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Objective—To assess microorganisms isolated from blood specimens obtained from critically ill neonatal foals and to evaluate their antimicrobial susceptibility patterns.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—543 neonatal foals.

Procedure—Medical records of foals that were < 1 month old and were admitted to a referral neonatal intensive care unit were reviewed for results of bacteriologic culture of blood and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns.

Results—At least 1 microorganism was isolated from 155 of 543 (28.5%) foals. Escherichia coli was the most commonly isolated bacterium. A single grampositive organism was detected in 49 foals. Although 90% of the E coli isolates were susceptible to amikacin, some gram-negative and gram-positive organisms had resistance against multiple antimicrobials.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Gram-negative bacteria remain the most common isolates from blood of neonatal foals; however, gram-positive organisms were also found, and with greater prevalence than reported elsewhere. Susceptibility patterns may vary, and resistance to multiple antimicrobials may develop. This is especially true for organisms such as Enterobacter spp and Enterococcus spp. Prudent empirical treatment for neonatal sepsis should include broad-spectrum antimicrobials. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:1608–1610)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Case Description—66 horses were potentially exposed to phosphine (a gas) 14 hours after being fed a pelleted ration treated with aluminum phosphide.

Clinical Findings—28 horses had clinical signs of profuse sweating, tachycardia, tachypnea, pyrexia, ataxia, seizures, and widespread muscle tremors. Clinically relevant laboratory findings included hypoglycemia and high plasma concentrations of lactate and ammonia and activities of γ-glutamyl transpeptidase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alkaline phosphatase. At least 4 horses had signs consistent with hepatic encephalopathy. Necropsy findings included petechial and ecchymotic hemorrhages in multiple organs, widespread vascular congestion, hepatic lipidosis, and neuronal necrosis in the brain. Phosphine was detected in the stomachs of the 3 horses tested.

Treatment and Outcome—On the farm, horses were treated with gastric lavage followed by administration of di-tri-octahedral smectite, atropine, fluids, and sedatives. Six horses were hospitalized, and lactated Ringer's solution and flunixin meglumine were administered IV. Additionally, 10% dextrose, corn syrup, and di-tri-octahedral smectite were administered PO. Twenty-seven horses died within 2 days after exposure. Two survivors (1 without clinical signs of toxicosis) made a complete recovery.

Clinical Relevance—Progression of clinical signs in affected horses in this report was rapid, with few treatment options available, leading to a high case fatality rate. Fumigation with aluminum phosphide is commonly performed to eliminate weevils and other insects from stored grains. When appropriate precautions are used during fumigation, risk to livestock is typically minimal.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To characterize healing of corneal epithelial defects in horses and to evaluate the ability of epidermal growth factor (EGF) to modulate rate of corneal epithelial healing in horses.

Sample Population—20 eyes in 12 adult horses.

Procedure—Corneal epithelial wounds were created by mechanically debriding the limbus. Corneal healing was recorded for 3 treatment groups: 50 µg of EGF/ml (n = 5 eyes), 5 µg of EGF/ml (7), and PBS solution (8). Corneal healing was recorded once daily after instillation of fluorescein stain by use of photography and calculating the area of the wound, using imaging software.

Results—After corneal debridement, re-epithelialization was rapid and progressed in a linear fashion for the first 5 to 7 days after surgery in all groups. After that period, rates of healing decreased. A profound increase in the degree of inflammation, neovascularization, melanosis, and scarring was observed in eyes treated with the high dose of EGF (50 µg/ml), but there was not a statistical difference in mean healing time or in mean decrease in radius during the linear phase between the control and either EGF treatment groups. However, for all 8 horses in which both eyes were debrided, the first eye healed significantly faster than the second eye, regardless of treatment.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Beneficial effects of topical administration of a high dose of EGF for acceleration of healing of corneal defects in eyes of horses are outweighed by the intensity of the associated inflammatory response. (Am J Vet Res 2000; 61:1150–1155)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research