To evaluate surfactant protein D (SP-D) concentrations in serum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) from young healthy horses on pasture or housed in a typical barn.
20 young healthy horses.
Horses were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups (pasture, n = 10; barn, 10), and serum and BALF samples were collected for SP-D determination at baseline (all horses on pasture) and 2 weeks and 4 weeks after the barn group of horses was relocated from the pasture to the barn. Other evaluations included physical and tracheoscopic examinations. Findings were compared within and between groups.
Physical and tracheoscopic examinations, CBC, and serum biochemical analysis did not reveal evidence of respiratory disease, and no significant differences were present within and between groups. Serum SP-D concentrations did not significantly differ within and between groups, but BALF SP-D concentrations were significantly lower for the barn group at 2 weeks but not at 4 weeks, compared with baseline. The BALF SP-D concentration-to-BALF total protein concentration ratio was < 1.5 and did not significantly differ within and between groups.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
A mild decrease was evident in the concentration of SP-D in the BALF collected from young healthy horses after 2 weeks of exposure to a barn environment. The clinical importance of this finding remains to be determined.