Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Lung: pulmonary edema - treatment and management

Contributor(s): Diana M Hassel, Gayle Hallowell, Nicola Menzies-Gow

Introduction

  • Pulmonary edema is rarely something that is seen as a primary event in the horse. It is usually secondary to other diseases.
  • Depending on the cause, this can be a treatable condition as long as it is recognized promptly.
  • Clinical signs include:
    • Shallow respiration rate and an increased respiratory rate and effort.
    • Crackles and wheezes may be audible on thoracic auscultation or distended jugular veins may be visible/increased jugular pulse height with primary cardiac abnormalities.
    • In addition frothy pink to clear fluid may be visible at the nostrils or is audible within the trachea. 
  • Blood gas analysis Blood: gas analysis reveals respiratory acidosis Acid-base imbalance with hypoxemia and hypercapnia.
  • Radiographs Thorax: radiography show a hazy interstitial pattern with cuffing around the bronchi and obvious blood vessels. If the edema is due to pulmonary disease, changes with that may obscure the classical radiographic appearance of edema.

Pathophysiology

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Management and treatment

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Conclusions

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Senior M (2005) Post-anesthetic pulmonary edema in horses: a review. Vet Anesthesia Analgesia 32, 193-200 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Smith B D (2003) Large Animal Internal Medicine. 3rd edn. Mosby.


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