Professor Mayhew is currently affiliated with Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. This work was done at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh. The findings of this study were presented in abstract form at the 3rd European College of Equine Internal Medicine Congress in Barcelona, January 2009.
Retrospective Evaluation of Episodic Collapse in the Horse in a Referred Population: 25 Cases (1995–2009)
Article first published online: 12 OCT 2010
Copyright © 2010 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Volume 24, Issue 6, pages 1498–1502, November/December 2010
How to Cite
Lyle, C.H., Turley, G., Blissitt, K.J., Pirie, R.S., Mayhew, I.G., McGorum, B.C. and Keen, J.A. (2010), Retrospective Evaluation of Episodic Collapse in the Horse in a Referred Population: 25 Cases (1995–2009). Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 24: 1498–1502. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2010.0610.x
- Issue published online: 3 NOV 2010
- Article first published online: 12 OCT 2010
- Submitted March 11, 2010; Revised May 14, 2010; Accepted August 27, 2010.
Background: Episodic collapse in horses has equine welfare and human safety implications. There are, however, no published case series describing this syndrome.
Objectives: To characterize the cause and outcomes for horses referred for investigation of episodic collapse.
Animals: Twenty-five horses referred for investigation of single or multiple episodes of collapse.
Methods: Retrospective study. Clinical records from the Dick Vet Equine Hospital, University of Edinburgh from November 1995 to July 2009 were searched using the following keywords: collapse, collapsing, fall, syncope. Collapse was defined as an incident in which the horse lost postural tone with or without progression to recumbency and with or without loss of consciousness. Long-term follow-up information was obtained by telephone conversation with the owner.
Results: A final diagnosis was reached in 11 cases, namely cardiac arrhythmia (4), right-sided heart failure (1), hypoglycemia (2), generalized seizures (2), and sleep disorder (2). A presumptive diagnosis was reached in 8 cases, namely neurocardiogenic syncope (5), exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (2), and generalized seizures (1). No diagnosis was reached in 6 cases despite comprehensive investigations. Three horses were euthanized at presentation. Treatment was attempted in 9 horses with 6 cases having successful outcome before discharge. Follow-up information was available for 14 of 19 horses discharged from the hospital. Only 1 of these horses was observed to collapse after discharge.
Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Definitive diagnosis was more likely to be reached in cases with multiple episodes of collapse. Horses in which 1 episode of collapse occurred did not necessarily collapse again.