Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in horses in Louisiana

Thomas L. Seahorn From the Departments of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (Seahorn, Beadle) and Epidemiology and Community Health (Groves, Harrington), School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

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 DVM, MS
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Michael G. Groves From the Departments of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (Seahorn, Beadle) and Epidemiology and Community Health (Groves, Harrington), School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

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Kathleen S. Harrington From the Departments of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (Seahorn, Beadle) and Epidemiology and Community Health (Groves, Harrington), School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

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Ralph E. Beadle From the Departments of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (Seahorn, Beadle) and Epidemiology and Community Health (Groves, Harrington), School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.

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Objective—

To evaluate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease of horses in Louisiana by assessing the signalment, history, environmental factors, clinical signs, and treatment of such horses.

Design—

Epidemiologic mail survey.

Sample Population—

83 of 240 veterinarians contacted by mail agreed to take part in the survey. Veterinarians contacted were listed as mixed-animal or equine practitioners in the 1991/1992 directory of the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association or had submitted a specimen from a horse to the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory within the past 2 years.

Procedure—

The survey contained 47 questions designed to elicit information from owners and veterinarians about horses reported to have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Questions were included to evaluate age, breed, sex, vaccination history, respiratory disease history, environment of primary activity, level of exercise, primary residence (pasture or stall), condition of pasture or barn, type and condition of feed, clinical signs, concurrent conditions, and treatment regimen prescribed. Information from the returned forms was analyzed by using a microcomputer program designed for epidemiologic data.

Results—

Of the 83 veterinarians who agreed to participate, 31 returned 71 completed questionnaires for horses affected with COPD. Most affected horses were mature in age, kept on pasture, and had developed clinical signs during the summer months. The most consistent clinical signs were dry coughing, slight serous nasal discharge, labored expiratory effort, and flaring nostrils.

Clinical Implications—

Summer pasture-associated obstructive pulmonary disease appears to be precipitated by factors different than those associated with the traditionally diagnosed form of COPD and, thus, successful management measures may also vary. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;208:248-251)

Objective—

To evaluate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease of horses in Louisiana by assessing the signalment, history, environmental factors, clinical signs, and treatment of such horses.

Design—

Epidemiologic mail survey.

Sample Population—

83 of 240 veterinarians contacted by mail agreed to take part in the survey. Veterinarians contacted were listed as mixed-animal or equine practitioners in the 1991/1992 directory of the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association or had submitted a specimen from a horse to the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory within the past 2 years.

Procedure—

The survey contained 47 questions designed to elicit information from owners and veterinarians about horses reported to have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Questions were included to evaluate age, breed, sex, vaccination history, respiratory disease history, environment of primary activity, level of exercise, primary residence (pasture or stall), condition of pasture or barn, type and condition of feed, clinical signs, concurrent conditions, and treatment regimen prescribed. Information from the returned forms was analyzed by using a microcomputer program designed for epidemiologic data.

Results—

Of the 83 veterinarians who agreed to participate, 31 returned 71 completed questionnaires for horses affected with COPD. Most affected horses were mature in age, kept on pasture, and had developed clinical signs during the summer months. The most consistent clinical signs were dry coughing, slight serous nasal discharge, labored expiratory effort, and flaring nostrils.

Clinical Implications—

Summer pasture-associated obstructive pulmonary disease appears to be precipitated by factors different than those associated with the traditionally diagnosed form of COPD and, thus, successful management measures may also vary. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;208:248-251)

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