How are Randox reagents used to ensure the health & wellbeing of endurance racehorses?
As a horse enthusiast, Founder and Managing Director Dr Peter FitzGerald is passionate about maintaining the health and well-being of horses, and animals alike. As such, research and development of Randox diagnostic products extends significantly into the veterinary sector with a focus on providing high quality veterinary reagents on par with our human diagnostic assays; in fact, our veterinary products are made from the same high quality materials as our human assays to ensure accurate diagnosis, preventative care and prompt treatment. Such factors are especially important in the case of endurance racehorses.
Our veterinary reagents help ensure the health & well-being of endurance racehorses…
Endurance racehorses require extra attention and monitoring as a result of intense physical exercise. Intense physical exercise increases the production of free radicals in the body (unstable molecules produced during normal metabolic processes). Free radicals cause damage to the body, and to defend against their attack, the body uses antioxidants to inhibit the formation of free radicals, remove free radicals or repair the damage caused by free radicals. If there is an imbalance of antioxidants to free radicals, the body can suffer oxidative stress; the chance of this happening is increased during intense physical exercise. To prevent this occurring, antioxidant profiling of endurance racehorses is important and, as a result, Randox has developed a range of antioxidant assays for use in the veterinary sector.
Our antioxidant tests ensure preventative measures are taken to keep endurance racehorses healthy!
The most notable tests for accurate assessment of the antioxidant levels of endurance racehorses include Total Antioxidant Status and Superoxide Dismutase:
Total Antioxidant Status – The Randox TAS test assesses the overall antioxidant function in the body. A reduction in TAS inhibits the body’s defence and in the case of endurance racehorses, free radical damage has been linked to injury of muscle cells causing muscle cell leakage and microtrauma. Monitoring TAS levels can identify the horse’s risk of injury, establish the levels of training required and establish appropriate recovery times to maintain their well-being.
The TAS test is also useful for assessing the risk of damage to horses who are often transported between locations; research (Niedźwiedź et al, 2013) has found that the Plasma TAS in horses increases after 8 hours of road transportation in addition to their respiratory and heart rates. This indicates a stress reaction and intensification of free radical processes in the body.
Superoxide Dismutase (Ransod) – The Randox Ransod test measures the level of SOD in the body; SOD is an enzyme that catalyses the breakdown of superoxide, one of the most harmful and toxic free radicals in the body. Superoxide is implicated in oxidative stress, cell damage and DNA mutation, and as such SOD is an extremely important antioxidant for endurance racehorses. It is required to defend against attack and repair the damaged caused by superoxide; endurance horses with insufficient levels of SOD may suffer muscle pain, stiffness, degradation of various joint components, loss of muscle strength, stamina, flexibility, and in severe cases muscle disease. Measuring SOD levels can provide an indication of whether their level of training is encumbering them.
Alongside our antioxidant assays, we provide diagnostic tests to allow prompt treatment if injury is suspected!
Aside from antioxidant assessment, diagnostic tests may be required if injury is suspected. Our range of reagents includes tests such as Creatine Kinase (CK) for the assessment of muscle damage. CK is a particularly useful marker of muscle damage for endurance racehorses, as upon damage to the heart, skeletal muscle and brain tissue, it leaks from the tissue into the blood causing a spike of serum CK. Short-term injury can be identified with increased levels which decline within 2-3 days, and in cases where mild to moderate increase in CK activity is identified over time, on-going injury or disease is suspected. Therefore it is useful in indicating initial muscle trauma in addition to muscle bruising, muscle wasting, abscesses, inflammation, infection and recurring muscle damage. This test allows prompt treatment upon diagnosis of trauma, and is therefore relevant in monitoring the health and well-being of endurance racehorses throughout their racing career.
For more information about our veterinary reagents please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Niedźwiedź et al.: Plasma total antioxidant status in horses after 8-hours of road transportation. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 2013 55:58.