Antifungal non-invasive soak under general anaesthetic to treat fungal rhinitis in an Australian Quarter Horse gelding at pasture.


Lean NE, Ahern BJ.
Aust Vet J. 2018 Aug;96(8):297-301



Mycotic rhinitis is a rare disease in horses, with few cases reported worldwide and none reported in Australia. Fungal infection of the upper respiratory tract can occur in all species, but its prevalence in horses is considerably lower than in canines or humans. The disease is linked to a variety of pathogens and the clinical signs are associated with subsequent upper respiratory tract damage.


A 6-year-old Quarter Horse gelding in Queensland, Australia, was presented with chronic nasal discharge and dyspnoea following previous unsuccessful medical treatment of 9 months' duration. Culture yielded a mixed growth of Cryptococcus and Rhodotorula, as well as secondary bacterial species. The horse was anaesthetised and positioned in sternal recumbency. The nasal passages and sinuses were bathed with fluconazole and dimethylsulfoxide for 1 h on two separate occasions 4 weeks apart. Systemic antimicrobials and corticosteroids were also administered for brief courses. Endoscopic examination 4 months after treatment demonstrated clinical resolution of the rhinitis with residual scar tissue. Owners reported resolution of clinical signs and following the treatment the gelding was able to perform athletically.


Mycotic rhinitis is an unusual disease that can be difficult to treat successfully. This report describes a technique for topical sinonasal bathing under general anaesthetic that was well tolerated, easy to perform and resulted in a successful clinical outcome.


fungal rhinitis; horses; nasal discharge; sinonasal lavage; stertor