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The effect of dietary oxalate on calcium, phosphorus and magnesium balances in horses

  • R. A. McKenzie (a1), B. J. Blaney (a1) and R. J. W. Gartner (a1)

Negative calcium and phosphorus balances were produced in two experiments on six horses fed diets containing 2·6 or 4·3% total oxalate. The main calcium and phosphorus loss was in faeces. The urinary loss of calcium was reduced and that of phosphorus increased. A positive balance of magnesium was maintained. No clinically significant changes in blood concentrations of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium or alkaline phosphatase were produced. The bulk of ingested oxalate was unaccounted for in faeces and urine. It is suggested that the intestinal bacterial flora utilized the oxalate. The results supported the hypothesis that dietary oxalate is the cause of equine nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism which arises when horses graze several tropical grass species.

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The Journal of Agricultural Science
  • ISSN: 0021-8596
  • EISSN: 1469-5146
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