Mobile Equine Veterinary Service

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Dr. Porter @ 352-258-3571
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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Allergic Airway Disease in horses.

In the past 30 days (July 8 - August 8) I have examined 10 horses for the complaint of coughing and poor performance. The horses have ranged in age from 8 to 19 years of age. There has been no commonality with regards to sex or breed. However, they all live in Florida and it is the hottest month of the year!  Through a series of diagnostics which include a re-breathing exam, upper airway endoscopy, and trans-tracheal wash, all 10 horses have been diagnosed with allergic airway disease (AKA: heaves or COPD). None of these horses had previously been diagnosed with this condition. 
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Upper trachea with large amounts of sputum present.

Lower trachea with thickened mucosa due to chronic inflammation

Allergic airway disease in horses typically results in coughing, increased respiratory effort, increased "abdominal" breathing, exercise intolerance and weight loss. If not managed properly, the condition worsens from year to year and can result in the death of the horse!! I have posted a blog previously discussing this disease and how it should be diagnosed and treated. Please click on the link below to read my blog from last year regarding this condition.

Allergic Airway Disease in a Horse



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