Influence of physical and emotional activity on the metabolic profile of blood serum of race horses

  • T. I. Bayeva Kharkiv State Zooveterinary Academy
  • G. F. Zhegunov Kharkiv State Zooveterinary Academy
Keywords: biochemical indicators, physical loading, emotional loading, training, stress


In the article data are presented on dynamics of the level of indicators of metabolic profile of blood serum of race horses of the Ukrainian riding breed in the conditions of physical and emotional loading. Clinically healthy race horses were the object of  research. Blood was taken from the jugular vein to obtain serum and for further biochemical research. For the research 12 race horses from a training group were chosen. From time to time the animals took part in competitions; they were not specially used in races and were mostly used for the training of junior riders and sportsmen of different levels. Blood was taken in conditions of relative rest after ordinary training and after emotional stress during the entertainment performances when a large number of people were present and loud music was played. In the blood serum the following biochemical indicators were defined: whole protein, urea, creatinine, uric acid, total bilirubin and its fractions, glucose, cholestererol, triacylglycerol, calcium, ferrum, lactate, pyruvate, activity of the AlAT, SGOT, GGTP, LDH, an alkaline phosphatase – which makes it possible to determine reasonably accurately the adaptation potential of a horse under various types of loading. We established that during training and psychoemotional loading of racing horses of the training group of the Ukrainian riding breed, multidirectional changes in the level of biochemical indicators of blood serum occurred, which is evidence of stress in the metabolic processes in the animals’ organisms. Concentration of a biomarker of an oxidative stress, uric acid, increased after physical loading by 8.6%, and after emotional loading by 55.1%, which demonstrates that emotional stress had the more negative effect, indicating insufficient adaptation by the horses before demonstration performances. After physical loading, reaction of transamination in the horses’ liver cells intensified, and after emotional loading its intensity decreased, which conforms to changes of indicators in exchange of proteins. SGOT activity in the animals’ blood serum exceeded the upper rate of norm, it coincides also with rising of concentration of creatinine and sodium lactatum, and is an indicator of intensification of catabolic processes in the muscles after physical loading. Only after emotional loading, did hyperglycemia and hyperbilirubinemia occur because of a temporal spasm in the cholic paths without changes in the activity of the alkaline phosphatase and GGTP. After physical loading the level of lactatum increased (by 185.7%), activity of LDH (by 76.2%), concentration of cholesterol (by 76.2%), triacylglycerol (by 140.9%), which is an indicator of intensification of anaerobic glycolysis and lipolysis. Emotional loading is the stronger stress factor which causes negative changes in indicators of the metabolic profile. Trainers should take this into account during the training and testing of horses in order to facilitate their adaptation to the influence of various stress factors, to correct the animals’ physiological state and thus enable them to cope with intensive loading without threat to their health. 


Adamu, L., Noraniza, M.A., Rasedee, A., Bashir, А., 2010. Effects of race distance on physical, hematological and biochemical parameters of endurance horses. Am. J. Anim. Vet. Sci. 5(4), 244–248. >>

Adamu, L., Noraniza, M.A., Rasedee, A., Bashir, А., 2012a. Metabolic responses in endurance horses during racing in relation to uric acid profile, leucocytes, heart rate and plasma biochemical parameters. Veterinarna Medicina 57(11), 591–596.

Adamu, L., Noraniza, M.A., Rasedee, A., Bashir, А., 2012b. Alterations in biochemical, hematological and physical parameters in endurance horses with metabolic crisis. J. Anim. Vet. Adv. 11, 4108–4114.

Anderson, M.G., 1975. The influence of exercise on serum enzyme levels in the horse. Equine Vet. J. 7, 160–165. >>

Aoi, W., Naito, Y., Takanami, Y., Kawai, Y., Sakuma, K., Ichikawa, H., Yoshida N., Yoshikawa, T., 2004. Oxidative stress and delayed-onset muscle damage after exercise. Free Radic. Biol. Med. 37(4), 480–487. >>

Aoki, T., Ishii, M., 2012. Hematological and biochemical profiles in peripartum mares and neonatal foals (heavy draft horse). J. Equine Vet. Sci. 32(3), 170–176. >>

Butler, P.J., Woakes, A.J., Smale, K., Roberts, C.A., Hillidge, C.J., Snow, D.H., Marlin, D.J., 1993. Respiratory and cardiovascular adjustments during exercise of increasing intensity and during recovery in Thoroughbred racehorses. J. Exp. Biol. 179, 159–180.

Carlson, G.P., 1985. Medical problems associated with protracted heat and work stress in horses. Comp. Cont. Educ. Pract. 7, 542–550.

Castejon, F., Trigo, P., Muñoz, A., Riber, C., 2006. Uric acid responses to endurance racing and relationships with performance, plasma biochemistry and metabolic alterations. Equine Vet. J. Suppl. 36, 70–73. >>

Chiaradia, E., Avellini, L., Rueca, F., Spaterna, A., Porciello, F., Antonioni, M.T., Gaiti, A., 1998. Physical exercise, oxidative stress and muscle damage in racehorses. Comp. Biochem. Phys. B 119(4), 833–836. >>

Cywińska, A., Szarska, E., Górecka, R., Witkowski, L., Hecold, M., Bereznowski, A., Schollenberger, A., Winnicka, A., 2012. Acute phase protein concentrations after limited distance and long distance endurance rides in horses. Res. Vet. Sci. 93(3), 1402–1406. >>

El-Ashker, M.R., 2011. Acute kidney injury mediated by oxidative stress in Egyptian horses with exertional rhabdomyolysis. Vet. Res. Commun. 35(5), 311–320. >>

Escribano, B.M., Agüera, E.I., Rubio, M.D., Santisteban, R., Vivo, R., Agüera, S., Tovar, P., 2011. Utility of the discriminant analysis to categorize untrained Spanish Pure Bred horses on the basis of biochemical and muscle variables before and after a standardized exercise test. Res. Vet. Sci. 91(3), 144–148. >>

Evans, D.L., 2007. Physiology of equine performance and associated tests of function. Equine Vet. J. 39(4), 373–383. >>

Fazio, F., Casella, S., Giannetto, C., Caola, G., Piccione, G., 2009. Serum homocysteine and oxidative stress evaluation during exercise in horse. Pol. J. Vet. Sci. 12(2), 169–174.

Fielding, C.L., Magdesian, K.G., Rhodes, D.M., Meier, C.A., Higgins, J.C., 2009. Clinical and biochemical abnormalities in endurance horses eliminated from competition for medical complications and requiring emergency medical treatment: 30 cases (2005–2006). J. Vet. Emerg. Crit. Care 19(5), 473–478. >>

Guhl, A., Lindner, A., von Wittke, P., 1996. Use of the relationship between blood lactate and running speed to determine the exercise intensity of horses. Vet. Rec. 139(5), 108–110. >>

Hinchcliff, K.W., Lauderdale, M.A., Dutson, J., Geor, R.J., Lacombe, V.A., Taylor, L.E., 2002. High intensity exercise conditioning increases accumulated oxygen deficit of horses. Equine Vet. J. 34(1), 9–16. >>

Lindner, A., Mosen, H., Kissenbeck, S., Fuhrmann, H., Sallman, H.P., 2009. Effect of blood lactate-guided conditioning of horses with exercise of differing durations and intensities on heart rate and biochemical parameters. J. Anim. Sci. 87(10), 3211–3217. >>

Moriwaki, Y., Yamamoto, T., Higashino, K., 1999. Enzymes involved in purine metabolism – A review of histochemical localization and functional implications. Histol. Histopathol. 14(4), 1321–1340.