What is the best way to supplement/provide electrolytes when a horse is given Lasix prior to competition? My vet seemed unsure and said to provide an electrolyte supplement daily at "manufacturer suggestions." When talking to a trainer at the race track - he suggested an electrolyte supplement daily (the suggested one provides 13.4g sodium, 18.4g chloride, and 6.5g potassium per daily serving). He also emphasized providing electrolytes at the same time as the Lasix is given. I would like to know your recommendation on what to provide daily, as well as pre/post Lasix administration?
The most dramatic electrolyte change with Lasix is a drop in ionized calcium (and likely magnesium) at the one-hour mark which rebounds by 4 hours. The alkalosis that Lasix causes can cause muscular cramping, thumps, and even bronchospasm. There are also dips in sodium and potassium levels.
Prepare the horse for these effects by making sure there is access to at least 1% of body weight in forage for potassium and 1 oz salt (winter) to 2+ oz salt (warm to hot weather) on the day of the race. If your trainer's practice is to fast the horse for several hours on race days, use 2 scoops of Pro-Lyte Pellets
1 to 2 hours before Lasix is given.
To correct for calcium and magnesium losses, your horse should be getting mineral supplementation that meets but does not exceed NRC calcium and magnesium requirements. This will allow the horse's body to remedy the Lasix effects before race time. To replace losses, use Lyte Now Paste
after the race.