Each year throughout the United States, mares lose their pregnancies due to placentitis or an infection in the placenta. Placentitis causes lesions in the placenta, which provides nourishment from the mare to the fetus. When that nourishment is disrupted, the fetus might be compromised, or die.
Preliminary data from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture shows that, following required quarantine and testing of imported horses, approximately 205 overseas Thoroughbred mares were received in the state in 2001 compared with 248 mares 2000. Exact totals will be available in a few weeks.
The attached list of racing organizations and officials were invited to attend a one-day workshop for the purpose of determining if agreement could be reached as to the need for a uniform policy for racehorse medication in the United States, and if so, where agreement can be reached on elements of such a policy. The workshop consisted of two segments: a two-hour open session briefing by experts on topics pertinent to the purpose of the Summit, and an intensive seven-hour workshop for the invited representatives which was conducted by a professional facilitator from outside the racing industry.
Kentucky farm managers and owners are taking steps to prevent the reoccurrence of mare reproductive loss syndrome while fervently hoping last year's devastation was a one-shot deal. There are almost as many theories of what caused MRLS as there are people addressing the problem, so preventative measures differ from farm to farm.
Kentucky's Thoroughbred industry lost more than 30% of its expected 2002 foal crop and will take a financial hit of about $300.5 million due to MRLS.
The estate of Paul Mellon, the American owner/breeder who died in 1999, has donated $3.5 million to the British Horseracing Board's Rehabilitation Of Racehorses charity.
The Kentucky Agriculture Development Board on Friday approved using $311,000 from state and county tobacco-settlement funds to research causes of Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome that resulted in deaths of foals and caused some mares to abort fetuses last spring.
Kentucky has taken its ban on "milkshakes" in Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing one step further with a specific directive that naso-gastric tubes cannot be used at all on raceday, even for therapeutic purposes. The commission said the directive was issued "to inform current and newly licensed veterinary practitioners of current policy."
The American Association of Equine Practitioners has spent many hours over the past year getting ready for the Dec. 4 medication summit that will be part of the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program's Symposium on Racing. "We hope for the first time to bring together key stakeholders in the racing industry to specifically discuss racehorse medication," said Dr. Wayne McIlwraith, 2001 president of the AAEP.
Though Florida has been hardest hit by West Nile vVrus this year, the number of confirmed cases in Marion County, home to Ocala and many horse farms, isn't out of line with the rest of the state, according to data registered through Oct. 31.
A 2-year-old Thoroughbred stabled at Churchill Downs before being euthanized last month was confirmed Friday to have West Nile virus, according to the Kentucky State veterinarian's office.
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Ohio State University have made a major breakthrough in equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), finding that the raccoon can serve as an intermediate host for Sarcocystis neurona, the single-celled protozoan parasite that causes the neurological disease.
The Kentucky State Veterinarian's office is investigating an unconfirmed case of West Nile virus at Churchill Downs. According to Churchill Downs, the horse that is being investigated as the possible victim of West Nile virus was Rocket Express, a 2-year-old with one career victory.
Many Thoroughbred racehorses aren't as tough today as their yesteryear counterparts, at least in the opinion of Bill Moyer, DVM, a professor and department head at Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Moyer was one of several speakers during a therapeutic medication seminar for veterinarians at Churchill Downs on Oct. 31. The program...
Perhaps the most widely recognized of all disorders affecting racehorses is "bleeding," or exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH). We now know that most racehorses bleed at some time during their careers. In fact, many horses might bleed every time they undertake intense exercise, such as breezing and racing. We also know that bleeding can occur ...
Recent research indicates that endoscopic examination of yearlings can help determine their eventual racing success. However, research also showed certain abnormalities that in the past were considered indicators of poor performance were not predictive of actual athletic performance in the adult horse.
Dr. Douglar Byars, respected surgeon at the Hagyard-Davidson-McGee equine hospital near Lexington, spoke with The Blood-Horse about the unsuccessful efforts to save Claiborne Farm stallion Unbridled, calling the 1990 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) and Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner "the most extraordinary, patient horse I've ever been around."
The American Horse Council reports that federal legislation has been introduced that would make it a federal crime to transport horses for the purpose of slaughter.
The Department of Equine Business at the University of Louisville was commissioned by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Office of the Governor, to quantify the economic loss to the Kentucky equine breeding industry resulting from the loss of a large number of foals to Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome (MRLS) in 2001. Following is a summary of the detailed analysis contained in that study.
More than 30% of the anticipated 2002 Thoroughbred foal crop in Kentucky has been wiped out due to mare reproductive loss syndrome, and the economic cost to the state from losses suffered by all horse breeds will total nearly $336 million, according to a study commissioned by Gov. Paul Patton and conducted by the University of Louisville's Department of Equine Business.
Venereal diseases are those that can be sexually transmitted. "Vener" is the Latin term for sexual intercourse and, hence, the origin of the term "venereal." The outcome of sexually transmitted diseases in horses can vary depending on the gender of the animal exposed to infection and the causal agent. Infections can give rise to infert...
Every competitive horse has normal wear and tear, just like human athletes. Horses on the road to the Kentucky Derby in Thoroughbred racing receive more media attention than probably any other equine athletes. So, when a spring season arrives, and when there is attrition in the upper ranks of 3-year-olds, it is seen and commented on by millions of peop...
Cyanide has been identified as a potential risk or contributing factor in two illnesses that have dominated the Thoroughbred industry headlines this year.
Researchers have not pinpointed the cause of Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome, but on Tuesday night they gave Central Kentucky farm managers some proactive steps in hopes of preventing its effects next year.
A research report from the laboratory at the Gluck Equine Research Center at the University of Kentucky noted that it is well-established that early conceptus loss (the embryo and its associated extra-embryonic membranes) is a major source of reproductive inefficiency in domestic animals. Early preg...
Thoroughbred breeding stallions truly have joined the jet set. These four-legged Romeos are flying from one part of the world to another these days as they perform breeding duties on both sides of the equator. Hundreds of stallions from other breeds also have joined the jet set, but in less dramatic fashion. Because artificial in...
A group of racetrack veterinarians have offered their own proposal for "universal race-day medication and testing," and have told the American Association of Equine Practitioners they want their collective voice heard during a medication summit planned for Dec. 4 in Tucson, Ariz.
Unbridled, the 15th leading sire of 2001 by progeny earnings, had surgery Friday morning to remove a "tumor like mass" from his abdomen. A pathology report is due from the University of Kentucky Diagnostic Lab on Sept. 24.
The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and the Commonwealth of Kentucky held a press conference late Sept. 20 to announce that they are splitting the cost of bringing in expert help to look at all of the health problems seen in Kentucky this spring. A team headed by Dr. Noah Cohen of Texas A&M University will look at not only records of aborted fetuses and dead foals sent to the Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center, but also at records from the two large referral equine practices in Central Kentucky and private practitioners.
The survey of 133 Central Kentucky farms was designed to identify risk factors, not causes, of mare reproductive loss syndrome, said Dr. Roberta Dwyer of the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center. As a result of the survey, a list of recommendations will be put forth in the next four to six weeks to help farm managers avoid risk factors in the future.
Results from the survey of 133 farms in Central Kentucky regarding the early fetal loss and late-term abortions that occurred this spring substantiated the preliminary ideas held by researchers and veterinarians this spring. The survey also put to rest some fears of causes put forth by individuals in the industry. It is perhaps this second result that makes the survey good news for horse owners.
While mare reproductive loss syndrome has had a devastating effect on in-foal mares in 2001, a just-released study indicates it had no affect on the growth rate of foals of 2000 and 2001 raised on Central Kentucky farms and foals of 2001.
There are no significant differences between mares bred in Kentucky and mares bred in Florida, according to the preliminary results of a study that was designed to determine the effects of mare reproductive loss system (MRLS). Drs. Tom Riddle and Kent Vince of Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington used ultrasound exams to compare the allantoic and amniotic fluids of the two groups. They also looked at fetal heart rates.
The article on West Nile virus that was posted on Aug. 31 contained incorrect information.
West Nile virus (WNV) is spreading. Horse owners are asking, "What can I do to protect my horses?" The good news is that a vaccine for horses has been developed and approved by the USDA.
Researchers, government officials, and private practitioners who are members of the Emerging Diseases Committee met at the Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center for nearly two hours Friday to discuss how to handle information dissemination to veterinarians and horse owners on West Nile Virus (WNV) in Kentucky.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture reported Friday that Kentucky's first case of West Nile Virus has been identified in the state. A horse was tested positive in Bourbon County, which is in the Bluegrass region of Central Kentucky.
The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation will partner with the state of Kentucky in funding a research project on Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome (MRLS). The Foundation committed $56,400 as an equal partner with the state.
Several reproductive specialists at Hagyard-Davidson-McGee veterinary firm in Lexington, Ky., are following about 100 pregnant mares. These are mares from farms which were either affected or unaffected by Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome this spring; are 15 years old or younger; were bred March 15 or earlier; and are not going through the sales and will remain in Kentucky to foal next spring.
In releasing its projected figures for the 2002 North American registered Thoroughbred foal crop, The Jockey Club estimates that 20 percent of mares in Kentucky lost their pregnancies due to Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome last spring.
The board dispensing Kentucky's portion of tobacco settlement money has approved a $56,400 grant to cover half of the cost of the investigation into the Mare Reproductive Foal Loss Syndrome that negatively impacted the horse breeding industry last spring.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have collected 143 blood samples from horses in Lake County, Ohio, to determine if the horses have been exposed to West Nile virus. The first confirmed incidence of the virus in a bird was found in that area.
The equine tendon medication Bapten has been discontinued by its manufacturer, PR Pharmaceuticals, because of a lack of demand for the product. The expense and length of treatment involved with Bapten therapy kept the drug from becoming popular with horse owners, according to Keri Nightingale, the company's marketing manager for Bapten.
The equine industry called out for a way to protect its horses from the deadly neurological disease West Nile virus (WNV), and researchers and federal authorities responded. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Fort Dodge Animal Health announced Wednesday, Aug. 1, the approval and release of the very first WNV vaccine for horses
Racehorse owners might one day be able to handicap a horse's risk of injury. A new study in its early stages at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in the United Kingdom is monitoring a group of two-year-olds with the intention of using the data for both orthopedic and training evaluations.
Researcher Joanna Price, BSc, BVSc, PhD, MRCVS, and her te...
Language that calls for low-interest loans for owners and breeders impacted by mare reproductive loss syndrome is included in a farm bill now under consideration by the House Agriculture Committee. The bill may be ready the week of July 30.
Health officials in Florida have confirmed the first case of West Nile virus in a horse in the state, the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper reported on July 21. It also is the first case of the disease that has been reported in a horse in this country this year.
The American Association of Equine Practitioners has formed a task force to identify therapeutic medications used in racehorses. The organization was approached by the Testing Integrity Program, commonly known as TIP.
Central Kentucky farm workers have a new place to go for health care with the opening of the Bluegrass Farm Workers Health Center on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Ky.
West Nile virus has been confirmed in a dead crow in Jefferson County, Fla. The crow was submitted for testing on June 18, and results were released July 6.
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