Field screening of murmurs and arrhythmias in performance Argentine polo ponies

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Pemika Issariyodom
Angkana Kidtiwong
Kannika Na Lampang
Wanpitak Pongkan
Porrakote Rungsri


Polo is a high-intensity sport, and the horses who participate in it are known to receive a high workload on their hearts. Having cardiac disorders can impair their athletic performance or even increase the risk of collapsing during the game. In sport horses, murmurs and arrhythmias are commonly-found physiological conditions; nevertheless, many of them are related to heart diseases. Though numerous studies on murmurs and arrhythmias have been done among several kinds of horses, the information in polo horses is still limited. This study was done to investigate the prevalence of murmurs and arrhythmias in performance Argentine polo ponies by field screening with fast and convenient methods. A hundred and ninety-six performance Argentine polo ponies (162 mares and 34 geldings) with ages between 6 – 20 years old were included in this study. Cardiac auscultation with a simple stethoscope was done to detect and grade murmurs, and electrocardiography with an iPhone ECG (electrocardiogram) recorder was done at the same time to find if there were any arrhythmias. The results showed 98 ponies (50%) that probably had cardiac abnormalities, these could be divided into 61 ponies (31.1%) with only murmurs, 18 ponies (9.2%) with only arrhythmias, and 19 ponies (9.7%) with both murmurs and arrhythmias. In conclusion, murmurs and arrhythmias were found frequently by field screening of this study; cardiac examination should not be overlooked, and those ponies with murmurs and/or arrhythmias should be examined further to determine whether they were pathologic or not.

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Issariyodom, P. ., Kidtiwong, A. ., Na Lampang, K. ., Pongkan, W. ., & Rungsri, P. . (2022). Field screening of murmurs and arrhythmias in performance Argentine polo ponies: Veterinary Integrative Sciences, 20(1), 147–162. Retrieved from
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