Deleterious response to road transport is an important problem in equine practice. It determines different physiological, immunological and metabolic changes which lead to increased susceptibility to several disorders such as pneumonia, diarrhea, colics, laminitis, injuries and rhabdomyolisis. The aim of our study was to look for possible relationships between transportation of female young and older horses over a long and short distance and an inflammatory state reflected by an increase of acute phase protein concentration, oxidative stress and muscle injury. The study was conducted on 24 cold-blooded female horses divided into four groups. Six fillies aged 6-18 months and six mares aged 10-12 years were transported over the distance of about 550 km, six fillies aged 6-18 months and six mares aged 10-12 years were transported over the distance of about 50 km. Plasma and serum were obtained from blood samples taken before transportation (T0), immediately after transportation (T1) and at an abattoir during slaughter (T2). In these samples fibrinogen, MDA, AST and CK were assessed. Fibrinogen increased in all studied groups especially in fillies after long distance transportation, where it reached 205±7.07 mg/dl before transportation, 625±35.35 mg/dl after transportation, and 790±14.14 mg/dl during slaughter. MDA concentrations rose after transportation and reached the maximal level during slaughter. CK activity was more elevated after short transportation in younger horses, whereas initial activity of AST was higher in older horses. We estimated that intensified responses from acute phase, oxidative stress and muscle injury parameters indicated an inflammatory state.
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