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Blood tests to predict complications of acute diarrhea in horses

The role of coagulation and cytokine analysis to predict complications of acute diarrhea in horses

Status: Recruiting

Species: Horse

Veterinary Speciality: Internal Medicine


Diarrhea or enterocolitis can be a potentially serious or fatal disease in horses. Early treatment and differentiation between horses with self-limiting versus life-threatening diarrhea is therefore critical in the early phase of the disease. Delayed treatment can result in multiple serious complications, severe body-wide illness and potentially death, while excessive, prophylactic treatment measures are expensive. Thus, the goal of this study is to determine if biochemical markers or clotting times of blood (biomarkers) can distinguish between horses that will recover from enterocolitis with minimal intervention and horses with more severe illness that require aggressive medical therapy, early in the disease course.

Rapid point-of-care testing for the presence of biomarkers in the blood will provide indication for more aggressive management of horses at risk for life-threatening complications from enterocolitis while reducing cost of treatment for those horses with predicted self-limiting diarrhea. This will help reduce the complications that can arise from delayed treatment, allow for early intervention when necessary, and improve outcomes in horses suffering from enterocolitis.

Inclusion Criteria

Horses >20 years of age that develop diarrhea in the hospital

Exclusion Criteria

Surgery within 7 days prior to onset of diarrhea.

Client Benefits

The study will cover the costs of the blood tests to measure circulating inflammatory mediators. The other costs for the care of your horse are the same as you would experience normally. You understand that your animal’s participation in this study will not in any way affect his/her outcome.

Contact Info

For questions regarding the clinical trial please email the clinical trials technician, Diane Welsh at:

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