Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Heart: failure - overview

Synonym(s): Heart failure, Cardiac failure

Contributor(s): Karen Blissit, Karen Blissitt, Lesley Young

Introduction

Definition

Overview

  • In most cases of equine cardiac disease, specific therapy   Heart: failure - treatment  is not indicated and management is aimed at periodic monitoring of cardiac function, advice and client education to ensure horse and rider safety.
  • Most equine patients with moderate to severe cardiac dysfunction remain asymptomatic for extended periods of time because the impairment of heart function is mild, and the reduced cardiac performance is balanced by the neuro-endocrine compensatory mechanisms.  
  • On the very rare occasion treatment is indicated, eg bacterial endocarditis   Heart: endocarditis  or pericardial effusion, it must be initiated early to prevent further damage to cardiac structures or development of cardiac failure.
  • Treatment of horses in heart failure   Heart: failure - treatment   is usually both uneconomic and unethical; however, in some cases heart failure can be controlled to enable the horse to breed successfully or maintain acceptable quality of life
  • In other cases it may be necessary to control heart failure to allow the primary lesion to be identified and treated or to allow an accurate diagnosis of the cause and estimation of the severity of the underlying condition.

Cause

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Pathogenesis

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Clinical signs

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Diagnosis

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Prognosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Davis J L, Gardner S Y, Schwabenton B & Breuhaus B A (2002) Congestive heart failure in horses: 14 cases (1984-2001). JAVMA 220 (10), 1512-1515 PubMed.


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