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Abstract

Equine pastern dermatitis (EPD) is a nonspecific cutaneous reaction pattern on the distal extremities, typically in the palmar/plantar area of the pastern. Although EPD is commonly seen in equine practice and can be a debilitating condition, peer-reviewed original studies on many aspects of this multifactorial syndrome are still scarce. This narrative review aims to give an overview of the clinical presentation (forms of EPD and clinical scores and differential diagnoses), risk factors, and therapeutic approaches. The emphasis is on intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors as most of the original work has been published on these aspects. The available data supports the effects of age, breed, and breed-related phenotypical traits (draft breeds with feathers and large cannon circumference) on the frequency and severity of EPD manifestations. Hind legs and unpigmented limbs are also more frequently affected. Genetic effects in draft breeds appear to be complex, and no commercial genetic tests currently exist. Evidence for meteorological effects like rainfall and humidity is inconclusive. Associations with Chorioptes infestation and bacterial microbiota imbalances but not with fungal infections have been consistently shown. Causality has not been demonstrated for specific infectious agents. Original studies have investigated the effects of antibacterial agents (Kunzea oil, phytosphingosines, and triclosan), fatty acids, aromatic oils, and humectants as well as therapeutic approaches to Chorioptes infestation in EPD-affected equids. While therapy remains largely empirical, knowledge of investigated risk factors for this multifactorial syndrome can inform diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Raising owner awareness of EPD could be key to improving the welfare of affected horses.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To investigate whether volumetric capnography indices could be used to differentiate between horses without recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) and horses with RAO that were in clinical remission or that had clinically apparent RAO.

Animals—70 adult Swiss Warmblood horses (20 used for pleasure riding and 50 used for dressage or show jumping).

Procedure—Horses were allocated to 4 groups on the basis of history, clinical signs, results of endoscopy, and cytologic findings (group 1, 21 healthy horses; group 2, 22 horses with RAO that were in remission; group 3, 16 horses with mild RAO; group 4, 11 horses with exacerbated RAO). Expiratory volume and CO2 curves were recorded by use of a computerized ultrasonic spirometer. Volumetric capnograms were plotted, and derived indices were calculated.

Results—Dead-space volume (VD) was calculated by use of the Bohr equation (VDBohr) and for physiologic VD (VDphys). Ratios for VDBohr to expiratory tidal volume (VT) and VDphys to VT as well as an index of effective CO2 elimination were significantly different among groups of horses. Age and use of the horses also significantly affected volumetric capnography indices.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Ratios of VDBohr to VT and VDphys to VT as well as an index of effective CO2 elimination were sufficiently sensitive measures to distinguish between healthy horses and horses with RAO in remission. To optimize the ability of volumetric capnography indices to differentiate among horses in heterogeneous populations, it is important to account for effects of age and specific use of the horses. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:338–345)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine whether hypertension, high sympathetic tone, resting and exercising arrhythmias, and echocardiographic changes consistent with hypertensive cardiomyopathy were associated with equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) in ponies.

DESIGN Prospective case-control study.

ANIMALS 19 privately owned ponies with a diagnosis of EMS (history of laminitis, body condition score ≥ 7/9, cresty neck score ≥ 3/5, and abnormal oral sugar test result; cases) and 20 healthy control ponies.

PROCEDURES Heart rate (HR), noninvasively measured arterial blood pressure (BP), markers of autonomic tone (splenic volume and HR variability), 24-hour and exercising ECGs, and echocardiograms were compared between cases and controls.

RESULTS Compared with controls, cases had a higher mean ± SD HR (44.5 ± 7.5 beats/min vs 38.6 ± 6.8 beats/min) and median mean left ventricular wall thickness (2.0 cm vs 1.8 cm). No differences were identified between groups in BP, splenic volume, HR variability, and number of premature complexes in ECGs. Mean wall thickness was correlated with BP (r = 0.54), high-frequency power (r = −0.71), and ratio of low-to high-frequency power (φ = 0.66). Relative wall thickness was correlated with serum insulin concentration (r = 0.71).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Ponies with EMS had myocardial hypertrophy that was correlated with insulin response to an oral sugar test, sympathetic and parasympathetic tone, and BP. The heterogeneity and limited sample size of this preliminary study should be considered when drawing conclusions. Cardiovascular changes associated with this syndrome deserve further attention.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association