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Evaluation of Clinical, Hemato-Biochemical and Oxidative Stress Parameters in Equine Colic.


Colic is the single most common cause of death in equines and being multifactorial and complex disorder ranges from harmless temporary large intestinal impaction to severe strangulation or colitis together with multi-organ failure as a consequence of circulatory collapse (Singh et al., 2010). Hematological and biochemical profiles are commonly performed as the foundation of diagnostic evaluation that includes packed cell volume (PCV), hematocrit, total protein, total leukocyte count and blood glucose being good prognostic indicators in horses suffering from acute abdominal disease. Total protein and albumin levels are important parameters in management of horses with acute abdominal disease. Horses with higher blood glucose concentrations have been associated with lesser favorable prognosis at admission in hospital (Parry et al., 1983). Keeping the significance of above facts in diagnosis and prognostic assessment the present study was aimed to determining the clinical and hemato-biochemical and oxidative stress parameter changes in equines suffering from colic.

Materials and Methods

Study was carried out from January-April' 2017, a total of twelve equines suffering from various types of colic (impactive and spasmodic colic) were taken for clinico-hematobiochemical alterations. Six apparently healthy equines, having normal working capabilities were selected and their blood samples were collected for comparison with diseased animals (healthy control). Thorough clinical examinations to assess the clinical signs and symptoms shown by the animal suffering with colic were recorded at the time of admission viz rectal temperature, heart rate, respiration rate, skin tenting time and capillary refill time. All equines were treated according to type and severity principally using fluid and electrolyte and analgesics.

To assess hemato-biochemical alterations, whole blood was collected from both groups through jugular vein and processed for routine hematological parameters like Hb, PCV, TLC, TEC, DLC as per standard technique with the help of hematology auto analyzer (Diatron's Abacus Hematology Analyzer, Wien, Australia). For biochemical study, serum was separated from blood by centrifugation at 3000 rpm for 15 minutes and was used for estimation of total protein (Biuret method), albumin (BCG dye method), creatinine (Jaff's method), blood urea nitrogen (NED-dye method) with the help of BS-120 Chemistry Analyzer (a) using Span diagnostic kits (b). Estimation of glucose was done on the spot of sample collection using Glucometer (Gluco Chek (c)).

To evaluate the oxidative stress parameters the extent of lipid peroxidation was evaluated in terms of MDA (malondialdehyde) production, determined by thiobarbituric acid (TBA) method (Rehman, 1984). Superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was estimated in RBC hemolysate (Madesh and Balasubramanian, 1998). It involves generation of superoxide by pyrogallol autoxidation and inhibition of superoxide dependent reduction of tetrazolium dye MTT to its formazan. The reaction was terminated, formazan formed. The colour evolved is stable for many hours and activity was expressed as SOD Units. Catalase was assayed and calculated in 10 percent RBC hemolysate. The data generated from the present study was subjected to test of significance (t-test) as per method described by IBM, SPSS Statistics 20.

Results and Discussion

Equines with various types of colic revealed a range of clinical signs varying with severity (Table 1). Intermittent to continuous pain was observed in all cases of colic reported during present investigation. High proportion of cases were presented with one or more of the following i.e. fever, tachycardia, tachypnea, abnormal mucous membrane color, varying degree of dehydration etc. Mucous membrane color examination revealed abnormal color i.e. muddy, congested to cyanotic and sunken eye balls were observed in almost all equines. The rectal examination revealed empty rectum in 8 out of 12 cases (impactive) and loose to diarrhoeic feces were observed in 4 out 12 cases (spasmodic colic). Our findings regarding alterations in clinical manifestations are in corroboration with the findings earlier reported (Singh et al., 2017).

Hematological alterations revealed significant increase in hemoglobin and PCV percentage in colic cases. This increased hemogram could be attributed due to hemoconcentration and dehydration. The dehydration may be due to venous pooling, peripheral vasodilatation and mobilization of fluid from intra vascular compartments to intestinal fluid compartment (Pratt et al., 2003). Significant increase in total leucocyte and neutrophil count was observed in colic cases. Endotoxemia and prolonged inflammatory changes might contribute subsequent immunological response as observed in present cases (Moore et al., 1994).

The biochemical and oxidative stress parameter alterations in control and colic affected equines are given in Table 2. There was significant increase in serum total protein concentration in colic and albumin levels revealed a decreasing trend however non significant. Increase in both PCV and total protein concentration were indicative of severe dehydration. Similar findings have been earlier reported (Pratt et al., 2003). Increased BUN and creatinine (azotemia) were observed in colic, which could be due to dehydration and decreased filtration across glomerulus (Tabar and Cruz, 2009).

A significant increase of plasma glucose was noticed in colic affected equines which might be used as indicator associated with poor prognosis of disease (Hollis et al., 2007).

In present study, increased level of lipid peroxidation in erythrocytes of colic affected equines are indication of elevated oxidative stress. Thus, higher production of peroxyl radicals and consequent elevated LPO concentration renders erythrocytes more fragile and prone to lysis (Muduuli et al., 1982).

The findings of present investigation pertaining to clinical, hemato-biochemical and oxidative stress parameter alterations observed in colic cases, can be helpful in diagnosis and prognosis assessment of colic and appropriate treatment thereof.


Hollis, A.R., Boston, R.C. and Corley, K.T. (2007). Blood glucose in horses with acute abdominal disease. J. Vet. Intern. Med. 21: 1099-03.

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Singh, G., Soodan J.S., Tripathi, A.K. and Tikoo, A. (2017). Alterations in the Clinical, Hematological and Biochemical Parameters in the cases of Equine colic. Indian Vet. J. 94: 36-40.

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A.K. Tripathi (1), R.P. Pandey (2) and Ram Sagar (3)

Department of Veterinary Medicine

College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry

U.P. Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Pashu Chikitsa Vigyan Vishwavidyalaya Evam Go Anusandhan Sansthan (DUVASU)

Mathura - 281001 (Uttar Pradesh)

(1.) Assistant Professor and Corresponding author. E-mail:

(2.) Director, Department of TVCC

(3.) Associate Professor, Department of TVCC

(a) - Brand of Shenzhen Mindray Biochemical Electronics Co. Ltd., China

(b) - Brand of Span Diagnostics Ltd., Surat

(c) - Brand of Aspen Diagnostics Pvt. Ltd., Delhi
Table 1: Clinical parameters (Mean[+ or -]SE) in healthy and colic
affected equines

Parameters                Healthy animals (n=6)  Colic affected (n=12)

Rectal                    100.20[+ or -]0.74     102.66 [+ or -]0.84 (*)
temperature ([degrees]F)
Heart rate/ min            36.20[+ or -]2.26      51.20[+ or -]6.40 (*)
Respiration rate/ min      20[+ or -]1.15         30.20[+ or -]4.26 (*)
Skin tent time (sec)        1.20[+ or -]0.22       3.60[+ or -]0.88 (*)

Table 2: Hemato-biochemical parameters (Mean[+ or -]SE) in healthy and
colic affected equines

Parameters             Healthy animals (n=6)   Colic affected (n=12)

Hemoglobin (gm/dl)     13.8 [+ or -] 0.06       15.68[+ or -]0.35 (*)
TEC (x[10.sup.6]        8.83 [+ or -] 0.05      11.10[+ or -]0.83 (*)
PCV (%)                40.13 [+ or -] 0.41      46.20[+ or -]0.92 (*)
TLC (x[10.sup.3]       11.08 [+ or -] 0.06      12.59[+ or -]0.64 (*)
Neutrophils (%)        56.17 [+ or -] 0.48      63.95[+ or -]1.75 (*)
Lymphocytes (%)        38.83 [+ or -] 0.79      33.58[+ or -] 0.92
Total protein (gm/dl)   7.32[+ or -]0.05         8.24[+ or -]0.32 (*)
Albumin (gm/dl)         3.15[+ or -]0.05         2.92[+ or -]0.22
BUN (mg/dl)            18.83[+ or -]0.40        32.26[+ or -]0.86 (*)
Creatinine (mg/dl)      1.08[+ or -]0.03         2.76[+ or -]0.27 (*)
Blood glucose (mg/dl)  96.56[+ or -]0.63       110.27[+ or -]2.26 (*)
LPO (nmolMDA/mg Hb)    13.07[+ or -]0.07        19.89[+ or -]0.17 (*)
SOD (U/mgHb)            7.12[+ or -]0.04         3.42[+ or -]0.24 (*)
Catalase (U/mgHb)       5.14[+ or -]0.03         1.78[+ or -]0.45 (*)

(*) Differs significantly with control
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Title Annotation:Clinical Article
Author:Tripathi, A.K.; Pandey, R.P.; Sagar, Ram
Publication:Intas Polivet
Date:Jul 1, 2018
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