A Comparison of Hypertonic (7.2%) and Isotonic (0.9%) Saline for Fluid Resuscitation in Horses: A Randomized, Double-blinded, Clinical Trial

C. L. Fielding, K G Magdesian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Background: Hypertonic saline solution (7.2%) (HSS) can quickly replace intravascular volume deficits. HSS more recently has been advocated in the treatment of traumatic brain injury, but its use in dehydrated patients remains controversial. Hypothesis:: Hypertonic saline solution will show a significant improvement in both clinical and laboratory hydration parameters as compared to isotonic (0.9%) saline solution (ISS). Animals:: Endurance horses eliminated from the 2009 Western States 100-mile (220-km) endurance ride and requiring IV fluid therapy were eligible for enrollment in the study. Methods:: Twenty-two horses were randomly assigned to receive 4 mL/kg of either HSS or ISS along with 5 L lactated Ringer's solution (LRS). After this bolus, horses were treated with additional LRS in varying amounts. Blood and urine samples were collected before, during, and after treatment. Data were compared using 2-way ANOVA with repeated measures. Results:: As compared to ISS, HSS horses showed greater decreases in PCV (P = .04), total protein (P = .01), albumin (P = .01), and globulin (P = .02) concentrations. HSS horses showed greater increases in sodium and chloride (P < .001) as compared to ISS horses. Horses receiving HSS had a shorter time to urination (P = .03) and lower specific gravity (P < .001) than those receiving ISS. Conclusions:: Results of this study indicate that HSS may provide faster restoration of intravascular volume deficits than ISS in endurance horses receiving emergency medical treatment. More marked electrolyte changes should be expected with HSS, however, and additional fluids after HSS administration likely are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1138-1143
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011



  • Endurance
  • Fluid therapy
  • Resuscitation
  • Tonicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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