The First Annual Frank Milne Lecture Awarded

The Frank Milne Lecture at this year’s American Association of Equine Practitioners’ convention was a first. It was designed to present what amounted to an A-to-Z informational session on a given subject. Chosen for this year was the lower airwa

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The Frank Milne Lecture at this year’s American Association of Equine Practitioners’ convention was a first. It was designed to present what amounted to an A-to-Z informational session on a given subject. Chosen for this year was the lower airway of the horse. Selected to present the information was N. Edward Robinson, B. Vet Med., PhD, MRCVS, of Michigan State University (and a member of The Horse Editorial Advisory Board). Robinson is the Matilda R. Wilson Professor of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at the university.


The lecture series, which is to become an annual event, was named for Frank Milne, who for years edited the AAEP convention Proceedings book. He was the organization’s first Canadian member, and he served as an AAEP president.


Robinson started by going back to the basics for an audience that packed the ballroom for the four-hour session. He discussed the tracheobronchial tree that delivers and distributes air within the lung, then went on to explain how inflammation in the airways of young horses begins to compromise the system. He discussed how severe airway obstruction in older animals is the result of repeated exposure to dusts, molds, and other contaminants.


“In addition to delivering air for gas exchange,” Robinson said, “the tracheobronchial tree protects the lung from inhaled irritants such as dusts and pollutant gases, from antigens, and infectious agents. The defense mechanisms of the airways include cough, the mucociliary system, phagocytes, smooth muscle, and the bronchial circulation. These mechanisms prevent penetration of inhaled materials deeper into the lung and assist in the neutralization and elimination of such materials

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Tim Brockhoff was Staff Writer of The Horse:Your Guide to Equine Health Care from 1995 to 1999. His degree is in Agricultural Communications from the University of Kentucky, and his equine experience is with American Saddlebreds.

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