Acta Vet. Brno 2021, 90: 159-169

A comparison of haematological and biochemical blood indices between the Žemaitukai and Arabian horses participating in endurance competitions

Indrė Poškienė1, Vida Juozaitienė2, Ramūnas Antanaitis1

1Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Veterinary Academy, Large Animal Clinic, Kaunas, Lithuania
2Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Veterinary Academy, Department of Animal Breeding and Nutrition, Kaunas, Lithuania

Received July 16, 2020
Accepted May 26, 2021

The study was conducted on 30 clinically healthy Arabian horses and 28 Žemaitukai horses that competed in endurance race over the same distance (40 km). Blood samples were taken before and immediately after the exercise. The environmental conditions during the competitions varied, with a mean temperature of 22.5 °C and a mean relative humidity of 73.20%. The Žemaitukai horses showed lower haematological values and increased muscle catabolism after exercise. Arabian horses have higher aerobic capacity compared to the Žemaitukai horses which probably contributes to their superior low- to moderate-intensity exercise performance. Serum activity of muscle enzymes suggested that the muscle tissue of the Arabian horses has higher tolerance for exercise-induced muscle catabolism and lower muscle catabolism than that of muscle tissue of the Žemaitukai horses. Further studies need to be carried out to identify the diferences in muscle tissue of both breeds.


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