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Abstract

Objective

To quantify plasma and urine nitric oxide (NO) concentrations before and after low-dose endotoxin infusion in horses.

Animals

11 healthy adult female horses.

Procedure

Eight horses were given endotoxin (35 ng/kg of body weight, IV) over 30 minutes. Three sentinel horses received an equivalent volume of saline (0.9% NaCl) solution over the same time. Clinical signs of disease and hemodynamic variables were recorded, and urine and plasma samples were obtained to measure NO concentrations prior to endotoxin infusion (t = 0) and every hour until postinfusion hour (PIH) 6, then every 2 hours until PIH 24. Blood for hematologic and metabolic analyses and for serum cytokine bioassays were collected at 0 hour, every hour until PIH 6, every 2 hours through PIH 12, and finally, every 6 hours until PIH 24.

Results

Differences in plasma NO concentrations across time were not apparent, but urine NO concentrations significantly decreased at 4 and 20 to 24 hours in endotoxin-treated horses. Also in endotoxin-treated horses, alterations in clinical signs of disease, and hemodymanic, metabolic, and hematologic variables were significant and characteristic of endotoxemia. Serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) activity and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) concentrations were increased above baseline values from 1 to 8 hours and 1 to 2 hours, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Plasma and urine NO concentrations did not increase in horses after administration of a low dose of endotoxin, despite induction of an inflammatory response, which was confirmed by increased TNF and IL-6 values characteristic alterations in clinical signs of disease, and hematologic, hemodynamic and metabolic variables. (Am J Vet Res 1999:60:969-976)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective

To determine the cardiopulmonary and sedative effects of medetomidine hydrochloride in adult horses and to compare those effects with effects of an equipotent dose of xylazine hydrochloride.

Animals

10 healthy adult female horses.

Procedure

5 horses were given medetomidine (4 μg/kg of body weight, IV), and the other 5 were given xylazine (0.4 mg/kg, IV). Heart rate, respiratory rate, arterial blood pressures, pulmonary arterial blood pressures, and cardiac output were recorded, and sedation and ataxia scores were assigned before and every 5 minutes after drug administration for 60 minutes. Rectal temperature and blood gas partial pressures were measured every 15 minutes after drug administration.

Results

Arterial blood pressure was significantly decreased throughout the study among horses given medetomidine and was significantly decreased for 40 minutes among horses given xylazine. Compared with baseline values, cardiac output was significantly decreased 10, 20, and 40 minutes after administration of medetomidine and significantly increased 40 and 60 minutes after administration of xylazine. Despite the significant decrease in respiratory rate in both groups, results of blood gas analyses were not significantly changed over time. Ataxia and sedation scores were of similar magnitude for the 2 groups, but ataxia persisted slightly longer among horses given medetomidine. Horses resumed eating hay 10 to 55 minutes after drug administration.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Results suggest that equipotent low doses of medetomidine and xylazine induce comparable levels of ataxia and sedation and similar cardiopulmonary changes in adult horses. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:1371–1376)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine concentrations of nitric oxide (NO) in plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and localize nitric oxide synthesis in the lungs of horses with summer pasture-associated obstructive pulmonary disease (SPAOPD).

Animals—7 adult horses with SPAOPD and 6 clinically normal adult horses.

Procedure—Severity of SPAOPD was determined by use of clinical scores, change in intrapleural pressure (ΔPpl) during tidal breathing, cytologic analysis of BALF, and histologic evaluation of lung specimens obtained during necropsy. Nitric oxide concentrations in plasma, BALF, and epithelial lining fluid (ELF) were determined by use of a chemiluminescent method. Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and nitrotyrosine (NT) were localized in formalin-fixed lung specimens by use of immunohistochemical staining, and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase (NADPHd) activity was localized in cryopreserved specimens by use of histochemical staining.

Results—Plasma concentration of NO in affected horses was slightly but not significantly greater than concentration in nonaffected horses. Nitric oxide concentrations in BALF or ELF did not differ between groups. Immunoreactivity of iNOS in bronchial epithelial cells of 3 of 5 lung lobes was greater in horses with SPAOPD, compared with nonaffected horses. However, staining for NT and NADPHd activity did not differ between groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Expression of iNOS was greater in bronchial epithelial cells of horses with SPAOPD, compared with nonaffected horses, suggesting that NO may play a role in amplifying the inflammatory process in the airways of horses with this disease. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1381–1386)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To characterize the temporality of dates of breeding and abortion classified as mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS) among mares with abortions during early gestation.

Animals—2,314 mares confirmed pregnant at approximately 28 days after breeding from 36 farms in central Kentucky, including 515 mares that had earlyterm abortions.

Procedure—Farm veterinarians and managers were interviewed to obtain data for each mare that was known to be pregnant to determine pregnancy status, breeding date, last date known to be pregnant, and date of abortion.

Results—Mares bred prior to April 1, 2001, appeared to be at greatest risk of early-term abortion, both among and within individual farms. Mares bred in mid-February appeared to be at greatest risk of abortion, with an estimated weekly incidence rate of abortion of 66% (95% CI, 52% to 80%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Mares in central Kentucky bred between mid-February and early March were observed to be at greatest risk of early-term abortion, and risk gradually decreased to a background incidence of abortion of approximately 11%. Mares bred after April 1, 2001, appeared to be at markedly less risk, indicating that exposure to the cause of MRLS likely occurred prior to this date. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1792–1797)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To compare responses of bronchial rings obtained from healthy horses and horses affected with summer pasture-associated obstructive pulmonary disease (SPAOPD) to selected mediators of airway hyperreactivity in vitro.

Sample Population—Bronchial rings from 6 healthy horses and 6 horses affected with SPAOPD.

Procedure—Bronchial rings obtained from each group of horses were mounted in organ baths and attached to force transducers interfaced with a polygraph. After applying 2g of tension, each ring was allowed to equilibrate for 45 minutes in Tyrode's solution at 37 C. Cumulative concentration-response relationships to graded concentrations of selected mediators (10–8 to 10–4 M ) were determined and analyzed for significance at each concentration.

Results—Acetylcholine, histamine, 5-hydroxytryptamine, and leukotriene D4 induced concentrationdependent contractile responses in bronchial rings. Prostaglandin F induced weak and inconsistent contractile responses. The other 2 agents, norepinephrine and substance P, did not induce concentrationdependent responses. Considering the overall groupdrug effect, acetylcholine, histamine, 5-hydroxytryptamine, and leukotriene D4 were effective in inducing consistent concentration-dependent contractile responses in both groups. Only 5-hydroxytryptamine and histamine induced significant responses in contractility between groups. The response of bronchial rings from horses with SPAOPD to 5-hydroxytryptamine was significantly greater than those from control horses, whereas the response to histamine was significantly lower. Significant responses were evident at concentrations ranging from 10–6 to 10–4 M for both drugs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Because the airways of horses with SPAOPD had increased responsiveness to 5-hydroxytryptamine in vitro, treatment modalities using 5-hydroxytryptamine antagonists should be investigated to address this phenomenon. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:259–263).

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To correlate clinical score, intrapleural pressure, cytologic findings of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), and histologic lesions of pulmonary tissue in horses affected with summer pasture-associated obstructive pulmonary disease (SPAOPD).

Animals—8 adult horses affected with SPAOPD and 6 adult horses without evidence of respiratory tract disease.

Procedure—Clinical score, change in intrapleural pressure (ΔPpl) during tidal breathing, results of cytologic examination and bacteriologic culture of BALF, and results of histologic examination of pulmonary parenchyma were evaluated.

Results—Clinical scores for SPAOPD-affected horses (median, 5.75; range, 4.0 to 7.5) were significantly greater, compared with clinically normal horses (median, 2.0; range, 2.0 to 3.0). Cytologic examination of BALF from SPAOPD-affected horses revealed predominantly nondegenerate neutrophils. Histologic lesions were identified throughout pulmonary tissue and included severe accumulation of mucus and neutrophils within the small airways, metaplasia of bronchiolar goblet cells, and mild peribronchial infiltrate. Histologic examination of specimens collected via percutaneous biopsy was predictive of disease and corresponded to findings at postmortem examination. Clinical score and δPpl were highly correlated with mucus accumulation in the airways of affected horses. Peribronchial inflammatory infiltrate correlated with percentage of neutrophils in BALF of affected horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Clinical scoring and ΔPpl provided valid estimates of disease severity. Findings from cytologic examination of BALF of SPAOPD-affected horses varied, although, in most instances, it was diagnostically useful. Severe mucus accumulation in the airways was the most remarkable histopathologic finding in SPAOPDaffected horses. Examination of biopsy specimens collected from pulmonary parenchyma was consistently useful in diagnosing SPAOPD. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:167–173)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

SUMMARY

The immunotherapeutic effect of low-dose human alpha interferon on viral shedding and clinical disease was evaluated in horses inoculated with equine herpesvirus- 1 (ehv-1). Eighteen clinically healthy weanling horses, 5 to 7 months old, were allotted to 3 equal groups. Two groups were treated orally with human α-2a interferon (0.22 or 2.2 U/kg of body weight), on days 2 and 1 before inoculation with ehv-1, the day of inoculation, and again on postinoculation day 1. The horses of the remaining group were given a placebo orally on the same days. The horses were monitored daily for changes in body temperature and for clinical signs of respiratory tract disease. Blood and nasal swab specimens were collected daily for virus isolation. Blood was also collected at intervals throughout the monitoring period for evaluation of cbc, serum IgG and IgM concentrations, and antibody titers to ehv-1. Febrile responses, nasal discharge, viral shedding, changes in cbc, and an increase in antibody titers to ehv-1 were noticed in all horses after inoculation. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in mean values of the factors measured between treatment and control groups.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To identify factors associated with abortions during early gestation classified as mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS).

Design—Case-control study.

Animals—324 broodmares from 43 farms in central Kentucky, including 121 mares from 25 farms that had early-term abortions (ETAs) associated with MRLS (case horses), 120 mares from the same farms but that did not abort, and 83 mares from 18 farms that were not severely impacted by MRLS.

Procedure—Farm managers were interviewed to obtain data on various management practices and environmental exposures for the mares. Data for case and control horses were compared to identify risk factors for mares having MRLS-associated ETAs.

Results—Several factors increased the risk of MRLS-associated ETAs, including feeding hay in pasture, greater than usual amounts of white clover in pastures, more eastern tent caterpillars in pastures, abortion during a previous pregnancy, and sighting deer or elk on the premises.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Analysis indicates that certain characteristics of pastures predisposed mares to MRLS-associated ETAs. Methods for limiting exposure to pasture (keeping mares in stalls longer) during environmental conditions similar to those of 2001 (ie, sudden freezing in mid-April following warmer-than-usual springtime temperatures and larger-than-usual numbers of eastern tent caterpillars in and around pastures) should reduce the risk of mares having MRLS-associated ETAs. It was not possible to determine whether exposure to white clover or caterpillars were causal factors for MRLS or were merely indicators of unusual environmental conditions that resulted in exposure of mares to a toxic or infectious agent. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:210–217)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association