The Horse

JAN 2019

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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30 January 2019 The Horse | introduced onto the premises; isolating sick animals and handling them last out of the groups; and using hand-washing, protective outerwear, foot baths, and dis- infectants to minimize spread of disease." Unfortunately, unlike the equine her- pesviruses, a vaccine for ECoV is not cur- rently available anywhere in the world. Researchers in Japan (Nemoto et al.) did, however, recently test a coronavirus vac- cine for use in cows—the virus belongs to the same Betacoronavirus genus as ECoV—in horses. They conducted this study to determine if the BCoV vaccine could induce the horse's body to produce ECoV infection-fighting antibodies. This strategy is similar to using the canine Lyme vaccine in horses. The research team found that the BCoV vaccine did induce antibody production against ECoV in young Thoroughbreds. Each horse received the vaccine intramuscularly on two occa- sions, 28 days apart. The authors noted, however, that blood antibody levels, or titers, were not particularly elevated. "It is unclear whether the antibodies provided by the BCoV vaccine are suf- ficient to be effective against ECoV and, therefore, ECoV challenge studies (expos- ing healthy horses to the virus following vaccination) in horses are needed to evaluate the efficacy of the vaccine in the future," they wrote. "In addition to efficacy, additional studies on the safety of administering the BCoV vaccine to horses must be conducted prior to recommending the widespread use of the bovine vaccine in at-risk horses," adds Pusterla. Take-Home Message Pusterla, colleagues, and other veteri- narians and researchers continue making progress in understanding this disease. Nonetheless, there remain certain voids. Nearing the top of the list includes preventing infection in the first place. At present, prevention relies on the standard infection control and biosecurity strate- gies mentioned earlier, until additional data regarding vaccination and epidemio- logical information that can help identify at-risk horses become available. h NEW ARRIVAL: EQUINE CORONAVIRUS Ask your vet about InsulinWise TM Struggling with IR-induced laminitis? Available only through your veterinarian. Developed by:, 859-873-2974 Research-proven to support normal insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of laminitis in insulin-resistant horses. NEW! TH 2019-01a (Patent Pending) An ECoV Snapshot ■ Horses exposed to ECoV begin to show clinical signs of disease within 48 to 72 hours; ■ Infected horses shed ECoV in their feces three to four days after exposure; ■ Clinical signs generally resolve in several days to one week with supportive care; ■ Outbreaks typically last about three weeks; ■ Fecal viral shedding has been documented to range, on average, three to 25 days; how- ever, affected horses have been documented shedding as long as 99 days; ■ Intermittent shedding might occur; and ■ Inapparent shedders might be sources of disease spread. These horses do not show clini- cal signs but shed the organism in their manure.—Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc

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