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Characterising idiopathic peritonitis in horses

E. Odelros, A. Kendall, Y. Hedberg-Alm and others

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica (2019) 61

doi: 10.1186/s13028-019-0456-2

• What did the research find?

Horses that were diagnosed with idiopathic peritonitis presented with pyrexia (83 per cent), lethargy (80 per cent), anorexia (68 per cent) and abdominal pain (51 per cent). Microbial cultures were performed in 84 per cent of the diagnosed cases, but only 41 per cent of the samples tested were positive. The most commonly isolated bacteria were Actinobacillus species. All horses received antimicrobial therapy, and many responded to treatment with penicillin alone. Ninety-four per cent of horses survived until discharge.

• How was it conducted?

Medical records were obtained for 130 Swedish horses diagnosed with peritonitis without an identifiable cause between 2002 and 2017. The diagnosis was based on macroscopically abnormal peritoneal fluid with an elevated nucleated cell count or total protein. Data collected included age, breed, sex, duration of clinical signs, clinical findings …

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