Examining the Effect of Nebulized Lidocaine on Equine Asthma

  • Recruiting
  • Horse
  • Internal Medicine

In this study, we will look at a new treatment, the effect of nebulized lidocaine, for asthma in horses (equine asthma). Asthma is characterized by a chronic cough along with inflammation and reactivity (irritation) in the airways.   A nebulizer converts a liquid into a spray that can then be inhaled. Treatment with nebulized lidocaine (a numbing medication) has shown success in treatment of asthma in human and cat models.   We hypothesize that this treatment will result in improving the clinical signs of inflammatory airway disease in equines.

Inclusion Criteria

We are looking for horses with veterinarian-diagnosed equine asthma with no other signs of infectious or inflammatory disease.

Exclusion Criteria

Exclusion criteria include history of fever within the last 4 weeks or presence of an infectious disease. Horses will be asked to be held off on any treatment for at least 2 weeks prior to starting the study.

Client Benefits

The study will cover all of the costs of this treatment and the hospital visit. 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.

Sample or Data Requirements

Each horse will be examined by our team of veterinarians and staff members for a number of lung function parameters, including a physical exam, cough scoring, pulmonary lung function testing using a facemask, and testing various doses of histamine (an inflammatory substance) to determine airway responsiveness. We will also scope your horse to examine their airways and collect fluid from their lungs to observe microscopically. Urine and blood will also be collected. We will lightly sedate your horse for these exams, but none of the tests are expected to cause any harm and any can be halted if we observe any strong reactivity.

Following these examinations, your horse will be admitted into the hospital for five days. We will administer the first dose of either lidocaine, saline, or a placebo (no medication) using a kind of facemask inhaler called FlexinebTM. Each time the medication or placebo is administered (twice a day), a trained technician or doctor will be present and monitoring your horse to ensure they respond well. We will additionally keep you updated on their progress and of course halt any treatment if any adverse reactions occur.

After all treatments, we will re-perform all the tests mentioned earlier.


Referring Physician Questionnaire

If you believe you have a patient who is eligible for this clinical trial study or you would like additional information from the Clinical Trials Office at the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center, complete a referring physician questionnaire.

Contact Info

For questions regarding the clinical trial please email the clinical trials technician, Diane Welsh at: clinicaltrials@tufts.edu