Equine Sports Medicine

Equine Sports Medicine Research


Clinical Trial Information

Summary: Study in Horses with Persistent Heaves, Elevated Work of Breathing, and Weight Loss

The purpose of the study is to determine whether 1) increased work of breathing results in greater energy expenditure in horses with heaves, 2) whether horses with weight loss and heaves have greater work of breathing than those without weight loss, and 3) whether horses with weight loss have greater systemic and pulmonary inflammation than do weight stable horses. Participants in the study will spend two days at the Hospital for Large Animals at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in North Grafton, MA.

All horses will have a comprehensive pulmonary work-up, including lung function testing, bronchodilator challenge, bronchoalveolar lavage, and indirect calorimetry (measure of energy expenditure). This standard work-up for horses with heaves ordinarily costs approximately $600.00. All study-related care and medication is provided to qualified participants at no cost: this includes all visits, examinations and laboratory work.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • History of heaves for 12 months or greater. This should be documented by a veterinarian.
  • We are looking for both horses that are thin and horses with normal or excessive body weight.
  • We are also looking for a few normal horses as controls!

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Horses should not be treated with corticosteroids (e.g., azium, prednisone, vetalog, etc. ) for at least 4 weeks before entrance into the study.
  • Horses should not be treated with oral bronchodilators (e.g., clenbuterol) for at least 2 weeks before entrance into the study.
  • No significant disease other than heaves.

For more information please call 1-508-839-5395 ext 84545 or visit the research site.

Dr. Melissa R. Mazan, Diplomate ACVIM,
Director of Sports Medicine
Department of Clinical Sciences
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
North Grafton, MA 01536
Email: Melissa.mazan@tufts.edu


Ongoing Projects

Lung Function Laboratory:

Ongoing Projects
Project Co-investigators Funding
Investigation of airway smooth muscle dysfunction in horses with airway hyperreactivity associated with inflammatory airway disease. Melissa R. Mazan, PI, Andrew M. Hoffman, Jeffrey Fredberg. Massachusetts Thoroughbred Breeder's Association
Airway inflammation, reactivity, iron, and iron-related proteins in urban v. rural horses. Melissa R. Mazan, PI, Andrew Ghio (EPA), M. Hoffman. The Edith Overly Foundation.
Resting energy expenditure and pulmonary function profiles in horses with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (heaves) before and after long-term treatment with inhaled corticosteroids and short-term treatment with albuterol. Melissa R. Mazan, PI, Andrew M. Hoffman, Ron Vin, Lisa Freeman. The Hills Research Fund
Effect of the Saddle Girth On Respiratory Function in Horses. Andrew Hoffman, PI, Heike Kuehn. Massachusetts Thoroughbred Breeder's Association
Long term outcome on athletic use of foals with septic arthritis. Mary Rose Paradis, PI, Shane DeWitt. Dorothy Havemeyer Foundation