Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are a health care professional

honeypot link

Disorders of Magnesium Metabolism in Horses


Allison J. Stewart

, BVSC (Hons), MS, DACVIM-LA, DACVECC, The University of Queensland

Last full review/revision Oct 2019 | Content last modified Nov 2019

Most disorders of magnesium metabolism are due to problems associated with absorption of the mineral from the digestive tract, excretion by the kidneys, and varying requirements of the body for pregnancy, lactation, and, growth. The differences in anatomy between species are associated with the importance of disorders of magnesium occurring in a particular species. In horses, disorders of magnesium metabolism are much less common than in cattle and sheep, in which magnesium is mainly absorbed from the rumen in adult animals. Horses absorb magnesium mainly from the small intestine. Too much magnesium in the blood (hypermagnesemia) is rare, but horses receiving excessive doses of magnesium sulfate for constipation may show signs of sweating, muscle weakness, and rapid heartbeat and breathing rate. Cardiac arrest can occur with very high blood magnesium levels.

For More Information

Others also read
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID

Test your knowledge

Fluid Therapy in Animals
Abnormalities of circulation can be due to a number of causes and may result in circulatory shock, an emergency situation. All types of circulatory shock respond to administration of fluid therapy to some extent, but some types require additional medications. Which type of circulatory shock is most readily handled with fluid therapy alone?
Become a Pro at using our website 

Also of Interest

Become a Pro at using our website