The Horse

SEP 2018

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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Page 40 of 59

41 September 2018 THE HORSE then not only use what they've learned but also pass updated, pertinent informa- tion on to their clients. Vaala says the detailed updated guidelines for judi- cious antimicrobial use in horses will be available on the AAEP website later this year. What Can You Do? Both Weese and Vaala say three commitments on your part will impact AMR in a positive way: 1 Do all you can to prevent disease and, therefore, antibiotic use. "If horses don't get sick, there's no pressure to use antibiotics," Weese says. "Disease prevention practic- es—good infection control and biosecurity, vaccination, and good management—are all important factors." "Good husbandry and biosecurity practices can help reduce the risk of contagious diseases from spreading between horses," Vaala adds. "For instance, new arrivals should be iso- lated from resident horses for a minimum of three weeks to ensure they aren't ill with transmissible diseases." 2 Reserve antibiotics for bacterial infections. Antibiotics don't work on viruses. They also don't work on other noninfectious inflammatory conditions, says Vaala. "Viruses can be treated with antiviral agents, although those drugs are rarely used in the horse for a variety of reasons, including lack of specific dosing infor- mation and expense, as well as the fact that many viral infections are of short duration and resolve with time, rest, and good nursing care," she says. "Without appropriate diagnostics, many equine viral infections are treated unnecessarily with antibiotics." She recommends trying to identify the bacteria involved and establish which antibiotics are most effective against them. "A horse with a fever, cough, and nasal discharge might have a viral infection or a bacterial infection," she continues. "There are tests to help differentiate between viral and bacterial causes, and veterinarians are encouraged to pursue diagnostic testing whenever possible to determine the cause of an inflammatory condition." For example, she says, veterinarians can collect a nasal swab and submit it for qPCR testing (which looks for DNA) against a panel of viral (equine influenza virus, equine herpesvirus-1 and -4, equine rhinitis virus) and bacterial (Streptococ- cus equi, the causative agent of strangles) pathogens. If they suspect a lower respi- ratory infection they can submit a trans- tracheal aspirate for bacterial culture. Fecal cultures can help diagnose gastroin- testinal bacteria such as Salmonella or C. difficile. As an additional diagnostic they might also measure serum amyloid A (a protein the liver produces in response to inflammation) levels to rule out the need for antibiotics. Horses ill with influenza don't need antibiotics, of course, only requiring them if they develop a secondary bacterial infection, says Vaala. "A wound is another example of a condition that may not require systemic antibiotic therapy to heal. And not all cases of diarrhea should be treated with antibiotics," she continues. "Also, when DUSTY PERIN Only use FDA-approved antibiotics, not illegally compounded formulations. h e l l o @ s t a b l e l a b . c o m w w w . s t a b l e l a b . c o m Stablelab detects infections with 50 times greater sensitivity than a thermometer Monitor Monitor response to treatment Screen Implement protocols to catch problems early Detect Detect and measure infection

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