Magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca) are the main divalent cations in the body. The free ionized fraction is the physiologically active form of both Mg and Ca. As ion-selective-electrode (ISE) analyzers are becoming widely used in veterinary practice it will be useful to establish reference intervals for horses. In the present study, reference intervals were established for ionized, total and the ratio of the ionized to total Mg and Ca concentrations in four horse groups: adults, neonatal foals, and pregnant and lactating mares, as well as in three sample types, whole blood, plasma and serum, using an ISE-analyzer. Sample pH effect was assessed. Concentration differences in both total and ionized cations were recorded for some measures between horse groups and different sample types. The most significant differences were recorded between neonatal foals and other groups. These results demonstrate the need to use specific reference intervals for horses of different physiologic status and in specific sample types.
- Whole blood