Vital Parameters in Newborn Thoroughbred Foals during the First Week of Life - Pages 27-30

Bazzano, E. Giudice, S. Di Pietro and G. Piccione

Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Messina, Italy



The neonatal period is a critical stage when the newborn has to adapt almost all the body systems to extra uterine life. Because sedative drugs greatly affect foal’s respiratory system, monitoring blood gas values can be critical in order to maintain a normal respiratory function and guarantee the foal’s survival. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to monitor daily how vital parameters change in six healthy Thoroughbred foals over the first week of life. Heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (RR), rectal temperature (RT) were daily recorded. Arterial blood samples were also collected to determine carbon dioxide partial pressure (pCO2), oxygen partial pressure (pO2), pH, and bicarbonate concentration (HCO3). The statistical analysis showed significant modifications in HR (P<0.0001), pO2 (P<0.0001), pCO2 (P=0.0492), pH (P=0.0007), and HCO3 (P=0.0225) during the study. The present study showed the adjustments occurring in foal’s respiratory function and acid-base balance, day by day, over the first week of life. This information on foal’s vital parameters might help equine clinicians when considering using whatever therapeutic or sedative/anaesthetic drugs, as the delicacy of both the circulatory and pulmonary systems of a very young foal needs to be taken into account.

Keywords: Physiological parameters, foals, blood gas, acid-base balance.