A second foal has been confirmed as having died from mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS) in Florida, according to Dr. Dana Zimmel of the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine.
At an open meeting at Keeneland on Tuesday, two entomologists shared their best recommendations for monitoring and reducing the ETC population.
Eastern tent caterpillars, plus bacteria and a means to infect placental fluids with the bacteria, equals mare reproductive loss syndrome. It might be as simple as that.
A research project has determined that it probably isn't a virus or bacteria (a biological agent) that links the Eastern tent caterpillar (ETC) to mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS).
Recent research conducted by the University of Kentucky indicates that there is something in or on the exoskeleton (skin and associated structures) of the Eastern tent caterpillar that causes horses to abort.
Central Kentucky veterinarians Richard Holder and Jim Morehead discussed MRLS and fall fetal loss syndrome at Tuesday's joint meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club and the Kentucky Equine Practitioners Association.
President Eric Hamelback gave a sense of urgency as he opened the most recent meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club, saying "we need to make plans for control now."
Numbers from Rood and Riddle Equine Clinic in the Lexington area have helped estimate the current early fetal loss rate at somewhere between 5% and 12% for mares checked between April 30 and May 17.
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