Using Vitamin C To Fight Equine Sepsis

It’s long been known that Vitamin C can help humans prevent or shorten the duration of a cold. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can be depleted in the body during bouts with illness. Humans cannot create Vitamin C for their body’s use, so a severe lack of Vitamin C is possible and can lead to scurvy, where healed wounds open and gums tend to swell and bleed.

Unlike humans, horses can make their own Vitamin C, but their supplies can also become depleted during severe illnesses, like sepsis. Sepsis is whole-body inflammation that occurs secondarily to infection. Sepsis is common in neonatal foals that don’t ingest enough immunoglobulins from their dam’s colostrum; it’s also common in adult horses that battle enterocolitis or severe pneumonia.

Horses with infections are typically given antibiotics, which clears the infection, but the systemic inflammation can be more difficult to solve. The inflammation is associated with free radical production, which causes the release of inflammatory mediators that result in decreased oxygen delivery to tissues; this causes organ failure. The survival rate of septic horses is 60 to 70 percent.

A horse with this inflammation response is generally treated with antibiotics, fluid and blood pressure support, and IV nutrition. Vitamin C can be given to horses either intramuscularly or intravenously. A study completed by Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine showed that administering Vitamin C to septic horses helps protect the white blood cells from bacterial destruction.

A new Perdue study is expected to be completed in the near future in conjunction with other veterinary teaching hospitals and private institutions that will study the difference between septic horses given Vitamin C and those not supplemented with it. It is hypothesized that Vitamin C administration will improve the outcome of septic horses, potentially becoming an affordable standard of care.

Read more at Purdue University College Of Veterinary Medicine Equine Health Update. 

The post Using Vitamin C To Fight Equine Sepsis appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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