Objective—To identify factors significantly associated
with an epidemic of fibrinous pericarditis during
spring 2001 among horses in central Kentucky.
Animals—38 horses with fibrinous pericarditis and
30 control horses examined for other reasons.
Procedure—A questionnaire was developed to solicit
information regarding a wide range of management
practices and environmental exposures from farm
owners or managers.
Results—The following factors were found in bivariate
analyses to be significantly associated with an
increased risk of pericarditis: being from a farm with
mares and foals affected by mare reproductive loss
syndrome, exposure to Eastern tent caterpillars in or
around horse pastures, younger age, shorter duration
of residence in Kentucky and at the farm of current
residence, being fed hay grown outside Kentucky, a
lack of access to pond water, access to orchard grass
for grazing, and a lack of direct contact with cattle. In
multivariate logistic regression analyses, only variables
related to caterpillar exposure and age were significantly
associated with fibrinous pericarditis.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest
that fibrinous pericarditis in horses may be associated
with mare reproductive loss syndrome. Exposure
to Eastern tent caterpillars was the greatest risk factor
for development of fibrinous pericarditis. The distribution
of times of diagnosis of fibrinous pericarditis was
consistent with a point-source epidemic. (J Am Vet Med