Chapter 48 Diseases of the Cardiovascular System
Cardiovascular disease is common in the horse and has been estimated to be the third most common cause of poor performance. The technician should review the normal anatomy, physiology, and electrocardiographic (ECG) recordings before examining the equine patient.
Valvular disease is common in foals (congenital) and in mature horses (degenerative or infectious). Diseased valves can either impede normal flow (stenosis) or allow backflow (insufficiency), which increases the workload of the heart and decreases cardiac output. Common causes of valvular disease in the horse include endocarditis and ruptured cordae tendineae.