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Golland, L. C., Evans, D. L., McGowan, C. M., Hodgson, D. R., & Rose, R. J. (2003). The effects of overtraining on blood volumes in standardbred racehorses. Vet J, 165(3), 228–233.
Abstract: Red blood cell hypervolaemia has been used for diagnosis of overtraining in racehorses, and has been suggested as a mechanism of this cause of loss of racing performance. The effects of overload training (OLT) on the plasma, blood and red cell volumes were investigated in a prospective study in 12 Standardbred horses. Measurements of blood volumes were made after eight and 32 weeks of an exercise training study. Horses were randomly allocated to OLT and control groups (n=6) after 16 weeks of training. Training duration and intensity were increased more rapidly for the OLT group from week 16, until overtraining was diagnosed in week 32.There were no significant effects of OLT on plasma, blood or total red cell volumes between weeks eight and 32. These volumes significantly decreased with time. Maximal haematocrit after exercise was lower (P<0.05) in the OT group in week 32 (0.57+/-0.003% L/L) than in week eight (0.59+/-0.004 L/L). It was concluded that red cell hypervolaemia was not a mechanism for the decrease in capacity for exercise that occurs with overtraining.
Hodgson, D., Howe, S., Jeffcott, L., Reid, S., Mellor, D., & Higgins, A. (2005). Effect of prolonged use of altrenogest on behaviour in mares (Vol. 169).
Abstract: Erratum in:
Vet J. 2005 May;169(3):321.
Corrected and republished in:
Vet J. 2005 May;169(3):322-5.
Oral administration of altrenogest for oestrus suppression in competition horses is believed to be widespread in some equestrian disciplines, and can be administered continuously for several months during a competition season. To examine whether altrenogest has any anabolic or other potential performance enhancing properties that may give a horse an unfair advantage, we examined the effect of oral altrenogest (0.044 mg/kg), given daily for a period of eight weeks, on social hierarchy, activity budget, body-mass and body condition score of 12 sedentary mares. We concluded that prolonged oral administration of altrenogest at recommended dose rates to sedentary mares resulted in no effect on dominance hierarchies, body mass or condition score.