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Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 2011 Apr;27(1):149-63. doi: 10.1016/j.cveq.2010.12.009.

Magnesium disorders in horses.

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Department of Clinical Science, John Thomas Vaughan Large Animal Teaching Hospital, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, 1500 Wire Road, Auburn, AL 36849, USA.


Magnesium (Mg) is an essential macroelement that is required for cellular energy-dependent reactions involving adenosine triphosphate and for the regulation of calcium channel function. Subclinical hypomagnesemia is common in critically ill humans and animals and increases the severity of the systemic inflammatory response syndrome; worsens the systemic response to endotoxins; and can lead to ileus, cardiac arrhythmias, refractory hypokalemia, and hypocalcemia. This article discusses the clinical signs, consequences, and treatment of hypomagnesemia in horses and describes the association of Mg and endotoxemia, insulin resistance, and brain injury.

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