Effects of concentrated electrolytes administered via a paste on fluid, electrolyte, and acid base balance in horses

Am J Vet Res. 1998 Jul;59(7):898-903.


Objectives: To test effectiveness of an electrolyte paste in correcting fluid, electrolyte and acid base alterations in response to furosemide administration.

Animals: 6 Standardbreds.

Procedures: Horses received electrolyte paste or water only (control). The paste was given orally 3 hours after furosemide administration (1 mg/kg of body weight, IM). Water was given ad libitum soon after the paste and 3 hours after furosemide administration to treated and control groups, respectively. Paste Na+, K+, and Cl- composition was approximately 2,220, 620, and 2,840 mmol, respectively. The PCV and plasma concentrations of total protein ([TP]), [Na+], [K+], [Cl-]), and bicarbonate ([HCO3-]) were determined, and urinary fluid and electrolyte excretion, fecal water, and body weight changes were measured.

Results: At the end of a 6-hour period, the paste-treated group had higher water consumption, which resulted in lower plasma [TP]; net electrolyte losses also were substantially less. With paste administration, [Na+] was approximately 2 mmol/L above a prefurosemide value of 137.3 mmol/L; control horses had values similar to the prefurosemide value. Plasma [Cl-] remained at the prefurosemide value, but values in control horses decreased by 7 mmol/L with water consumption. Plasma [K+] remained approximately 0.8 mmol/L below prefurosemide values in both groups. Venous [HCO3-] returned to prefurosemide values after paste administration, but alkalosis persisted in control horses after consumption of water only. Body weight loss was less after paste administration.

Conclusions: Administration of electrolyte paste is advantageous over water alone in restoring fluid, electrolyte, and acid base balance after fluid and electrolyte loss attributable to furosemide administration.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Bicarbonates / blood
  • Bicarbonates / urine
  • Blood Proteins / metabolism
  • Chlorides / blood
  • Chlorides / urine
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Electrolytes / administration & dosage
  • Electrolytes / metabolism*
  • Electrolytes / pharmacology*
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Furosemide / pharmacology
  • Horses
  • Male
  • Ointments
  • Potassium / blood
  • Potassium / urine
  • Sodium / blood
  • Sodium / urine
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance / drug effects
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance / physiology*


  • Bicarbonates
  • Blood Proteins
  • Chlorides
  • Electrolytes
  • Ointments
  • Furosemide
  • Sodium
  • Potassium