An update from the UK College of Agriculture regarding progress of the investigation into the Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has assured by the Florida State Veterinarian that there is no ban on the entry of Kentucky-grown hay into the state of Florida.
Charles Frank, the veterinary advisor to the United Kingdom Thoroughbred Breeders Association, said that in a meeting earlier this week of the European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders that a statement was made to advise members not to re-import horses to Europe until a cause of the current health problems in Kentucky was identified. "The last thing we want is a ban," said Frank.
National City Bank of Kentucky donated $25,000 specifically to support research into the cause and prevention of the equine loss syndrome seen in Central Kentucky and several other states since late April. Also, Robert and Janice McNaris' Stonerside Stable announced that 1% of the purses earned by Congaree in any remaining Triple Crown races and in this year's Breeders' Cup will go to the same research.
Dr. Doug Byars, head of the medicine unit at Hagyard-Davidson-McGee in Lexington, Ky., said his clinic alone has seen about 40 cases of pericarditis (fluid in the sac around the heart) in the past two weeks.
Because of recent recommendations to add probiotics to the feed of at-risk animals, Hallway has created Mare-Guard Plus that contains probiotics.
As of noon May 17, the Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center had received nine additional aborted/stillborn equine fetuses/foals (four early-term and five late-term) for diagnostic testing/evaluation. The total received since April 28, 2001, is 486.
There is increasing evidence indicating that molds and mycotoxins are involved in the syndromes in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia this spring.
As of noon May 16, the Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center had received nine additional aborted/stillborn equine fetuses/foals (five early-term and four late-term) for diagnostic testing/evaluation. The total received since April 28, 2001, is 477.
The latest information regarding what has now been named "Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome" (MRLS) occurring in Kentucky's equine population.
Tom Priddy, a meteorologist at the University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture, put together data on the weather this spring that is thought to have caused the current equine problems associated with pasture.
Based on scientific and diagnostic results available to date, the Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners has issued the following suggestions for veterinarians to discuss with their clients based on a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship. This is subject to change based on updates from scientific results.
As Ohio veterinarians try to understand and determine what might be affecting foals in the Ohio River Valley, the number of foals and fetuses available for testing by the diagnostic lab is no greater than normal. Sheila Grimes, DVM, PhD, Pathology Section Head for the Ohio Department of Agriculture's Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, recommends that horse owners submit aborted fetuses and deceased foals with the placenta for testing.
The good news is that the federal government doesn't have to be in Kentucky or any other state because of the current spring syndromes taking place in the horse populations. They would be required to investigate if there was any indication that an infectious or contagious disease process was at work.
As of noon May 15, the Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center had received 26 additional aborted/stillborn equine fetuses/foals (18 late-term and eight early-term) for diagnostic testing/evaluation. The total received since April 28, 2001, is 468.
It might not be possible to gauge the extent of the fetal loss syndrome problem in Ohio since pleasure horse owners might not pay for the cost of testing on dead fetuses and foals presented to the diagnostic lab. However, anecdotal reports support evidence that veterinarians and breeders in Ohio are seeing an abnormal number of problems.
Industry organizations have taken a proactive stand in the wake of the fetal loss syndrome that has gripped Central Kentucky farms in recent weeks. Tim Smith, commissioner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, has been in contact with federal officials and is planning to spend most of Wednesday and Thursday morning in the nation's capital, meeting with members of Congress and staff to discuss the possibility of federal assistance for breeders who are being financially crippled by the health crisis. But Smith had some bad news about existing federal programs.
By Ray Paulick -- Politicians should look beyond the false image of the breeding industry to the rank-and-file horse farmers.
Dr. Claire Latimer is a specialist in veterinary ophthalmology, the study of animal eyes. Since May 1, she has seen a surprising increase of eye problems in horses in Central Kentucky that fall into two distinct groups.
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