Good news travels fast in the horse business; bad news travels even faster. In the case of an outbreak of mysterious early fetal loss and late-gestation foal loss, cooperation and quick sharing of information served to help researchers investigate and track down a killer--maybe.
In several states this spring, including Ohio, West Virginia, and pos...
Financial assistance for owners and breeders impacted by mare reproductive loss syndrome was offered for consideration Thursday morning as part of broad farm-related legislation to be considered by the House Agriculture Committee in July.
John R. Gaines, the Thoroughbred breeder who developed Gainesway Farm into a top commercial entity and was the originator of the Breeders' Cup program, is calling for the state of Kentucky to develop an economic incentive plan to help the horse industry.
Dr. Doug Byars, head of the internal medicine unit at Haygard-Davidson-McGee veterinary firm in Lexington, Ky., reported that examinations on three farms of 150 Thoroughbred yearlings revealed no incidence of pericarditis.
Equitana USA, a leading international equine exposition being held in Louisville this week, will include seminars on Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome and Foot and Mouth Disease.
Lasix is now SALIX in the veterinary industry. When Intervet acquired Hoechst Roussel Vet in November 1999, Intervet agreed that Aventis Pharmaceuticals would retain Lasix as the registered trademark for the human drug. So the veterinary furosemide product has become SALIX.
The incidence of known pericarditis cases in Central Kentucky has reached nearly 60 horses. At least a dozen horses have died because of the condition, which produces inflammation of, and fluid in, the sac surrounding the heart.
Eugene and Laura Melnyk announced that they have committed $1 million toward the construction of a child care center at Belmont Park to care primarily for the children of backstretch employees. Groundbreaking is scheduled for this November, with the facility to be completed in six-to-nine months.
Map shows counties affected by spring syndromes.
The name has changed, but the drug has not. Lasix is now SALIX in the veterinary industry. When Intervet acquired Hoechst Roussel Vet in November 1999, Intervet agreed that Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Hoechst AG) would retain Lasix as the registered trademark for the human drug. This is why the veterinary furosemide product has now become SALIX.
Advice from Bob Douglas, PhD, owner of BET Labs in Kentucky, who specializes in working with veterinarians and farm owners to assist in reproductive problems of mares and stallions.
Uncertainty stemming from mare reproductive loss syndrome, and the subsequent moratorium on prospective foal insurance that has been in effect since early May, are expected to impact the no-guarantee stallion-season market in 2002.
Additional cases of pericarditis are occurring in Kentucky and possibly other states (including Ohio), with the problem now claiming lives, according to Dr. Doug Byars, head of the internal medicine unit at Hagyard-Davidson-McGee (HDM) veterinary firm in Lexington, Ky., who said veterinarians at his clinic and those at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital are starting to see horses previously treated for pericarditis returning to the clinics with more heart problems.
The timing couldn't have been better, but it certainly wasn't planned. On April 30, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Manager's Club invited an equine reproductive specialist to speak at its June meeting. The following week, Central Kentucky was gripped by mare reproductive loss syndrome.
A Kentucky veterinarian who specializes in mare reproduction, fetal ultrasound, and fetal sexing has studied pregnancy videos 1996 and 1998 and foal production the following years and has found that some degree of cloudiness in chorionic or amnionic fluid did not necessarily mean the mare would lose her foal or she would have an abnormal foal.
Researchers at the University of Kentucky looking into the cause of Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome are in the process of completing a comprehensive survey involving more than 150 farms.
In an effort to determine the effects of Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome on the horse industry, Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton has announced he will commission an economic impact study.
The service is sponsored by Bethlehem Farm, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, Kirkpatrick & Company, and the members of St. John's Episcopal Church, and is open to the public.
Kentucky official reports that U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman is knowledgeable of problems associated with Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome.
Horse owners should not become too lax even though researchers say the insult that caused the foal losses and other health problems this spring in Kentucky and other states probably is past.
Horse owners should not become too lax even though researchers say the insult that caused the foal losses and other health problems this spring in Kentucky and other states probably is past. There still are lingering problems in the aftermath of the initial injury.
Equine industry officials met with United States Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman Wednesday in Washington, D.C., to discuss, among other issues, mare reproductive loss syndrome and its impact on breeders and owners.
The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture posted the following information on its web site at http://www.uky.edu/Agriculture/VetScience/mrls/brief529.htm :
While cost isn't always the most important consideration when it comes to a crisis, over time, the costs can add up.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the American Horse Council have prepared legislation they hope is introduced by Kentucky Sens. Jim Bunning and Mitch McConnell when Congress reconvenes June 4.
Latest press releases from the Gluck Equine Research Center and the UK Livestock Diagnostic Center
The University of Kentucky reported significant recent progress in accounting for Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome (MRLS).
Sequence of events, in chronological order, surrounding Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome.
Following are some of the questions and answers from the informational meeting Thursday about Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome.
Based on University of Kentucky researchers' identification of cyanide as the likely cause of the Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome, they have determined there is no need to ship mares outside the state and that the pastures are safe.
No longer does the mysterious Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome appear to be the result of incredibly high mycotoxin levels in pasture grasses; now the most likely cause appears to be cyanide brought onto pastures from wild black cherry trees, carried by Eastern tent caterpillars.
A reproductive study examining the breeding records of four Central Kentucky Thoroughbred farms reveals that nearly 30% of mares bred between early February and early May 2001 who were declared at one time to be in foal, lost those foals.
Keeneland is exploring ways to deal with sale horses whose health might have been compromised by pericarditis and other problems linked to mare reproductive loss syndrome.
Researchers at the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Center have made significant progress in their quest to find the cause of the Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome. According to reports presented Thursday during an informational forum at Keeneland, black cherry trees located in close proximity to horse pastures are the primary source of the cyanide that was detected in tests of dead foals and fetuses from mares that aborted.
The good news is if the Eastern tent caterpillars were responsible in some way for this spring's outbreak of foal loss, that they are gone now, cocooned and growing into the next generation of moths.
The Jockey Club is asking breeders to submit their 2001 Live Foal/No Foal Reports as soon as possible after the birth of the foal or when it is determined that a mare will not produce a live foal this year. The request is coming on the heels of the recent mare reproductive loss syndrome in Kentucky and surrounding states.
Daily reports on aborted/stillborn equine fetuses/foals from the Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center:
As of noon May 23, the Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center had received three additional aborted/stillborn equine fetuses/foals (one early-term and two late-term) for diagnostic testing/evaluation. The total received since April 28, 2001, is 532.
The scientific investigations continue into the cause of mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS). Additional pasture and hay sample results obtained today (5/23) continue to be negative for all mycotoxins, adding further evidence that mycotoxins are not the cause of the syndrome.
Here is what is known, observed, and postulated so far about Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome.
Continued from part 1
Discussions of results obtained to date by several scientists and consultants working on the investigation into the cause of Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome (MRLS) on Monday have caused the investigation to shift to a more thorough examination of the potential role of the Eastern Tent Caterpillar (ETC) in MRLS.
As of noon May 22, the Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center had received only one additional aborted equine fetus for diagnostic testing/evaluation.
The University of Kentucky conducted an interview with Jeanne Cox-Owens, general manager of Cobra Farms, as of May 22. In the interview she updates the status of her farms.
A sequence of events surrounding the equine health crisis in Kentucky.
American Horse Council president Jay Hickey and National Thoroughbred Racing Association deputy commissioner Greg Avioli are meeting in Washington, D.C., Tuesday afternoon with Caroly Cooksie, deputy administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster relief loan programs. The meeting is a follow-up to talks held last week in Washington involving Hickey and NTRA commissioner Tim Smith and a number of federal legislators, including Rep. Larry Combest, an Amarillo, Texas, Republican who is chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.
Following is a summary by Tom Priddy meterologist in the UK College of Agriculture, regarding weather and growing conditions for years when there were reported early fetal/foal losses in Kentucky in 2001, 1980, and 1981.
The death of Dubai Millennium from grass sickness has again highlighted the devastating effects of the disease, and brought to prominence research tied to finding causes and a cure.
An informal survey of Central Kentucky farms on May 21 suggests the worst may be over as far as mare reproductive loss syndrome is concerned. While heavy losses already have been incurred, particularly involving maiden and barren mares bred in February, the good news is that mares bred from late March on appear to be holding their pregnancies at close to normal percentages. Based on the surveys and on the normal distribution of Kentucky foals born between January and June, The Blood-Horse estimates the 2002 Kentucky foal crop will decrease by no more than 21%.
The University of Kentucky's coordinating group has been studying details of mare breeding records for 2001. This identified more precisely the time of the critical insult giving rise to the syndrome- -between April 17 and 23. Based on information provided, late abortions, the birth of weak foals, and early fetal losses appear to be linked to the same causal event.