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  • Author or Editor: Thomas W. Riddle x
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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether serum thyroxine (T4) concentration was associated with pregnancy rates 15 to 16 days after ovulation in mares and to determine whether thyroid hormone supplementation would enhance fertility in mares.

Design—Cohort study.

Animals—329 clinically normal broodmares.

Procedure—Mares were examined 15 to 16 days after ovulation to determine whether they were pregnant; blood samples for determination of serum T4 concentration were collected at the same time. Sixty mares were receiving thyroid hormone supplementation prior to the study because of low serum T4 concentration (< 16 µg/dl) prior to breeding.

Results—Serum T4 concentration ranged from 4.5 to 53.9 mg/dl. Forty (12%) mares had low (< 16 µg/dl) concentrations, 283 (86%) had normal concentrations, and 6 (2%) had high (> 45 µg/dl) concentrations. Two hundred thirty-one mares were pregnant 15 to 16 days after ovulation. A significant association between serum T4 concentration (low, normal, or high) and pregnancy (yes or no) was not detected, and logistic regression analysis indicated that serum T4 concentration was not significantly related to pregnancy. Of the 269 mares not receiving thyroid hormone supplementation, 187 were pregnant, and of the 60 mares receiving thyroid supplementation, 44 were pregnant. There was no significant relationship between thyroid hormone supplementation and pregnancy status.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that serum T4 concentration in mares is not significantly associated with pregnancy 15 to 16 days after ovulation. Results also suggest that supplementation of mares that only have low T4 concentrations is not indicated or likely to be beneficial. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:64–66)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To characterize the temporality of dates of breeding and abortion classified as mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS) among mares with abortions during early gestation.

Animals—2,314 mares confirmed pregnant at approximately 28 days after breeding from 36 farms in central Kentucky, including 515 mares that had earlyterm abortions.

Procedure—Farm veterinarians and managers were interviewed to obtain data for each mare that was known to be pregnant to determine pregnancy status, breeding date, last date known to be pregnant, and date of abortion.

Results—Mares bred prior to April 1, 2001, appeared to be at greatest risk of early-term abortion, both among and within individual farms. Mares bred in mid-February appeared to be at greatest risk of abortion, with an estimated weekly incidence rate of abortion of 66% (95% CI, 52% to 80%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Mares in central Kentucky bred between mid-February and early March were observed to be at greatest risk of early-term abortion, and risk gradually decreased to a background incidence of abortion of approximately 11%. Mares bred after April 1, 2001, appeared to be at markedly less risk, indicating that exposure to the cause of MRLS likely occurred prior to this date. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1792–1797)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To estimate spatial risks associated with mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS) during 2001 among horses in a specific study population and partition the herd effects into those attributable to herd location and those that were spatially random and likely attributable to herd management.

Animals—Pregnant broodmares from 62 farms in 7 counties in central Kentucky.

Procedure—Veterinarians provided the 2001 abortion incidence proportions for each farm included in the study. Farms were georeferenced and data were analyzed by use of a fully Bayesian risk-mapping technique.

Results—Large farm-to-farm variation in MRLS incidence proportions was identified. The farm-to-farm variation was largely attributed to spatial location rather than to spatially random herd effects

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate that there are considerable data to support an ecologic cause and potential ecologic risk factors for MRLS. Veterinary practitioners with more detailed knowledge of the ecology in the 7 counties in Kentucky that were investigated may provide additional data that would assist in the deduction of the causal factor of MRLS via informal geographic information systems analyses and suggest factors for inclusion in further investigations. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:17–20)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To identify factors associated with abortions during early gestation classified as mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS).

Design—Case-control study.

Animals—324 broodmares from 43 farms in central Kentucky, including 121 mares from 25 farms that had early-term abortions (ETAs) associated with MRLS (case horses), 120 mares from the same farms but that did not abort, and 83 mares from 18 farms that were not severely impacted by MRLS.

Procedure—Farm managers were interviewed to obtain data on various management practices and environmental exposures for the mares. Data for case and control horses were compared to identify risk factors for mares having MRLS-associated ETAs.

Results—Several factors increased the risk of MRLS-associated ETAs, including feeding hay in pasture, greater than usual amounts of white clover in pastures, more eastern tent caterpillars in pastures, abortion during a previous pregnancy, and sighting deer or elk on the premises.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Analysis indicates that certain characteristics of pastures predisposed mares to MRLS-associated ETAs. Methods for limiting exposure to pasture (keeping mares in stalls longer) during environmental conditions similar to those of 2001 (ie, sudden freezing in mid-April following warmer-than-usual springtime temperatures and larger-than-usual numbers of eastern tent caterpillars in and around pastures) should reduce the risk of mares having MRLS-associated ETAs. It was not possible to determine whether exposure to white clover or caterpillars were causal factors for MRLS or were merely indicators of unusual environmental conditions that resulted in exposure of mares to a toxic or infectious agent. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:210–217)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the percentage of broodmares and foals that shed Clostridium perfringens in their feces and classify the genotypes of those isolates.

Design—Prospective cross-sectional study.

Animals—128 broodmares and their foals on 6 equine premises.

Procedures—Anaerobic and aerobic bacteriologic cultures were performed on feces collected 3 times from broodmares and foals. All isolates of C perfringens were genotyped.

ResultsClostridium perfringens was isolated from the feces of 90% of 3-day-old foals and 64% of foals at 8 to 12 hours of age. A lower percentage of broodmares and 1- to 2-month-old foals shed C perfringens in their feces, compared with neonatal foals. Among samples with positive results, C perfringens type A was the most common genotype identified (85%); C perfringens type A with the β2 toxin gene was identified in 12% of samples, C perfringens type A with the enterotoxin gene was identified in 2.1% of samples, and C perfringens type C was identified in < 1% of samples.

Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceClostridium perfringens was identified from the feces of all but 6 foals by 3 days of age and is likely part of the normal microflora of neonatal foals. Most isolates from broodmares and foals are C perfringens type A; thus, the clinical relevance of culture results alone is questionable. Clostridium perfringens type C, which has been associated with neonatal enterocolitis, is rarely found in the feces of horses. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:342–348)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association