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EIPH

Beverly Gray

Seeing the Whole Horse, Not Just the Obvious Problem

The most urgent situation is always the one at hand, or in sight, right there and then.  We have to attend to emergency situations, whether if that is an acute lameness, injury, wound, health ailment or even colic situation.  They are dire, in most situations, and must be dealt with accordingly, however, once through that crisis situation, we need to step back and really look at the big picture, hopefully isolating or honing in on the cause of why things happened or developed.  This often entails looking past the obvious problems at hand, whether if that be a lameness or even a health situation, looking deeper and hopefully arriving at insight and wisdom.  Can we do this?  As easy at is sounds, it is not generally well accepted to look beyond the obvious problem at hand. Certainly a challenge for many horse owners, people themselves or even veterinarians.

NOSE BLEED EIPH horse

Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage in the Horse

EIPH or exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage is unfortunately a common condition in equine athletes, affecting upwards of 40% of race horses and an estimated 62% of QH’s involved in racing, including other disciplines such as barrel racing.2  It is one of the main causes of decreased performance and also one of the more common respiratory problems found in competitive equine athletes, especially when involving epistaxis or nasal bleeding.  EIPH can be very frustrating for some trainers, due to the fact that a specific cause in each case is often not determined and response to therapies can decrease over time.  In many instances, the equine athletes are able to maintain higher levels of performance, while other are forced to retire.  As with many equine health conditions, with a better understanding, sometimes we can implement therapy options to improve the outcomes, helping to keep performance to a high level.

Why Does My Horse Cough?

The equine athlete and non-athlete are often plagued with coughing, which can inhibit quality of life and reduce performance. Coughing can be sporadic, changing in intensity as the environment changes or it can be continuous, becoming worse or more prominent at the time of exertion as seen during competition.  Some coughs even get worse with certain seasons, becoming progressive over time. So, what makes them cough and what can we do about it?

Respiratory Disease in the Horse

Anyone that has owned a horse has probably experienced respiratory disease in some shape or fashion.  Much the same as humans, horses are prone to developing upper respiratory infections due to viral and bacterial invasion, but the two most common and troubling conditions affecting horses in today’s industry is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (reactive airway disease) and exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH).  Being a veterinarian working on horses, I have certainly encountered my fair share of COPD patients as well as EIPH athletes and feel a times that these conditions are becoming more prevalent.