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Tracheal collapse in American Miniature Horses: 13 cases (1985–2007)

Monica Aleman MVZ, PhD, DACVIM1, Jorge E. Nieto MVZ, PhD, DACVS2, Jaromir Benak DVM3, and Lynelle R. Johnson DVM, PhD, DACVIM4
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  • 1 Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 2 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 3 Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 4 Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

Abstract

Objective—To describe the clinical and laboratory findings, diagnostic features, and outcome of tracheal collapse in American Miniature Horses at a referral institution.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—13 American Miniature Horses with tracheal collapse.

Procedures—Medical records of American Miniature Horses with tracheal collapse at a referral hospital were reviewed. Data extracted included signalment, history, clinical signs, laboratory data, diagnostic procedures, outcome, and histologic findings.

Results—Tracheal collapse was documented in 5.6% of American Miniature Horses admitted to this referral hospital. Median age at onset of clinical signs was 11 years with a range of 2 to 15 years. Common complaints and clinical signs included respiratory distress, tachypnea, inspiratory honking noises, and increased abdominal expiratory effort, which were exacerbated by stressful events, pregnancy, exercise, a dusty environment, and eating. Tracheal collapse was confirmed by use of radiography, endoscopy, fluoroscopy, or postmortem examination. Dorsoventral flattening of the extra- or intrathoracic trachea, or both, was more common than lateral collapse. Tracheal chondromalacia was identified histologically in 4 cases, and mortality rate for affected horses was 10 of 13.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Tracheal collapse was relatively common in this study of American Miniature Horses, and outcome was poor. The etiopathogenesis of the disease remains unknown.

Abstract

Objective—To describe the clinical and laboratory findings, diagnostic features, and outcome of tracheal collapse in American Miniature Horses at a referral institution.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—13 American Miniature Horses with tracheal collapse.

Procedures—Medical records of American Miniature Horses with tracheal collapse at a referral hospital were reviewed. Data extracted included signalment, history, clinical signs, laboratory data, diagnostic procedures, outcome, and histologic findings.

Results—Tracheal collapse was documented in 5.6% of American Miniature Horses admitted to this referral hospital. Median age at onset of clinical signs was 11 years with a range of 2 to 15 years. Common complaints and clinical signs included respiratory distress, tachypnea, inspiratory honking noises, and increased abdominal expiratory effort, which were exacerbated by stressful events, pregnancy, exercise, a dusty environment, and eating. Tracheal collapse was confirmed by use of radiography, endoscopy, fluoroscopy, or postmortem examination. Dorsoventral flattening of the extra- or intrathoracic trachea, or both, was more common than lateral collapse. Tracheal chondromalacia was identified histologically in 4 cases, and mortality rate for affected horses was 10 of 13.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Tracheal collapse was relatively common in this study of American Miniature Horses, and outcome was poor. The etiopathogenesis of the disease remains unknown.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Aleman.