The rapid and effective administration of a beta 2-agonist to horses with heaves using a compact inhalation device and metered-dose inhalers.
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The purpose of the study was to administer therapeutic aerosol generated by metered-dose inhalers to horses exhibiting clinical signs of heaves using a compact inhalation device developed for human medicine. It was fitted to a custom face mask in order to study the effect of an inhaled beta 2-agonist, fenoterol. Pulmonary function testing was performed on six horses following an acute exacerbation of heaves, characterized by tachypnea, wheezes, crackles, and spasmodic cough. Horses inhaled fenoterol in 1 mg increments administered as one 200 microgram puff every 5-10 s with the recording of data 5 min after the cessation of drug inhalation. A significant effect of fenoterol was shown for maximum change in transpulmonary pressure, dynamic compliance, lung resistance, and work of breathing, and the wheezes and crackles disappeared when auscultation was performed at the end of the test. This study demonstrates a novel, highly effective method for the rapid administration of inhaled medication in horses.
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