Re: Help interpreting iron panel


---In EquineCushings@..., <kerry.isherwood@...> wrote :

Unfortunately, the blood sample was drawn while Tofurky was eating unsoaked hay (25% of hay diet) and ODTBC (75% of hay diet).  The analysis on the long-stem hay yielded an iron level of 111ppm (50 mg/lb) as sampled;

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This isn’t an issue. First of all it takes time before the horse can absorb any iron from the foodstufs he is eating (a couple of hours before iron can be absorbed in the small intestine and several hours before iron can be absorbed in the large intestine). Secondly, the iron content in the current diet will only be reflected in serum iron which is pretty low for Tofurky (170 ug/dL). 

The value to worry about is for ferritin (340 ng/mL) which is a measurement of stored iron in the body. This iron have probably been built up in the body (mostly liver and spleen) during many, many years.

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Anyone know if other factors influence ferritin in blood levels (stress, weather, etc)?  I really have got to take the NRC course...

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The only way iron can get into the body is through the diet (including water and dirt). Stress and weather doesn’t increase body iron stores.

Sweden, July 2008

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