Caterpillars tied to widespread foal loss in 2001
Eastern tent caterpillars in Central Kentucky are mature, have dispersed from trees, and are on the move, leading experts to advise horse farm managers to move pregnant mares, if practical, to avoid contact with them.
Experts report the eastern tent caterpillar egg hatch will likely begin in mid-March for Central Kentucky.
Eastern tent caterpillar eggs have begun hatching well ahead of last year's schedule, and the egg hatch is expected to be completed by the first full week of March, University of Kentucky officials said Feb. 29.
The University of Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center (LDDC) reported today (May 13) that two fetal necropsy cases had findings consistent with mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS), the disease that in 2001-2002 in Kentucky caused an estimated $336 in cumulative losses in all breeds of horses.
Eastern tent caterpillars have begun hatching in Central Kentucky, and their population numbers are trending up, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture has reported.
Experts have reported that eastern tent caterpillars are now wandering and population levels are among the highest they've seen since the 2001, when Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome hit Central Kentucky particularly hard.
Experts have reported that Eastern tent caterpillars are developing normally this spring and have just completed the egg hatch stage. Controlling the caterpillars is vital to area horse farms, as University of Kentucky research has strongly linked them with outbreaks of mare reproductive loss syndrome, which can cause late-term foal losses, early-term fetal losses, and weak foals.
Though there aren't indications of widespread high populations of the Eastern tent caterpillar, University of Kentucky officials said its an optimal time for horse farms to assess caterpillar activity and implement control strategies while the larvae are small and most susceptible.
A working group in Central Kentucky has begun an epidemiological study in the wake of 40 cases of equine leptospirosis, a bacterial disease that has resulted in foal loss in some mares.
A farm in northern New Jersey experienced high abortion rates in early June in fields where there were Eastern tent caterpillars.
University of Kentucky researchers studying Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome are concerned that the results of a study by Oregon State University linking vesiviruses, which can affect a wide variety of mammals, to MRLS can be misconstrued.
- By Tom LaMarra
A $13.5-million appropriation for an expansion of the Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center in Lexington is among the budget line items vetoed by Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher.
Central Kentucky horse farms interested in assistance in evaluating their pastures now have access to the Horse Pasture Evaluation Program offered by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.
- By Tom LaMarra
More than $15 million for horse industry-related projects and financial relief is included in the 2006-07 budget approved April 11 by the Kentucky General Assembly. The spending plan now goes to Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher for consideration.
An Arabian mare in Marion County, Florida, aborted a 310-day gestation (the foal was born dead) on March 13 that was confirmed as having mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS), according to Dr. Dana Zimmel, of the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine.
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.
One confirmed case and two suspect cases of mare reproductive loss syndrome have been diagnosed in Alachua County, Fla., according to Dr. Dana Zimmel of the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine.
Reporter Janet Patton has won the 2005 Media Eclipse Award for writing in the feature or enterprise category for her series of articles in the Lexington Herald-Leader on racetrack workers and compensation. This is the second Eclipse Award for Patton, an equine and agricultural business writer for the Herald-Leader since 1998.
A record 15,850 foals were nominated to the Breeders' Cup program in 2004, Breeders' Cup officials said Jan. 13.
At an open meeting at Keeneland on Tuesday, two entomologists shared their best recommendations for monitoring and reducing the ETC population.
From the evolutionary development of the placental layers to Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome, no topic was left untouched when leading reproductive researchers and practitioners from around the world convened at the Gluck Equine Research Center in Lexington, Ky.
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.
Eastern tent caterpillars (ETC) caused fetal loss in domestic pigs based on a recent study, according to a press release issued Friday by the University of Kentucky.
- By Tom LaMarra
Thoroughbred breeders told Kentucky legislators Aug. 21 the state must step up and offer assistance if its signature industry is to stabilize and grow in years to come.
The Jockey Club is projecting a 2004 North American registered Thoroughbred foal crop of 37,200, a marginal increase over 2003 and an indication that the foal crop size has stabilized following the decline in 2002 due to Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome (MRLS).
The equine abortion rate in Kentucky fell 48% in 2003 from the previous year based on statistics compiled by the University of Kentucky's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center.
- By Tom LaMarra
Kentucky's equine industry will be the focus June 18 when the recently formed Subcomittee on Horse Farming of the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources holds its first meeting.
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.
The equine abortion rate in Kentucky is down 48% from a year ago, based on the latest figures released Monday by the University of Kentucky's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center (LDDC).
Identifying mare reproductive loss syndrome as the culprit, Fasig-Tipton officials said the company would catalogue significantly fewer yearlings this year for its Kentucky select sale. However, the number for the Saratoga select auction will be about the same as in 2002.
The downward trend of equine abortions in Kentucky continued during the third week of May, based on figures released Monday by the University of Kentucky's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center (LDDC) in Lexington.
The Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station has published the scientific papers from the August 2002 workshop on Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome, convened at the University of Kentucky's Gluck Equine Research Center.
The equine abortion rate in Kentucky continued its downward trend, based on figures released Monday by the University of Kentucky's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center (LDDC) in Lexington.
- By Tom LaMarra
In a mock trial held May 2 as part of the National Equine Law Conference in Lexington, a large majority of "jurors" ruled in favor of plaintiffs who filed civil action lawsuits against a farm for damages related to mare reproductive loss syndrome.
The Grayson-Jockey Club Foundation issued an advisory concerning control methods for Eastern Tent Caterpillars, which have been linked to mare reproductive loss syndrome in 2001 and 2002.
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.
The number of reported equine abortions in Kentucky declined for the fourth week in a row, based on figures released by the University of Kentucky's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center (LDDC) on Monday. The latest decrease caused the total for the year to fall below 2002's pace, reversing an upward trend seen earlier in 2003.
Reported equine abortions in Central Kentucky are down for the third week in a row and overall abortions for 2003 are drawing even with the 2002 numbers.
For the second week in a row, equine abortions were down in Kentucky, but the cumulative total remained ahead of last year's pace, based on information released by the University of Kentucky's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center on Feb. 24.
Through the first seven weeks of the year, the number of equine abortions remained up in Kentucky when compared to 2002.
The number of equine abortions in Central Kentucky remains ahead of last year's pace based on the most recent report issued by the University of Kentucky's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center on Tuesday.
The number of mares bred in Kentucky in 2002 -- the year after mare reproductive loss syndrome first hit -- fell by 3.4% from 2001, but the state's broodmare population remains 33% higher than it was a decade earlier, according to figures released by The Jockey Club.
The results of a survey conducted by the Gluck Equine Research Center showed that a small number of Central Kentucky farms experienced an unusual increase in what is being termed fall fetal loss syndrome (FFLS) during the latter part of 2002.
Kentucky's horse industry is proceeding with a plan to develop a computerized equine reproductive health monitoring system at the University of Kentucky's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center (LDDC) after hearing and approving a proposal Monday from a Virginia-based epidemiologist.
Equine abortions were down in Kentucky for the first time this year based on the latest weekly report from the University of Kentucky's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center (LDDC).
Because of the proposed link of the Eastern tent caterpillar and Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome, the Grayson/Jockey Club Research Foundation and the University of Kentucky held an informational session Friday to discuss controlling and eradicating caterpillars.
The abortion rate in Central Kentucky is up significantly from a year ago. But scientists aren't sure why there has been an increase.
The Kentucky Thoroughbred Association (KTA) is working in conjunction with the University of Kentucky, horsemen, and veterinarians to develop a computer program that would help the equine industry detect health problems like mare reproductive loss syndrome more rapidly.
A discussion of work being performed to help eradicate Eastern tent caterpillars will be held at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky sales pavillion in Lexington, Ky. at 9 a.m. (ET) on Friday, Jan. 31.
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