Summary The effects of feeding on blood flow to the equine foot are poorly understood. In a temperature‐controlled room, duplex Doppler ultrasonographic observations were made pre‐ and postprandially of the lateral proper palmar digital artery of 5 horses, randomly assigned to twice and 4 times daily feeding in an unbalanced 2 period crossover design. Arterial diameter and blood velocity were measured over 4 h and additional observations made of heart rate, blood pressure, total plasma protein, packed cell volume, plasma glucose and insulin. There was no effect of the feeding regimen on any variable. Postprandially, there were significant increases in arterial diameter, blood velocity, total plasma protein, plasma glucose and insulin; the other variables were unchanged. It appeared that the normal postprandial response was an increase in blood flow to the foot. The value of ultrasonography for noninvasive investigation of the peripheral vasculature of the conscious horse was established; and in the future it may have a role in the diagnosis of vascular diseases of the foot.
Equine Veterinary Journal – Wiley
Published: May 1, 2001
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