Body weight of 48 horses competing in a 3-day event was measured the day before the event (baseline), following the dressage phase of the event (day 1), after the endurance phases of the event (day 2), and 18 to 24 h after the endurance phases (day 3). Plasma sodium and potassium concentrations were measured the evening before, immediately after, and 10 min after the endurance phases. Total body water, water loss, and net exchangeable cation loss were then calculated. Body weight and total water were significantly decreased, compared with baseline values, at all times during the event, and significant water loss was detected. The largest changes were recorded after the endurance phases of the event. Water deficits were still detected 18 to 24 h after the endurance phases. Mean plasma Na concentration was significantly increased immediately after the endurance phases, compared with concentration measured the evening before, and remained increased after the 10-min recovery period, presumably because of dehydration. Mean plasma K concentration was significantly increased immediately after the endurance phases the evening before, but was not increased after the 10-min recovery period.
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