Hard To Breathe: Are Upper Respiratory Issues Related To Equine Asthma?

Equine asthma (EA) was the focus of a new study out of Poland that sought to determine if horses that suffered from the disease were more likely to have pharyngeal abnormalities in their upper airways during exercise.

Conducted by Dr. Blanka Wysocka of the Warsaw University of Life Sciences and Dr. Kluciński, the study examined both upper and lower airways, both at rest and during work on a treadmill, of 16 horses that did not suffer from equine asthma and 13 horses that did, reports The Horse.

It was determined that horses suffering from EA were more likely to have physical abnormalities of the pharynx during exercise than horses that did not suffer from the disease. This could happen for two reasons: because the air flow through the respiratory tract causes pressure on the pharynx or because a flawed pharynx causes the horse to inhale food, causing inflammation that causes EA.

The scientists determined that 60 percent of the EA horses had changed in their throat during exercise; however only 24 percent of the horses showed abnormalities while at rest. The most common abnormalities were pharyngeal wall collapse and soft palate instability.

Interestingly, almost 70 percent of horses without EA also had issues while exercising, mainly with the larynx. Roaring was the most common issue, but more research is needed to determine why. Wysocka says that additional research is also needed to understand what is causing horses with EA to perform poorly: the upper airway, the lower airway or both.

She recommends owners and caretakers of horses with EA have their animals evaluated for upper airway changes during exercise; if EA treatment doesn’t alleviate the pharynx changes, she suggests owners consider surgery to resolve the upper-airway disorder.

Read more at The Horse.

The post Hard To Breathe: Are Upper Respiratory Issues Related To Equine Asthma? appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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