top of page

Factors Associated with Survival in 148 Recumbent Horses

By M. Aleman, P. H. Kass, J. E. Madigan, K. G. Magdesian, N. Pusterla, and L. S. Winfield

Published in the Equine Veterinary Journal (Purchase access to read the complete article)


Summary: Reasons for performing study There are currently few data available on the prognosis and outcome of recumbent horses.

Objectives: To investigate the outcome of hospitalised horses that had been recumbent in the field or hospital and factors affecting their survival within the first 3 days of hospitalisation and survival after 3 days to hospital discharge.

Study Design: Retrospective analysis of clinical records.

Methods: Records of 148 horses admitted to the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, University of California Davis from January 1995 to December 2010 with a history of recumbency or horses that became recumbent while hospitalised were evaluated. Exact logistic regression was used to assess the association between clinical parameters and survival within the first 3 days of hospitalisation and survival to hospital discharge after 3 days.

Results: There were 109 nonsurvivors and 39 survivors. Multivariate analysis showed variables associated with an increased odds of death within the first 3 days of hospitalisation included duration of clinical signs prior to presentation, with horses showing clinical signs for over 24 h having increased odds of death (P = 0.043, odds ratio [OR] 4.16, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.04–16.59), the presence of band neutrophils (P = 0.02, OR 7.94, 95% CI 1.39–45.46), the horse not using the sling (P = 0.031, OR 4.22, 95% confidence interval 1.14–15.68) and horses that were unable to stand after treatment (P<0.0001, OR 231.15, 95% CI 22.82–2341.33). Increasing cost was associated with lower odds of death (P = 0.017, OR 0.96, for each additional $100 billed, 95% CI 0.93–0.99).

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the duration of clinical signs, response to treatment and the ability of horses to use a sling are associated with survival to hospital discharge for recumbent horses.


bottom of page