Institute of Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow, 464 Bearsden Road, Glasgow G61 1QH, UK.
Lower respiratory tract disease in Thoroughbred racehorses: Analysis of endoscopic data from a UK training yard
Article first published online: 5 JAN 2010
2008 EVJ Ltd
Equine Veterinary Journal
Volume 40, Issue 1, pages 7–13, January 2008
How to Cite
RAMZAN, P. H. L., PARKIN, T. D. H. and SHEPHERD, M. C. (2008), Lower respiratory tract disease in Thoroughbred racehorses: Analysis of endoscopic data from a UK training yard. Equine Veterinary Journal, 40: 7–13. doi: 10.2746/042516407X241059
- Issue published online: 5 JAN 2010
- Article first published online: 5 JAN 2010
- [Paper received for publication 18.05.07; Acepted 10.09.07]
Reasons for performing study: There has been much research directed at potential causative agents and the epidemiology of lower respiratory tract disease (LRTD), but few reports of the clinical progression and outcome.
Objectives: To define clinical features of LRTD in racehorses, including association with age and average duration of disease, through the analysis of endoscopic data.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of records from a single training yard of endoscopic examinations undertaken over a 2-year period was performed. Horses were subjected to regular endoscopic examination for a variety of reasons, and all horses placed on antibiotic therapy for lower respiratory tract disease were rescoped following treatment. Data analysed included a 0–8 tracheal mucus score based on visible endoscopic mucus and gross tracheal lavage turbidity, as well as age and treatment duration and type.
Results: A total of 522 endoscopic examinations undertaken on 123 horses and tracking 169 episodes of lower respiratory tract disease were recorded. Mean duration of disease episode was 15.5 days (median = 11 days, range = 4–61 days). Horses age 2 years were significantly more likely than those age ≥3 years to have at least one episode of respiratory disease (P<0.001). There was a direct association between initial tracheal mucus score and rescope score after treatment.
Conclusions: Lower respiratory tract disease was more common in 2-year-olds than in older horses. Affected horses had endoscopic evidence of increased tracheal mucus accumulation for an average of 15.5 days per episode, a considerably shorter period than that suggested by previous studies.
Potential relevance: Endoscopic examinations permit longitudinal tracking of lower respiratory tract disease in Thoroughbred racehorses. A prolonged duration of disease, sometimes extending for months, can be expected in a small proportion of cases, some of which appear to be refractory to treatment. There is a clear need for evidence-based analysis of treatment regimes to assist clinicians in decision making when managing disease in both individual and group situations.