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Open Access Research article

Influence of the cardiac glycoside digoxin on cardiac troponin I, acid–base and electrolyte balance, and haematobiochemical profiles in healthy donkeys (Equus asinus)

Mohamed Tharwat12* and Fahd Al-Sobayil1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Qassim University, Qassim, Saudi Arabia

2 Permanent address: Department of Animal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt

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BMC Veterinary Research 2014, 10:64  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-10-64

Published: 12 March 2014

Abstract

Background

The effect of digoxin administration on the serum concentration of the cardiac troponin I (cTnI) has not been reported to date in equidae. This study was therefore designed to evaluate the effect of digoxin on cardiac cell damage in donkeys (Equus asinus) as assessed by cTnI, acid–base and electrolyte balance and haematobiochemical profiles. Ten clinically healthy donkeys were given an IV infusion of digoxin at a dose of 14 μg/kg. Blood samples were collected from the donkeys up through 72 h post-injection.

Results

Three of the donkeys exhibited increased heart and respiratory rates post-injection. In the other seven animals, the heart and respiratory rates were lower 4 h post-injection. The serum digoxin concentration increased significantly at many time points after injection. The serum concentration of cTnI did not differ significantly between pre- and post-injection. An increase in blood pH was noted at 3 h after digoxin injection. There were also increases in PO2 and in oxygen saturation. Decreases in PCO2 at 2 to 48 h post-injection as well as a decrease in blood lactate at 4 h post-injection were observed. The serum concentration of glucose remained significantly elevated at all-time points after digoxin injection.

Conclusions

It is concluded that administration of digoxin to healthy donkeys (14 μg/kg) did not result in elevations of serum cTnI concentration, signs of digoxin intoxication, ECG abnormalities and did not increase serum concentrations of blood urea nitrogen and creatinine.

Keywords:
Cardiac troponin I; Digoxin; Donkey; Heart failure; Intoxication