Thursday, August 23, 2007

EHV-5 linked to new Respiratory Disease

There is a new Respiratory disease that presents like "Heaves" in the horse. This condition may have been around for a while but not identified as a separate clinical entity until now.
"Equine multi nodular pulmonary fibrosis is characterized by coalescing nodules (scaring) in the alveoli of the lungs. Clinical signs include a low-grade fever,weight loss and progressive respiratory disease that is often mistaken for heaves or bacterial pneumonia, but doesn't respond to therapy". Dr Kurt Williams DVM Dipl ACVP at Michigan State University connected the disease with EHV-5 when he found viral inclusion bodies in cells obtained of the affected tissue. As of now it is not known if this is a new variant of EHV-5 or the common strain. Corticosteroids are the treatment of choice but an accurate diagnosis is required since steroids could make bacterial or fungal pneumonia worse. The diagnosis is made via a bronchial alveolar lavage (BAL) and percutaneous lung biopsy. A paper on 24 cases will be published this year in Veterinary Pathology.

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