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Examining a new treatment for Equine Asthma

Examining the Effect of Nebulized Lidocaine on Clinical Signs, Pulmonary Function and Lung Inflammation in Equine Asthma

Status: Recruiting

Species: Horse

Veterinary Speciality: Internal Medicine


Equine asthma is one of the most prevalent diseases in stabled horses of all ages and environments and is a leading cause of poor performance. The disease is characterized by airway inflammation and hyperreactivity, with clinical signs such as chronic cough and poor performance. Despite the pervasiveness, an economical and effective treatment for this disease is lacking. The current pharmaceutical treatments for equine asthma include corticosteroids and beta-2 receptor agonist drugs, both of which have negative side effects. Moreover, these treatments in their most targeted and safest inhaled form are often too expensive for most equine owners to afford. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find methods of treatment for horses with equine asthma that are not only safe and readily available, but cost-effective as well. The results of this project not only have the potential to play a large role in future treatments for equine asthma, but also could help to establish the horse as a model for improved treatments for human asthma.

The purpose of the study is to determine whether nebulized (i.e. aerosolized) lidocaine, which is a commonly used local anesthetic, can help decrease the symptoms of this disease to increase the health and comfort of your horse. Lidocaine has been used in humans with chronic cough and unresolved asthma with success, and there are studies in asthmatic cats that show efficacy in reducing cough as well.


Inclusion Criteria

Horses with inflammatory airway disease

Participation is limited to those clients that can travel to Grafton, MA for all required visits.

Exclusion Criteria

Horses with a history of fever within the last 4 weeks or presence of an infectious disease will be excluded


Client Benefits

The study will cover all of the costs of this treatment, diagnostic procedures, and the 2 hospital visits. You and your horse’s participation will also allow us to gain information which will help in the treatment of other horses affected by asthma. You understand that your animal’s participation in this study may not alleviate or cure his/her ailment.


Contact Info

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

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