Equis ISSN 2398-2977
Lung: pneumonia - bacterial
Contributor(s): Christopher Brown, Kate Hepworth-Warren, Timothy Mair, Nicola Menzies-Gow, Graham Munroe, Colin Roberts
Pulmonary abscessation and bacterial pneumonia
- Variable but can include:
- Increased respiratory effort.
- Thoracic pain.
- Submandibular lymphadenopathy.
- Purulent nasal discharge.
- Foul smelling breath and nasal discharge.
- Standing with elbows abducted
- Other signs consistent with endotoxemia.
- Viral infection, eg EHV-1, EIV:
- May impair immune defenses against bacteria invasion of lower airways.
- Long distance transportation:
- Prolonged periods of time with the horse's head tied up precludes them being able to lower their head to clear the airways of dust and debris.
- Inflammatory diseases of the lower airways (inflammatory airway disease, recurrent airway obstruction).
- Esophageal impaction leading to aspiration:
- Feed and saliva can be aspirated into the lungs during esophageal impaction.
Most common causative organisms
- Infection often polymicrobial.
Increasing respiratory depth by occluding the nares or the use of a rebreathing bag will increase lung noise thus aiding detection of abnormalities.
- Viral respiratory infection (EHV-1, EIV).
- Inflammatory airway disease.
- Recurrent airway disease.
- Pulmonary neoplasia.
- Initial antibiotic therapy Therapeutics: antimicrobials should be selected based on results of a Gram stained smear of tracheal secretions.
- Alternatively broad spectrum antibiotic therapy should be chosen.
- Subsequent antibiotic therapy should be based on the results of bacterial culture.
- NSAIDs (flunixin meglumine Flunixin meglumine , phenylbutazone Phenylbutazone ).
- Supportive care:
- Large pulmonary abscessation Lung: abscess may require surgical removal.
Print off the Owner factsheet on Respiratory problems in your horse to give to your clients.
- Pulmonary abscessation and severe bacterial pneumonia are associated with a high mortality rate necessitating early diagnosis and aggressive treatment.
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