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Equine practice
Diagnosis and treatment of equine pleuropneumonia
  1. Victoria Copas

Abstract

Pleuropneumonia has been reported in horses since the early 20th century. The predominant risk factor is transportation, which compromises lower respiratory tract defences. Hence, competition horses and racing thoroughbreds are predisposed to the condition. The highest survival rates for equine pleuropneumonia are achieved following prompt recognition and rapid initiation of treatment. With appropriate medical and surgical therapy, the prognosis for horses with pleuropneumonia is favourable, with reported survival rates ranging from between 43 and 76 per cent. Many thoroughbreds that recover return to racing, and a large proportion go on to win at least one race. This article describes the diagnosis and treatment of equine pleuropneumonia, and highlights how to deal with some specific complications that might arise in rare cases.

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