Effects of psyllium supplementation on serum protein, triglycerides, electrolytes and packed cell volume in horses grazing rapidly growing cool season grasses
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The effect of psyllium supplementation on absorption of nutrients other than glucose and water in the intestine of horses is not known. Eleven 10- to 18-yr-old light breed stock horses were used in a completely randomized design to determine the effects of psyllium supplementation on serum protein, serum triglyceride and serum electrolyte concentrations as well as PCV, water intake and feed intake. Horses were grazed individually separated with electric tape for 8 h every day. At night they were kept in individual dry lots where they received a mixed grain and a psyllium supplement. Psyllium treatment level was 1) 180 g/d psyllium or 2) an isocaloric control and 0g/d psyllium. Blood samples were collected on day 8, 15, 22, and 29 of the study and used to determine protein and triglyceride concentrations. Concentrations of serum electrolytes and packed cell volumes (PCV) were measured using blood collected on day 0, 8, 15, 22, and 29. Horses that received psyllium showed reduced concentrations of triglycerides (P < 0.001) and protein (P = 0.019) compared to those receiving an isocaloric control. No differences (P > 0.065) in the lysine and arginine concentrations were found between treatments. There were no differences (P > 0.085) in chloride and sodium concentrations, PCVs, and water and feed intake between treatments. There was a treatment by day interaction (P = 0.032) for concentrations of potassium; furthermore, the treatment effect on potassium concentrations existed only on study days 8, and 22, while no difference was found on collection days 0, 15, and 29. Supplementing horses with 180 g/d psyllium appears to have a lowering effect on serum protein and triglyceride concentrations in the intestine of horses.