Blood lactate concentrations are frequently measured in horses to estimate their level of fitness and also to assess perfusion status in clinical situations. Measuring blood lactate concentrations in blood or plasma is a proven quantitative method of determining the level of exercise fitness in the horse and has been successfully used to develop effective conditioning programs.
There is a need in the equine industry for a convenient, portable and reliable method of measuring lactate concentration that can provide rapid feedback. The Lactate Plus is a small battery-operated handheld lactate meter by Nova Biomedical and uses 0.7 mL of whole blood to read out blood lactate concentrations in 13 seconds and has a lactate test range of 0.3–25 mmol/L.
In this study, Hauss et al. sought to validate the Lactate Plus for use in healthy exercising horses and to determine the effect of a three-times weekly conditioning protocol on the speed at which blood lactate concentration reaches 4 mmol/L. To do so, five untrained adult Arabian horses were subjected to a 4-week conditioning program.
Once blood was collected, a whole blood sample (0.7 mL) was immediately analysed in duplicate using two calibrated Lactate Plus handheld lactate meters.
This study showed a strong correlation between the two methods of blood lactate concentration analysis used by the authors: the portable Lactate Plus and the laboratory-based analytical method, which suggest that the Lactate Plus is a dependable lactate meter for use in horses.
This article was written by Hauss et al. and published in Journal of Equine Veterinary Science 34 (2014) 1064–1068
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