Evaluation of neonatal vitality and blood glucose, lactate and cortisol concentrations in foals of the Paint Horse breed


Clinical evaluations of newborns, as well as defining the therapeutic decision, represent significant challenges to the veterinarian. This study aimed to evaluate neonatal vitality using the modified Apgar score and blood glucose, lactate, and cortisol concentrations in newborn equines. Twenty foals of the Paint Horse breed born by normal delivery were evaluated during the first 48 hours of life. The modified Apgar score was determined at birth and 10 minutes later, with values ranging from 0 to 10. Blood samples for the laboratory tests were collected at birth and at 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 36, and 48 hours. The mean Apgar score was significantly lower at birth than at 10 minutes (p < 0.001). Blood glucose concentrations increased significantly between birth (98.90 ± 35.97 mg/dL) and 8 hours (127.90 ± 27.15 mg/dL), stabilizing after the first 12 hours (148.95 ± 29.59 mg/dL). Serum lactate concentrations showed a significant decrease across the time points tested, with the highest value occurring at birth (5.48 ± 2.17 mmol/L) and stabilizing after 24 hours (2.76 ± 1.31 mmol/L). Cortisol concentrations significantly decreased (p < 0.01) between 4 (10.46 ± 7.46 μg/dL) and 48 hours (5.21 ± 3.35 μg/dL), with the highest value occurring 4 hours after birth. The common occurrence of laboratory abnormalities in healthy newborn foals reinforces the need to conduct regular clinical examinations and to develop laboratory reference values for different breeds and ages.



Apgar score, Glycemia, Lactatemia, Neonatal stress, Neonate equine

Como citar

Pesquisa Veterinaria Brasileira, v. 37, n. 8, p. 891-896, 2017.