During the past 20 years the equine population of Great Britain and Ireland has increased with the result that the practising veterinary surgeon is more frequently called upon to advise on equine problems. A significant portion of this advice is concerned with the examination of horses showing signs of this advice is concerned with the examination of horses showing signs of respiratory disease. Numerous pathogens, which include viruses, bacteria, parasites and moulds invade the respiratory tract causing similar signs of illness. It is therefore difficult to provide an aetiological diagnosis based on a clinical examination. Field studies supported by laboratory investigations have established that influenza and herpes viruses are frequently responsible for outbreaks of disease. Epidemiological studies suggest that other factors including the immune state of the equine population influence the distribution and severity of respiratory disease. The aetiology, diagnosis, treatment and control of equine infectious respiratory disease are discussed below.
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