Update on Bacterial Pneumonia and Pleuropneumonia in the Adult Horse

A new release from Veterinary Clinics of North America: Equine Practice is available online. You can find the publication titled “Update on Bacterial Pneumonia and Pleuropneumonia in the Adult Horse” on sciencedirect.com.

Key Points

  • Adult horses most commonly acquire pneumonia when bacteria from the nasal or oropharynx reach the lower airways and overwhelm the pulmonary defense mechanisms.
  • Although Streptococcus equi subsp zooepidemicus is the most common bacterium isolated from horses with pneumonia, mixed infections are possible and may include both aerobes and anaerobes.
  • Knowledge of likely causative organisms can help with empirical treatment, but microbiologic culture and antimicrobial sensitivity testing is necessary in cases presenting with severe clinical signs or not responding to treatment.
  • Thoracocentesis can be both diagnostic and therapeutic in horses with significant pleural effusion.
  • The prognosis for survival and return to athletic function is good for horses with pneumonia that is recognized early and treated appropriately.


Sarah M. Reuss, VMD, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, PO Box 100136, Gainesville, FL; Steeve Giuere, DVM, PhD, Department of Large Animal Medicine, 501 DW Brooks Drive, University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, Athens, GA.

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