As many of you may have seen in a prominent equine journal or heard from your veterinarian, there is a relatively new product available from your veterinarian to use in treating Equine Lower Respiratory Disease (ELRD). This product is PULMO-CLEAR, a fully licensed product for use in conjunction with adjunctive therapy to aid in the treatment of horses with ELRD.
There are numerous respiratory diseases in horses and this product was not developed to treat all of them. As mentioned earlier, this product is an aid for the treatment of ELRD. The first question you might want to ask is how do I know if my horse is suffering from ELRD? Typically, this condition is seen primarily in young, athletic horses involved in some sort of physical activity. Riders may notice that their horse is lethargic, less responsive, sluggish, or just doesn’t seem to have the energy and drive that the rider is used to. Trainers may notice that a racehorse that typically finishes strong is “hitting a wall” at the 3/4 pole and finishing poorly. Jumpers may notice that their horse has difficulty clearing the last few jumps on a course and endurance riders may notice that their horse is not able to finish or finishes poorly. Usually, these observations are more prominent when the ambient temperatures are high.
Clinically, the horse may have an intermittent, deep, productive cough, that best can be described as if they are trying to clear mucus from their lungs. Lungs sounds are usually normal, but if the condition is severe, your veterinarian may hear crackles and wheezes throughout the lung fields. Also, the body temperature and blood work are usually normal.
The hallmark of this condition is when your veterinarian passes an endoscope down the trachea to the level of the lungs and sees excessive white to gray to almost yellowish globs or streams of mucus visible in the windpipe. If the endoscopic examination is conducted right after vigorous exercise, these observations may be more pronounced. Although your veterinarian can readily diagnose this condition, the exact cause of the problem has not been delineated. Many equine experts are studying this condition and trying to determine if ELRD is due to a faulty or improper immune response.
If your horse is diagnosed with ELRD, your veterinarian may choose PULMO-CLEAR as part of the therapy. As the name implies, the product is derived from the serum of goats and it works to modulate or regulate the immune system to help clear the condition. As mentioned earlier, many researchers feel “adjusting” the immune system is an important aspect to controlling this condition and a product that modulates the immune system may be of benefit.
Colorado Serum Company and others continue to research the mechanism by which this product modulates the immune system. Although the exact mechanism of action is not known, what is known is efficacy studies conducted by Colorado Serum Company demonstrated PULMO-CLEAR helped clear lower respiratory tract disease in affected equines, when used with adjunctive therapy.
So if you notice that your athletic horse isn’t performing up to its normal level of performance, contact your local veterinarian and don’t be surprised if he or she treats your horse with Colorado Serum Company’s PULMO-CLEAR.