Physiological Stress Responses of Mares to Gynecologic Examination in Veterinary Medicine

Physiological Stress Responses of Mares to Gynecologic Examination in Veterinary Medicine Based on salivary cortisol, heart rate, and heart rate variability (HRV), the stress response of horse mares (n = 21) to transrectal palpation and ultrasonographic examination of the genital tract was analyzed. Mares differed in experience with regard to the examination and were either pluriparous (n = 13) or in their first breeding season (n = 8). They also differed with regard to examination frequency and were either examined every 6 hours (n = 10) or at 24- to 48-hour intervals (n = 11). All mares were followed for three examinations and 13 mares for four examinations. We hypothesized that gynecologic examination causes a stress response, which decreases with repeated examinations. Heart rate increased (P < .01) during the veterinary procedure but neither changed from examination 1 to 4 nor differed between experienced and inexperienced mares. The increase in heart rate was higher in mares examined every 6 hours compared with every 24 to 48 hours. During gynecologic examinations, HRV did not change while cortisol concentration increased. The cortisol response was more pronounced in mares examined at 6-hour intervals (from 1.5 ± 0.7 to 2.4 ± 1.3 ng/mL) than in mares examined every 24 to 48 hours (from 1.5 ± 1.1 to 1.9 ± 1.2 ng/mL; time × examination frequency, P < .01). No differences existed between experienced and less experienced mares and between examinations 1 and 4. In conclusion, transrectal examination of mares was not perceived as a major stressor, but, the response was influenced by examination frequency. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Equine Veterinary Science Elsevier

Physiological Stress Responses of Mares to Gynecologic Examination in Veterinary Medicine

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
ISSN
0737-0806
eISSN
1542-7412
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.jevs.2016.04.010
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Based on salivary cortisol, heart rate, and heart rate variability (HRV), the stress response of horse mares (n = 21) to transrectal palpation and ultrasonographic examination of the genital tract was analyzed. Mares differed in experience with regard to the examination and were either pluriparous (n = 13) or in their first breeding season (n = 8). They also differed with regard to examination frequency and were either examined every 6 hours (n = 10) or at 24- to 48-hour intervals (n = 11). All mares were followed for three examinations and 13 mares for four examinations. We hypothesized that gynecologic examination causes a stress response, which decreases with repeated examinations. Heart rate increased (P < .01) during the veterinary procedure but neither changed from examination 1 to 4 nor differed between experienced and inexperienced mares. The increase in heart rate was higher in mares examined every 6 hours compared with every 24 to 48 hours. During gynecologic examinations, HRV did not change while cortisol concentration increased. The cortisol response was more pronounced in mares examined at 6-hour intervals (from 1.5 ± 0.7 to 2.4 ± 1.3 ng/mL) than in mares examined every 24 to 48 hours (from 1.5 ± 1.1 to 1.9 ± 1.2 ng/mL; time × examination frequency, P < .01). No differences existed between experienced and less experienced mares and between examinations 1 and 4. In conclusion, transrectal examination of mares was not perceived as a major stressor, but, the response was influenced by examination frequency.

Journal

Journal of Equine Veterinary ScienceElsevier

Published: Aug 1, 2016

References

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