Equine pericarditis

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Equine Pericarditis

Pericarditis

Equine pericarditis is the inflammation (swelling and irritation) of the horse's pericardium (a fibrous tissue that surrounds and protects the heart). The condition can present as acute (sudden and short-lived) and chronic (persistent over long periods).

Equine pericarditis can be idiopathic or it can be the result of a viral or bacterial infection, trauma, tumor, or immune-mediated condition. Clinical signs vary depending on the severity, cause, age of the horse, and overall health.

Symptoms

Exercise intolerance
Depression
Fever
Loss of appetite
Jugular vein distension
abdominal swelling
Lethargy
Reluctance to move

Diagnosis

  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Laboratory tests
  • Ultrasonography
  • Echocardiography
  • Laboratory tests
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Radiography

Treatment


TreatmentDetails
Broad-spectrum antibiotics
NSAIDs
Pericardiocentesis
Pericardial lavage
Surgical drainage of effusion with one or twice daily lavage
Local and systemic anticoagulation to reduce development of fibrin deposits
Surgery
Euthanasia

Prognosis

The prognosis depends on the cause of the condition.

Scientific Research References

Good Overviews