populations. This article presents an overview on endocrine responses to critical illness in horses and foals and also some comparative information.

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