The haemoglobin concentration, the partial pressures of oxygen and carbon dioxide, the oxygen content and the pH were determined in the arterial and mixed venous blood of 5 normal and 3 horses with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at 3 stages of an exercise distance of 1200 m.
Arterial and mixed venous samples were collected simultaneously by means of an automatic technique during the walk, trot and gallop at 0-100 m, at 500-600 m and at 1100-1200 m.
The standard bicarbonate and the lactic and pyruvic acid concentrations were also determined in arterial and mixed venous blood.
Highly significant changes in the mean values of P⊽C0₂ , 0₂ content and Δ a-⊽ 0₂ content occurred during exercise in COPD subjects, and significant changes in P⊽O₂ and Δ a-⊽ 0₂ content occurred during exercise in normal subjects.
We concluded that COPD subjects compensated for respiratory dysfunction during exercise by extracting more oxygen from the blood than did normal horses.
There was a highly significant correlation between the changes in standard bicarbonate and the changes in lactic acid concentration during exercise in both normal and COPD subjects. This led to the conclusion that lactic acid production was primarily, but not completely, responsible for the metabolic acidosis of exercise in horses.
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