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Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 1995 Dec;11(3):491-514.

Electrolyte and acid-base disturbances in the horse.

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  • 1Veterinary Teaching Hospital, University of Missouri, Columbia, USA.


Laboratory electrolyte and acid-base analyses are important for the characterization and assessment of the severity of disorders of fluid balance, and they enable the veterinarian to institute appropriate corrective therapeutic interventions. Abnormalities of electrolytes or acid-base rarely define the diagnosis, but certain diseases are characterized by predictable trends in these parameters. Important clinical situations in which assessment of electrolyte and acid-base status should be regarded as important to the equine practitioner include diarrhea, severe colic, peritonitis, pleuritis, dysphagia (inability to drink water or ingest food), neurologic dysfunction, exhaustion, renal failure, and rhabdomyolysis.

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