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  • Author or Editor: Laurent L. Couetil x
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Abstract

Objective—To estimate the association between climate and airborne pollen and fungal factors and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in horses.

Sample Population—Data from 1,444 horses with a diagnosis of COPD.

Procedure—The Veterinary Medical Database was used to identify records of horses admitted to veterinary teaching hospitals in the United States and Canada between 1990 and 1999. Rainfall, mean minimum and maximum temperature, and maximum monthly pollen and fungal spore (mold) counts recorded at the city closest to where the hospital is located were identified for each month data were reported to the Veterinary Medical Database. Associations between climatic and aeroallergen data and monthly prevalence of COPD were estimated by use of crosscorrelation and logistic regression models.

Results—Significant positive correlations were found between prevalence of COPD and rainfall 3 months previously, minimum temperature 1 and 2 months previously, total pollen counts measured 3 months previously, and total mold counts measured during the same month and 1 month previously.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Outdoor aeroallergens and climatic factors may contribute to the occurrence of COPD in horses. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:818–824)

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

Abstract

Objective—To determine the degree of agreement between 2 analyzers for measurement of total CO2 concentration (ctCO2) in equine plasma.

Animals—6 healthy untrained horses, 6 trained Standardbreds undergoing a simulated race protocol, and 135 trained Standardbreds at a racetrack.

Procedures—Jugular venous blood samples were obtained from all horses. Two analyzers (commonly used analyzer A and less expensive analyzer B) were used to measure plasma ctCO2 in each sample. Validation of both analyzers was conducted in accordance with guidelines established by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute and involved characterization of linearity, total analytic error, and bias estimation.

Results—Total analytic error (instrument SD) was 0.58 mmol/L (coefficient of variation, 1.6%) and 0.49 mmol/L (coefficient of variation, 1.4%) for analyzers A and B, respectively, when measuring an aqueous standard containing 36.0 mmol of CO2/L. A 1 g/L decrease in plasma protein concentration corresponded to an increase in ctCO2 measured with analyzer B of 0.065 mmol/L. A difference plot indicated that analyzer B produced values 2.7% higher than analyzer A for 103 samples from the 6 trained and exercised Standardbreds (mean plasma protein concentration, 67 g/L).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Analyzer B provided adequate precision and linearity for measurement of ctCO2 from 5 to 40 mmol/L and was therefore suitable for measuring ctCO2 in equine plasma, provided allowances are made for changes in plasma protein concentration.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To identify risk factors for recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) among horses examined at veterinary teaching hospitals in North America.

Design—Retrospective case-control study.

Animals—1,444 horses with RAO and 1,444 control horses examined for other reasons.

Procedure—The Veterinary Medical Database was searched for records of horses in which RAO was diagnosed. A control group was identified by randomly selecting a horse with a diagnosis other than RAO that matched the institution and year of admission for each of the horses with RAO. Information obtained included hospital, admission year and month, age, sex, breed, and discharge status. The association between risk factors and diagnosis of RAO was estimated with logistic regression models.

Results—The risk of RAO increased significantly with age, with horses ≥ 7 years old being 6 to 7 times as likely to have RAO as were horses ≤ 4 years old. Thoroughbreds were 3 times as likely to have RAO as were ponies. Horses were 1.6 and 1.5 times as likely to be examined because of RAO during winter and spring, respectively, than they were during summer.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that RAO was more likely to be diagnosed in females, horses ≥ 4 years old, and Thoroughbreds and that RAO has a seasonal distribution. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1645–1650)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the association among clinical signs, results of cytologic evaluation of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, and measures of pulmonary function in horses with inflammatory respiratory disease.

Animals—9 healthy horses, 5 horses with inflammatory airway disease (IAD), and 9 horses with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Procedure—Clinical examination, lung function tests, and BAL were performed on each horse.

Results—Standard lung mechanics of horses with exacerbated COPD differed significantly from those of healthy horses; however, there were few differences among horses with IAD, horses with COPD during remission, and healthy horses. Most variables for forced expiration (FE) in horses with COPD or IAD differed significantly from those for healthy horses. Results of clinical examination had low to moderate sensitivity and predictive values for a diagnosis of COPD (range, 67 to 80%). Results of FE tests had high sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values for a diagnosis of COPD (79 to 100%), and results of standard lung mechanics tests had low sensitivity and predictive values (22 to 69%). Percentage of neutrophils in BAL fluid was highly sensitive (100%) but moderately specific (64%) for a diagnosis of COPD.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Clinical examination is moderately accurate for establishing a diagnosis of COPD. Forced expiration tests can specifically detect early signs of airway obstruction in horses with COPD and IAD that may otherwise be inapparent. Cytologic evaluation of BAL fluid allows early detection of inflammatory respiratory disease, but it is not specific for COPD. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62: 538–546)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether plasma total CO2 concentrations would vary with the size of the evacuated tube used to collect blood samples.

Design—Randomized crossover study.

Animals—Convenience sample of 20 healthy adult horses.

Procedures—Jugular venous blood was collected from horses in random order into 8 types of evacuated tubes: 2-mL glass, 2- or 3-mL plastic or plastic plasma separator, 4- or 6-mL plastic, and 10-mL glass or plastic. Total CO2 concentrations in plasma were measured with a biochemistry analyzer. Data were analyzed via repeated-measures ANOVA and multivariate regression.

Results—The air volume-to-blood volume ratio was significantly higher and consequently, plasma total CO2 concentration was significantly lower when blood was collected into 2-mL glass tubes and 2- or 3-mL plastic tubes than when the other 5 types of evacuated tubes were used. Concentrations in the other tube types were statistically equivalent. A linear relationship was detected between total CO2 concentration and air volume–to–blood volume ratio.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Blood samples should be collected into evacuated tubes with a small air volume–to–blood volume ratio whenever an accurate estimate of plasma total CO2 concentration is required.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether administration of glucocorticoids provides additional benefits to environmental management of horses with recurrent airway obstruction (RAO).

Animals—28 horses with RAO.

Procedure—Horses were classified as having mild, moderate, or severe RAO. Within each category, horses were randomly assigned to receive inhaled fluticasone propionate, inhaled control substance, or oral administration of prednisone. During the 4- week study, horses were maintained outdoors and fed a pelleted feed. Clinical scores, pulmonary function, results of cytologic examination of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), and adrenal gland function were determined before and 2 and 4 weeks after initiation of treatment.

Results—Clinical score and pulmonary function of all RAO-affected horses improved during the treatment period. After 4 weeks, clinical scores and pulmonary function of horses treated with a glucocorticoid were not different from those for the control treatment. In horses with severe RAO, treatment with fluticasone for 2 weeks resulted in significantly greater improvement in pulmonary function, compared with pulmonary function after treatment with prednisone or the control substance. Treatment with a glucocorticoid for 4 weeks and a low-dust environment did not have any effect on cellular content of BALF. Treatment with prednisone for 2 weeks resulted in a significant decrease in serum cortisol concentration, compared with concentrations after administration of fluticasone or the control substance.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Environmental management is the most important factor in the treatment of horses with RAO. Early treatment with inhaled fluticasone can help accelerate recovery of horses with severe RAO. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1665–1674)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objectives—To assess methods of detecting environmental contamination with Salmonella organisms and evaluate a cleaning and disinfection protocol for horse stalls in a veterinary teaching hospital.

Design—Original study.

Sample Population—37 horses with diarrhea likely to be caused by Salmonella infection and their stall environments.

Procedures—Fecal samples were collected from horses daily during hospitalization; samples were obtained from stall sites after cleaning and application of disinfectants. Fecal and environmental samples were cultured for Salmonella spp and tested via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay to detect Salmonella DNA.

Results—1 horse died and 2 were discharged prior to sample collection. Fecal samples from 9 of 34 horses yielded growth of Salmonella organisms on bacteriologic culture, and 23 yielded positive results via PCR assay on ≥ 1 occasion. Among environmental samples from 21 stalls, salmonellae were detected at ≥ 1 stall site on 6 of 78 occasions, and ≥ 1 stall site yielded positive results via PCR assay on 69 of 77 occasions. Salmonella DNA was detected more frequently in samples of stall drains, cracks, and corners. Salmonella spp were cultured from samples of 3 stalls after both initial and second cleaning and disinfection cycles, but no organisms were detected in samples obtained after use of a peroxygen disinfectant.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that stalls in which horses with salmonellosis were housed should only be used to accommodate newly hospitalized horses after samples (collected after 2 cycles of cleaning and disinfection) from drains, cracks, and corners yield negative results on bacteriologic culture. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1640–1644)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association