Evaluation of poor performance in the equine athlete (Proceedings)

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Evaluation of poor performance in the equine athlete (Proceedings)

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Aug 01, 2008

Common sources of poor performance

• Lameness

• Upper airway

• Lower airway

• Cardiac

• Myopathy

• Or any combination of the above

Incidences of causes of poor performance

• Morris EA et al (EVJ 1991;23:169-174)

o 275 racehorses

o 84% had more than one problem

o 40% dx with airway obstruction

• Martin BB et al (JAVMA 2000:216(4):554-558)

o Definitive diagnosis only in 73.5%

o 43% dynamic airway obstruction

o 22% clinically important arrhythmias

o 15% had concurrent airway obstruction

o 7% rhabdomyolyis

o 10% lameness

o 36% subclinical myopathy

• Wilsher S et al (EVJ 2006:38(2) 113-118)

o Musculoskeletal problems

• 55% of 2 year olds

• 45% of 3 year olds

• Sore shins the most common problem (29%, 12%)

o Respiratory problems

• 16% of 2 year olds

• 13% of 3 year olds

• IAD the most common problem (13%, 8%)

• Inflammatory airway disease

o 22-50% incidence

o Neutrophilic inflammation in bronchi, bronchioles, and trachea

o Tracheal mucus accumulation

o BAL

• total nucleated cells

• Total and % neutrophils

• Total and % lymphocytes

• Mast cells

• Eosinophils

o TTW = neutrophilic inflammation

o Associated with EIPH, environmental exposure to respiratory irritants, specific bacteria

Diagnostics for poor performance

• Field diagnostics

• High speed treadmill exam

Upper airway

• Resting endoscopy

• Nasal occlusion

o Achieves pharyngeal and tracheal pressures consistent with maximal exercise (Holcombe SJ et al AJVR 1996 Sep;57(9):1258-60)

• Treadmill endoscopy

• Field exercising endoscopy

• Evaluation of poor performance

Lower airway

• Disorders include:

o Inflammatory Airway Disease (IAD)

o Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH)

• Diagnostics

o Bronchoalveolar lavage

• 100-250 ml of sterile fluids drawn up into 60cc syringes