Respiratory Health

A veterinarian holding a mask over a horse's nose and mouth

Tufts Equine Respiratory Health Lab is the only place in New England offering a complete respiratory workup for equine athletes of all levels, from 10-goal polo ponies and D3 Pony Club horses to future Derby winners, Grand Prix dressage horses and beloved backyard companions.

Our Lung Function Laboratory was the first in the country to develop routine lung function testing in clinical patients. We are at the forefront of understanding, diagnosing and treating horses with inflammatory airway disease (IAD). By utilizing our advanced equipment and expertise, we can test and evaluate before developing a comprehensive plan to help your horse return to its peak performance.

As pioneers in the industry, we have successfully demonstrated a link between respiratory viruses and equine asthma, explored the significance of coughs in different populations of horses, established the importance of biomarkers in the diagnosis of equine asthma, quantified the effect of albuterol on treadmill performance and airway reactivity, and examined lung function in aging horses.

Our Services

Today, Tufts Equine Respiratory Lab has grown to offer expertise in the following services:

Tufts Equine Respiratory Lab offers the most advanced and effective diagnosis and treatment for your horse.

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Lung Function Testing

The job of the lungs is to deliver oxygen to the body and to take the carbon dioxide, which is a product of normal metabolism, away from the body – this is termed lung function.

Bronchoalveolar Lavage (BAL)

The bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) allows us to see deep within the horse’s lungs to determine if there is inflammation and if so, what the inflammation looks like. The BAL is sometimes called a lung wash.

Equine Asthma

Equine asthma, whether IAD or heaves, is usually treatable, but not necessarily curable. It can take a lifetime of management, but with an accurate diagnosis, proper treatment and environmental improvements, most horses can return to athletic function.


Clinical history is critical to diagnosis. The horse with overt heaves, or recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) will have a history of having had a recurrent breathing problem, characterized by outwardly evident difficulty breathing.

Ready to Find Out More?

Download Dr. Mazan's Equine Respiratory Health e-book for a detailed understanding of equine respiratory health.


Daniela Bedenice,, DACVIM, DACVECC

Daniela Bedenice,, DACVIM, DACVECC

Melissa Mazan, D.V.M., DACVIM

Melissa Mazan, D.V.M., DACVIM

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