Acta Vet. Brno 2013, 82: 309-316

Exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage in horses – review

Gabriel Morán1, Hugo Folch2

1Universidad Austral de Chile, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Department of Pharmacology, Valdivia, Chile
2Universidad Austral de Chile, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Immunology, Valdivia, Chile

Exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage is a major cause of poor performance in the equine athlete. It is an important cause of exercise intolerance and results from strenuous exercise and pathophysiological changes in the equine lung and possibly in the airways. Endoscopic surveys of the respiratory tracts of horses after competitive events have shown that many horses experience exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage. The reported incidence of exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage in different breeds varies between 40–85%. The cause of bleeding in exercising horses has fostered considerable debate over the past three centuries, but currently, the most accepted hypothesis is that the source of haemorrhage is disruption of the pulmonary capillaries during exercise. Furosemide is the medication used most widely for the treatment and prevention of exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage. This review provides an update on the aetiology, clinical signs, physiopathology, diagnosis and treatment of exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage.


64 live references