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  • Author or Editor: Elizabeth G. Davis x
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Objective—To assess pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of dexamethasone administered PO as a solution or powder, compared with properties of dexamethasone solution administered IV, in apparently healthy horses.

Animals—6 adult horses.

Procedures—Serum cortisol concentration for each horse was determined before each treatment (baseline values). Dexamethasone (0.05 mg/kg) was administered PO (in solution or powdered form) or IV (solution) to horses from which feed had or had not been withheld (unfed and fed horses, respectively). Each horse received all 6 treatments in random order at 2-week intervals; PO and IV administrations of dexamethasone were accompanied by IV or PO sham treatments, respectively. Plasma dexamethasone and serum cortisol concentrations were assessed at predetermined intervals.

Results—Maximum plasma dexamethasone concentration after PO administration of powdered dexamethasone in unfed horses was significantly higher than the maximum plasma concentration after PO administration of dexamethasone solution in unfed or fed horses. Mean bioavailability of dexamethasone ranged from 28% to 66% but was not significantly different among horses receiving either formulation PO in the unfed or fed state. After dexamethasone treatment PO or IV, serum cortisol concentrations were significantly less than baseline at 1 to 72 hours in unfed horses and at 2 to 48 hours in fed horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—PO or IV administration of dexamethasone resulted in suppression of cortisol secretion in unfed and fed adult horses; the magnitude of suppression did not differ among treatment groups, and serum cortisol concentrations returned to baseline after 48 to 72 hours.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate clinical response, pulmonary function, and adrenal gland response to incremental doses of beclomethasone dipropionate in horses with recurrent airway obstruction.

Design—Crossover trial.

Animals—8 horses with recurrent airway obstruction.

Procedure—Horses randomly assigned to 4 groups were treated twice daily via aerosol administration of placebo or 500, 1,000, or 1,500 µg of beclomethasone dipropionate in a crossover design with a 10-day minimum washout period. Subjective assessment of airway obstruction, serum cortisol concentration, and maximum change in pleural pressure during tidal breathing (ΔPplmax) were determined daily prior to morning drug administration, and ΔPplmax was reevaluated 15 minutes after morning drug administration. Pulmonary resistance and dynamic compliance were determined at baseline and approximately 12 hours after the final treatment.

Results—An immediate treatment effect was not identified. Within 24 hours, ΔPplmax and airway obstruction were lower in horses receiving beclomethasone. Onset and magnitude of response was similar among the 3 beclomethasone dose regimens. Pulmonary resistance was improved only after administration of all 3 doses of beclomethasone, whereas dynamic compliance was improved after administration of 1,000 µg and 1,500 µg of beclomethasone. Reduction in serum cortisol concentration occurred with all 3 beclomethasone dose regimens; however, the magnitude of adrenal gland suppression was greater in horses receiving 1,000 or 1,500 µg of beclomethasone.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Low-dose (500 µg) beclomethasone administration caused similar improvement in pulmonary function, compared with high-dose beclomethasone (1,000 and 1,500 µg), with the exception of dynamic compliance, and caused less suppression of endogenous cortisol production. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:359–364)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine hyaluronan concentrations in peritoneal fluid from healthy horses and horses with sudden signs of severe abdominal pain and to identify the cellular sources of hyaluronan within the peritoneal cavity.

Animals—7 client-owned horses that were evaluated for sudden signs of severe abdominal pain, 6 healthy teaching horses, and 13 euthanized horses (11 with no abdominal disease and 2 that had undergone abdominal surgery 2 weeks previously for a different study).

Procedures—Abdominal fluid was collected from the client-owned and teaching horses. Hyaluronan concentrations were determined with an ELISA. Equine mesothelial cells were aseptically harvested from euthanized horses immediately after euthanasia, cultured, and processed for western blot immunoassays to detect expression of the following mesothelial cell markers: cytokeratins 8 and 18, vimentin, calretinin, mesothelin, and CD44. A reverse transcriptase–PCR assay was used to detect genetic expression of hyaluronan synthase-2 (HAS-2) from cultured and native equine tissue.

Results—The mean ± SD abdominal hyaluronan concentration in peritoneal fluid from horses with signs of abdominal pain (1,203.3 ± 46.3 ng/mL) was significantly greater than that in healthy horses (228.4 ± 167.3 ng/mL). Harvested cells were maintained, and immunoblotting analyses confirmed expression of the mesothelial markers. Gene expression of HAS-2 from cultured mesothelial cells and fibroblasts was confirmed.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Peritoneal hyaluronan concentration was much higher in horses with severe abdominal pain than in healthy horses. Cultured equine mesothelial cells and fibroblasts can produce hyaluronan through HAS-2. Future investigation should focus on establishing the effect of exogenous hyaluronan administration on mesothelial cell function in horses with abdominal disease.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research