Dr Doug Byars

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Kris S. Taken Out of Stallion Service

Prominent Central Kentucky stallion Kris S. was relieved temporarily of stallion duty two weeks ago at Kenny Troutt and Bill Casner's WinStar Farm near Versailles because of cervical pain.

Kentucky's Pericarditis Cases Called 'Clinically Significant'

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.

Foal Loss Syndrome Update: Count Exceeds 500

The third week of May in Central Kentucky was marked by cautious optimism, with the slowing of early fetal and late-term gestation loss, growing frustration among industry professionals, and much-needed rain. The Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center has received more than 500 dead fetuses/foals this spring. Some veterinarians are predicting that the 2001 Kentucky foal crop could be reduced 5% to 10%, and the 2002 foal crop might drop 30% to 40% or more.

Preliminary Test Results Suggest Possible Causes, Preventative Measures

After testing numerous pasture samples for mycotoxins, endophytes, and other possible causes to the problems in Kentucky, tests have shown higher than expected levels of a mycotoxin called zearalenone, according to Dr. Steve Jackson, a consultant for Bluegrass Equine Nutrition. Jackson and other presenters stressed that zearalenone has not been pinpointed as the definitive cause to the problems.

Excessive Foal Loss Great Concern to Central Kentucky Farms

Two "syndromes" that began near the end of the third week of April are causing Central Kentucky farms to lose an excessive number of foals and fetuses due to an as yet unknown cause. The first syndrome results in what mare owners know as "red bag," or premature placenta separation where the placenta comes out before the foal, often causing the foal to suffocate if the birth is unattended. The second syndrome was discovered around May 1 when veterinarians began routine 60-day fetal checks and discovered that many mares either were empty (not pregnant), or were in the process of losing their pregnancies. Some farms have experienced losses ranging from 25-75% of next year's foal crop. And there is no evidence that this problem is slowing down.

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