Objective - To determine daily variation in urinary clearance and fractional excretion (FE) of electrolytes and minerals within and between horses and to compare volumetric and single-sample urine collection for determining FE values of diets with a range of dietary cation-anion balance (DCAB). Animals - 5 Thoroughbred and 6 mixed-breed mares. Procedure - 3 isocaloric diets with low, medium, and high DCAB values (85, 190, and 380 mEq/kg of dry matter, respectively) were each fed for 14 days. Daily blood samples, single urine samples collected by using a urinary catheter (5 mares), and volumetric urine collections (6 mares) were obtained during the last 72 hours of each diet. Results - Urine and plasma pH values, plasma concentrations, and FE values of sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium were altered by varying the DCAB. Noticeable variation in clearance and FE values was detected within horses from day-to-day on the same diet as well as between horses. Fractional excretion values were not significantly different between single-sample and volumetric methods, except for magnesium in the high DCAB diet. Volumetric and single-sample collections revealed similar patterns of change in urinary FE values with varying DCAB, except for calcium and magnesium. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Substantial variation in clearance and FE of electrolytes and minerals are evident within horses between 24-hour periods as well as between horses fed a specific diet. Three daily urine samples provide similar information regarding dietary-induced changes in clearance and FE values (excluding calcium and magnesium) as that obtained by volumetric urine collection.
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