Salivary cortisol concentrations changes in horses during daily routine

Martin Massányi, Marko Halo, Eva Mlynekova, Marko Halo Jr., Peter Massányi


Article Details: Received: 2020-10-20 | Accepted: 2020-11-27 | Available online: 2021-01-31


The aim of the study was to observe the salivary concentrations of cortisol in horses during daily routine over the course of four weeks lasting experiment in three different stages of day to monitor the changing values of cortisol in horse saliva during the day. Saliva was obtained from 12 Slovak warmblood horses – 1 stallion, 6 mares and 5 geldings. In the experiment we focused purely on changes of salivary cortisol concentrations over the course of the daily routine.The results shown us multiple significant changes between individual sample collections and thus, we can state that according to our results the highest concentration of cortisol in horse saliva is in the morning and it decreases throughout the day with lowest measured concentrations being in the final sample collection of the day (at 22:00). These changes had no visible effect on horses´ organism throughout entirety of the experiment and were caused due to horses daily rhythm.

Keywords: horse, cortisol, saliva, rest, daily routine


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