responding to treatment, there is a worry about the future of these horses. The pericardium appears thick on ultrasound exam, said Byars. "So we must be careful of the pericardium scarring down and the problem becoming constrictuve pericarditis." Constrictive pericarditis results when the heart can't expand. It has the same clinical signs of heart failure as effusive pericarditis (when the fluid is there), but there is not much that can be done to treat it. The pericardium (sac around the heart) becomes scarred and doesn't let the heart expand normally, thus it can't function to move blood through the body."We can't do much about this problem in horses," said Byars. "I don't know of a successful pericardectomy (full or partial removal of the pericardium) in the horse. But who knows, we might get good at it in the next month or so."Byars said that during these past couple of weeks, veterinarians and farm managers have been proactive in attempting to help the affected horses, even though a definitive cause isn't known. "I think from the beginning we've been on target to home in on this. Even though we don't know exactly the cause, we know quite a bit about medications and care and other syndromes that are similar to what we are seeing to be able to help these horses."
Other, non-specific problems being seen in the field that might or might not be related to the fetal/foal loss and pericarditis are oral ulcers, lameness, laminitis, fevers, and colitis. Some of these are to be expected normally with a large group of horses, and it will take time to tell if any or all of these other symptoms are connected with the initial problem of pregnancy loss.
Most Popular Stories
- NY-Bred Stakes Program Adds 2014 Enhancements
- Gulfstream Race is 'No Contest' After Spill
- After the Wire: Rebel Stakes
- Rebel Rematch Expected in Arkansas Derby
- California Chrome 'Wait and See' for SA Derby
- Featured Horse Profile: Close Hatches
- Hoppertunity Stays Up in Roughshod Rebel
- Stormy Lucy Ends Graded Drought in Santa Ana
- Likely Entrants for World Cup Card Released
- Onlyforyou Euthanized After Training Accident