Enhanced understanding is needed of causes and timings of death in Thoroughbreds prior to entering race training, which would also provide insight into this population’s health status.
The aims of this study were to describe causes of death in Thoroughbreds aged from birth to 18 months and investigate associations between age and cause of death.
Post-mortem (PM) reports from a pathology laboratory in Newmarket, United Kingdom, were used to identify eligible cases examined between January 2006 and December 2020. Cause of death data were extracted and categorised as infectious and non-infectious causes, with further sub-categorisation where appropriate. Comorbidities and pathogens identified were reported where available. Associations between age and selected causes of death were assessed using logistic regression.
Of 144 eligible Thoroughbreds presented for PM, 137 had an available report and established cause of death. Congenital defects were most commonly reported (20%, 28/137, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 15-29), 69% of which (19/28, 95%CI 49-82) were conformational manifestations of developmental orthopedic disease (DOD). Pneumonia was an important cause of death (14%, 20/137, 95%CI 36-53) during the pre-weaning period, where Rhodococcus equi was identified in 50% (10/20, 95% CI 29-70) of cases. Odds of both non-infectious pathologies (OR 4.2, 95% CI 1.5-11.8, P
Mouncey, R., Verheyen, K., de Mestre, A., Arango-Sabogal, J. C., & Foote, A. Retrospective Analysis Of Post-mortem Findings In Thoroughbreds Aged From Birth To 18 Months Presented To A Pathology Laboratory In Newmarket. Manuscript submitted for publication