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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1993 Mar;74(3):1161-70.

Dissipation of metabolic heat in the horse during exercise.

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Department of Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman 99164.


Horses were exercised at 40, 65, and 90% of their maximum O2 uptake (VO2max) until moderately fatigued (approximately 38, 15, and 9 min, respectively) to assess heat loss through different routes. Approximately 4,232, 3,195, and 2,333 kcal of heat were generated in response to exercise at these intensities. Of this, approximately 7, 16, and 20% remained as stored heat 30 min postexercise. Respiratory heat loss, estimated from the temperature difference between blood in the pulmonary and carotid arteries and the cardiac output, was estimated to be 30, 19, and 23% of the heat produced during exercise at the three intensities. The kinetics of the increases in muscle and blood temperature were similar, with the greatest change in temperature occurring in muscle (+3.8, 5.2, and 6.1 degrees C after exercise at 40, 65, and 90% of VO2max, respectively). The temperature of blood in the superficial thoracic vein was approximately 2 degrees C below that of arterial blood at rest. This difference had increased to approximately 3 degrees C during the last minute of exercise. The rate of sweating at sites on the back and neck increased with exercise intensity to a common peak of approximately 40 ml.m-2.min-1. If complete evaporation had occurred, water loss in response to exercise (estimated to be 12, 10, and 7.7 liters for the different intensities of exercise) greatly surpassed that required for dissipation of the metabolic heat load.

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