Prognosis for return to racing after recovery from infectious pleuropneumonia in Thoroughbred racehorses: 70 cases (1984–1989)

Krista L. Seltzer From Hagyard-Davidson-McGee, PSC, 4250 Iron Works Pike, Lexington, KY 40511.

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T. Douglas Byars From Hagyard-Davidson-McGee, PSC, 4250 Iron Works Pike, Lexington, KY 40511.

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Objective

To determine the percentage of Thoroughbred racehorses that would be capable of racing performance after recovery from infectious pleuropneumonia.

Design

Retrospective case series.

Animals

70 Thoroughbred horses that had recovered from pleuropneumonia. Only horses ≤ 5 years old and horses > 5 years old known to be in race training at the time of illness were included in the study.

Results

Forty-three of the 70 (61%) horses raced after recovery, and 24 of the 43 (56%) won at least 1 race. Horses that required placement of an indwelling thoracic drain apparently did not have a worse prognosis than did horses that did not require placement of a drain. The prognosis for racing for horses that developed pleuropneumonia-associated complications (pulmonary abscess, cranial thoracic mass, bronchopleural fistula) was worse than the prognosis for horses that did not develop these complications. Duration of hospitalization was not considered indicative of outcome.

Clinical Implications

In Thoroughbreds, the prognosis for return to racing after recovery from uncomplicated pleuropneumonia appears to be good. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;208:1295–1296)

Objective

To determine the percentage of Thoroughbred racehorses that would be capable of racing performance after recovery from infectious pleuropneumonia.

Design

Retrospective case series.

Animals

70 Thoroughbred horses that had recovered from pleuropneumonia. Only horses ≤ 5 years old and horses > 5 years old known to be in race training at the time of illness were included in the study.

Results

Forty-three of the 70 (61%) horses raced after recovery, and 24 of the 43 (56%) won at least 1 race. Horses that required placement of an indwelling thoracic drain apparently did not have a worse prognosis than did horses that did not require placement of a drain. The prognosis for racing for horses that developed pleuropneumonia-associated complications (pulmonary abscess, cranial thoracic mass, bronchopleural fistula) was worse than the prognosis for horses that did not develop these complications. Duration of hospitalization was not considered indicative of outcome.

Clinical Implications

In Thoroughbreds, the prognosis for return to racing after recovery from uncomplicated pleuropneumonia appears to be good. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;208:1295–1296)

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