Emphysema is caused by the irritation of the lungs by toxins, dust, air pollution, yeast, and various air-borne molds. From the irritation, the lung tissue is compromised so greatly that the adequate oxygen exchange between the capillaries and inhaled air is greatly decreased or doesn't take place at all.
Clinical signs of emphysema include:
The longer a horse is infected with emphysema, the worse the symptoms and disease become. The degree of oxygen deprivation is directly related to the amount of lung damage.
Treatment revolves around the effort made to increase dilation and capillary flow to the alveoli of the lungs. By using this method of dilation, more oxygen exchange is possible and temporary relief is achieved.
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