Four different treatments were applied immediately before loading, with 8 animals/treatment: injection of saline or ACP (0.1 mg/kg, I.M.) at the base of the neck; and injection of saline or 1/10 ACP (0.01 mg/kg) at the GV 1 acupoint.
The road transport increased heart rate (HR), respiratory rate, body temperature, and serum cortisol of the untreated horses (injected with saline at the base of the neck). Pharmacopuncture at GV 1 reduced the average HR and transport-induced increase in HR at unloading, without changing the other variables. On the other hand, ACP (0.1 mg/kg) produced significant sedation and reduced the transport-induced increase in respiratory rate but without preventing the stress-induced increase of cortisol.
Other acupuncture points and drugs should be tested to verify the beneficial effect of this therapy to reduce stress in horses during road transport.
Summarized by: Krishona Martinson, PhD, University of Minnesota