Equine Recurrent Airway Obstruction

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Abstract

Equine Recurrent Airway Obstruction (RAO), also known as heaves or broken wind, is one of the most common disease in middle-aged horses. Inflammation of the airway is inducted by organic dust exposure. This disease is characterized by neutrophilic inflammation, bronchospasm, excessive mucus production and pathologic changes in the bronchiolar walls. Clinical signs are resolved in 3-4 weeks after environmental changes. Horses suffering from RAO are susceptible to allergens throughout their lives, therefore they should be properly managed. In therapy the most importanthing is to eliminate dust exposure, administration of corticosteroids and use bronchodilators to improve pulmonary function.

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