The Horse

NOV 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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TheHorse.com | The Horse November 2018 11 Researchers know that some nutritional solu- tions, such as omega-3 fatty acids and glucos- amine, can help reduce osteoarthritis-associated inflammation. But what if there were a better way to manage or even prevent the condition in young horses in the first place? Amanda Bradbery, a graduate student in Texas A&M University's Department of Animal Science, and colleagues recently sought to determine whether dietary conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) could benefit horses with arthritis. "Articular cartilage is slow to regenerate follow- ing trauma or overloading of a joint, ultimately leading to osteoarthritis in adulthood," Bradbery said. "Due to this slow repair process, we chose to focus our efforts on reducing inflammation and shifting cartilage metabolism in young horses with the hope of delaying the onset of osteoarthritis." The team randomly assigned 17 Quarter Horse yearlings to one of three treatment groups, each receiving a supple- ment totaling 1% of the diet top-dressed onto their daily commercial concentrate rations: either soybean oil (control diet, CON); soybean oil and CLA (low diet, LOW); or CLA (high diet, HIGH). The yearlings consumed those rations for 41 days before the team challenged their knee cartilage with intra-articular injections of either Escherichia coli-derived lipopolysaccharide (to induce inflammation) or sterile solution (to act as a control). Then, they collected and evaluated synovial fluid samples. The team found that HIGH treatment horses had lower plasma and synovial fluid concentrations of arachidonic acid—a precursor for prostaglandins (inflammatory mediators) and an indication of joint inflammation—than did controls. LOW horses only had reduced synovial fluid concentrations. The team found that LPS administration caused a noticeable elevation in heart and respiration rates and temperatures (indicative of inflammation), but all values remained within the normal range. Also, the team found that while CLA didn't reduce inflammation in knees after challenge, synovial fluid analysis suggested that CLA-fed yearlings experi- enced less cartilage degradation than did controls, along with improved cartilage regeneration. "When horses were exposed to an acute inflam- matory event, we did not see a significant reduction in joint inflam- mation as hoped," Bradbery said. "However, the observed reduction in articular cartilage degradation in supplemented horses alludes to the potential of dietary CLA to improve joint health in young horses exposed to acute inflammation." Read more at TheHorse.com/160534.—Kristen Janicki, MS, PAS ANNE M. EBERHARDT/THE HORSE RESPE: Tracking Equine Diseases in France One of the French Equine Veterinary Asso- ciation's (AVEF) responsibilities is monitoring horse health and welfare. To do this AVEF collaborates with RESPE—Réseau d'Epidémio Surveillance en Pathologie Equine, the French epidemiological network for equine diseases. One of RESPE's main missions is to moni- tor equine diseases in France and alert the horse industry when a contagious disease outbreak occurs. More than 750 "sentinel veterinarians" throughout the country conduct disease surveillance. They can send data and samples through RESPE to partner laborato- ries for analysis. Depending on the disease, RESPE can issue real-time alerts and/or periodic reports, which allow owners, horse keepers, and veterinarians to adopt biosecurity measures based on their proximity to the outbreak and risk level for their horses. In case of a biosecurity crisis, RESPE can trigger a "crisis unit" that comprises profes- sionals and experts to allow appropriate—but also realistic and pragmatic—situation management. Further, RESPE hosts trainings and events for all audiences, as well as scientific conferences. Les Rencontres du RESPE is a daylong Congress that takes place every two years. The next one is scheduled for Nov. 29 and will focus on "pasture diseases," such as atypical myopathy, equine grass sickness, and other plant-based toxicities in horses. Learn more about RESPE at TheHorse. com/161191. —Eric Richard, DVM, PhD, HDR WEVA secretary For additional news items, see TheHorse.com/News Feeding Practices at U.S. Equine Veterinary Hospitals Proper nutrition and a balanced diet are important components in keeping horses healthy. But nutrition becomes even more critical when a horse's health is com- promised, such as when they're hospitalized during serious illness or after surgery. Recent study results suggest some clinics might not be placing enough emphasis on nutrition. "I was surprised at the number of equine veterinary hospitals that did not have specific nutritional protocols in place for conditions such as laminitis, colic, tying-up, etc.," said Jo-Anne Murray, PhD, MSc, PgDip, PgCert, BSc (Hons), BHSII, RNutr, PFHEA, of the University of Glasgow, in Scotland. Of the 24 U.S. facilities that responded to Murray's survey, 79% reported taking rehabilitative status and health condition/surgery into consideration when deciding feed types, but 21% reportedly fed all patients the same diet. The team believes further work is needed to evaluate more hospitals' feeding practices and better understand veterinarian perspectives on equine nutrition. weva Can a Supplement Help Delay Arthritis Onset in Young Horses? Good or Bad Equine Welfare? If there's one thing horse owners aren't short on, it's opinions. From feed types to horse housing and more, equestrians know what they believe and why. This even ex- tends to horse welfare, researchers found. Katrina Merkies, PhD, of the University of Guelph, in Canada, and colleagues asked industry professionals to consider scenarios in which a horse's welfare might (or might not) be compromised. Respondents agreed most about scenarios suggesting a horse might be in pain, but there was significant discrep- ancy on scenarios in which social and emotional needs might be compromised. People's responses seemed to vary based on their experiences, she said, which indicates that welfare assessment is subjective and highlights the need for objective and reliable evaluation tools.

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