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Fight Against Equine Infectious Disease Helped by Equine Foundation of Canada

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   February 16, 2012 11:39

 

With a highly mobile horse community, keeping your horses free from disease is one of the biggest challenges for horse owners.  The fight to keep infectious diseases at bay has taken a step forward with a generous donation from the Equine Foundation of Canada.  The funding allows the purchase of new equipment, including a microcentrifuge and fluorometer, for the Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses at the University of Guelph.

 

"This equipment will help us explore some new areas in equine infectious diseases and hopefully help us understand how to better treat and prevent serious infections. We are grateful for the assistance of the Equine Foundation of Canada in advancing equine infectious disease research.” says Dr. Scott Weese, an equine internal medicine specialist and microbiologist with the Ontario Veterinary College and University of Guelph’s Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses.

 

The funding for this equipment will help advance the specialized work being done in his lab, and complement the array of equipment that is already present in the laboratory, including a state-of-the-art ‘next generation’ sequencing system. “Our laboratory was the first laboratory of any type in Canada to obtain this system, and it provides a unique capability internationally to perform equine infectious diseases research,” continues Weese.

 

With increased awareness of the dangers of infectious disease, recently heightened by the news of an equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) fatality in Ontario, this is a timely and welcome development.  “Biosecurity, the prevention of disease spread, is an issue of growing concern for the industry.  Equine Guelph will be working with Dr. Weese and his staff to get more information out to the horse industry in our communications and education programs.  The Equine Foundation of Canada has helped us to move this agenda forward with their funding for new equipment and are to be commended for their initiative to help the Canadian horse industry in this way.” says Gayle Ecker, Director of Equine Guelph.  Registration is now open for the new education program “Beat the Bugs: Biosecurity for the Horse Owner” which launches this spring.  Members of the equine industry will take away valuable information for themselves and for their employees to help prevent the spread of infectious disease.

 

For more information about Biosecurity programs offered by Equine Guelph visit: http://www.equineguelph.ca/biosecurity.php or contact:  Dr. Susan Raymond (slraymon@uoguelph.ca)

 

 

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Biosecurity Tool – Does Your Barn get the Green Light?

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   February 14, 2012 18:37

 

With all the breaking news on the importance of biosecurity – Isn’t it time to bone up on preventative measures your barn could be taking?   Calculate your horse farm’s risks with Equine Guelph’s Biosecurity Risk Calculator, a tool designed for horse owners to generate a report that grades them on their biosecurity management practices on their farms.  See if you score a green, amber or red light.

Live and online at Biosecurity Calculator, the interactive tool is an educational resource of Equine Guelph (University of Guelph) developed in collaboration with Colorado State University and sponsored by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation and Vétoquinol Canada Inc.

 

"Every horse owner should think about a biosecurity management plan,” says Karen Ann Paradis, Equine Product Manager of Vétoquinol. “Having a solid understanding of equine health, infectious disease and disease control is paramount in reducing biosecurity risk in a high-risk industry."

 

After taking the 10 minute, 42 question Biosecurity Calculator quiz - turn those amber scores green by increasing your knowledge with Equine Guelph’s biosecurity workshops this March and 2 week e-Session April 16 - 29.    The combined feedback from the Biosecurity Calculator and Equine Guelph’s upcoming programs will provide you with the best practices for decreasing risk of infectious disease in your horse(s).  

 

To learn more about Equine Guelph’s biocesurity programs visit:    www.EquineGuelph.ca/biosecurity.php

WCVM research survey targets Cushing’s disease

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   February 8, 2012 11:19


Cushing’s disease is considered one of the most commonly diagnosed endocrine disorders of horses — especially as the equine population continues to age. But just how common is the disease internationally?


It’s one of the questions that researchers at the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) are addressing through a 16-question survey of international equine practitioners. The online survey, which was launched in January 2012, is available at www.wcvm.com/veterinarians/cushings_survey.php for the next six months.


“Our objective is to determine the true prevalence of Cushing’s disease worldwide, because until now, previous surveys were only based in the U.S.,” explains Dr. James Carmalt, an equine surgeon and associate professor in the WCVM’s Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences.


Carmalt is also a PhD student in equine neurophysiology through the veterinary college’s Department of Veterinary Pathology. He and his graduate supervisor, veterinary pathologist Dr. Andrew Allen, are beginning to explore a new treatment methodology for equine Cushing’s disease.


Carmalt and his colleagues at the western Canadian veterinary college will use practitioners’ responses to the brief survey to determine the incidence of the disease and the most common treatment protocols being used by practitioners in countries around the world. The WCVM researchers also want to evaluate the need for developing new treatment methodologies.
“Right now, the only available treatment for Cushing’s disease requires daily dosing of medications for the rest of the horse’s life. It’s onerous, time consuming and a huge management challenge,” says Carmalt, who urges horse owners to inform their veterinarians about the survey.


“If the responses from this survey reflect our impression that practitioners need a new option to offer their clients, our ultimate goal is to develop a one-time treatment for the disease so daily medications for Cushing’s disease become unnecessary.”
For more information about the Cushing’s disease survey for equine practitioners, please contact Dr. James Carmalt (james.carmalt@usask.ca). As part of the survey, practitioners can also provide their email addresses if they wish to receive a copy of the survey results.


Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association
202 - 224 Pacific Ave
Saskatoon SK S7K 1N9
T. 306.955.7862 | F. 306.975.0623
svma@svma.sk.ca | http://www.svma.sk.ca

Biosecurity Workshop @ e-Session Dates Announced by Equine Guelph

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 26, 2012 13:45

January 26, 2012– Find out what steps you can take to protect your barn from sporadic disease, outbreaks and infectious diseases.

 

“The recent devastating outbreak of EHV-1 in North America has highlighted the importance of infection control and biosecurity, as well as the deficiencies in knowledge and application that are present across the industry,” says Scott Weese, associate professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Guelph.  Proof-positive that the time for prevention has now arrived is the January 2012 biosecurity update from Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs confirming cases of Equine Herpes in Southern Ontario.

 

Equine Guelph’s “Beat the Bugs with Biosecurity,” program promotes biosecurity throughout all sectors of the horse industry. The program is funded through the Agricultural Biosecurity Program (ABP), part of the Best Practices Suite of programs under Growing Forward, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of several Growing Forward programs in Ontario.

 

“Increasing knowledge of best biosecurity practices stands to benefit the horse industry by reducing the risk of disease transmission and, in turn, could create a huge positive economic impact and prevent a potential catastrophic outbreak,”  says Equine Guelph director, Gayle Ecker.

 

The “Beat the Bugs” program includes four workshops, conducted by biosecurity specialists, offered free of charge on a first come, first served basis. The workshops are scheduled as follows:  Mohawk Racetrack, Campbellville, March 7, 1 – 3pm; Western Fair, London (during Can-Am), March 16, 10am – noon; Kemptville College, Kemptville, March 24, 2 – 4pm; and Georgian Downs, Barrie, March 27, 1:30 – 3:30pm.  Contact Susan Raymond at Equine Guelph, slraymon@uoguelph.ca, to register and for more information.

 

For those who are looking to take their biosecurity knowledge to the next level, a two-week Equine Biosecurity e-Session is available April 16 – 29 for $75 (plus HST) per person.  Contact Susan Raymond at Equine Guelph, slraymon@uoguelph.ca, to register and for more information.

 

“Beat the Bugs” has been developed by Equine Guelph with the assistance of its 11 industry partners: American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation, Central Ontario Standardbred Association, Colorado State University, Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, Ontario Association of Equine Practitioners, Ontario Equestrian Federation, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association, Ontario Veterinary College, Standardbred Canada, Vétoquinol Canada Inc. and Woodbine Entertainment Group.

 

For more information on the “Beat the Bugs with Biosecurity” initiative, and to view the Biosecurity Risk Calculator, visit www.EquineGuelph.ca/biosecurity.php.

 

 

 

 

 

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Biosecurity Update: New EHV-1 case in Canada

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 23, 2012 14:18

   Veterinary Update

Animal Health and Welfare Branch/Office of the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


 

                                                    January 19, 2012

Confirmed Case of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy in Southern Ontario

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has been notified of a confirmed case of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM), caused by equine herpes virus 1 (EHV-1),  in Southern Ontario.  A blood sample from a horse with severe neurological signs tested positive for EHV-1 in early January. The horse was euthanized after its condition deteriorated.  On a second farm in the same area, another horse with similar signs was euthanized in late December.  No samples were collected from that horse.

 

In 2011, there was one laboratory-confirmed case and one suspect case of EHM in Ontario.

 

EHV-1 infection in horses can cause respiratory disease, abortion, neonatal foal death, and/or neurological disease.  EHV-1 is not a federally Reportable Disease.  

 

Because infected horses may show no clinical signs, but still shed the virus, the temperature of suspect animals should be monitored twice daily for 14 -21 days and any abnormalities discussed with a veterinarian. Neurological signs include loss of muscle coordination, lethargy, inability to urinate, reduced tail tone and/or head tilt.  It is important that a veterinarian assess suspect cases of EHM, since it can be difficult to distinguish between this and other serious diseases, such as rabies, that can affect the nervous system in horses.

 

EHV-1 is easily spread by sharing contaminated equipment, contact with an animal carrying the virus, or by the clothing, hands or equipment of visitors to farms who recently had contact with an infected horse. 

 

All horse owners should be reminded to practice vaccination and appropriate biosecurity protocols and procedures (see links below) for horses and equipment coming on and off the farm, particularly if traveling to shows or events. 

 

Current EHV vaccines may reduce viral shedding but are not protective against the neurological form of the disease. Implementing routine biosecurity practices is the best way to minimize the spread of this disease.

 

Increased vigilance is needed in the equine industry at this time.  In cases of neurological disease, a veterinarian’s first obligation is to rule out rabies if the animal dies or is euthanized, by submitting a brain sample to CFIA. Appropriate personal protection, such as gloves and a face shield, should be used when collecting samples.

The resources listed below contain excellent information on basic biosecurity practices and infection control.

 

Equine Herpes Virus is an opportunity to remind your clients that the best method of disease control is disease prevention.




 

 

RESOURCES

 

UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN

 

http://blogs.usask.ca/EHRF/EHV%20fact%20sheet-1.MAR.20.pdf

 

 

OMAFRA

 

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/horses/facts/prev-disease-spread.htm

 

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/livestock/horses/health.html

 

 

EQUINE GUELPH

 

http://www.equineguelph.ca/education/equiplanner_guidelines_strangles.php

 

http://www.equineguelph.ca/pdf/facts/vacc_guidelines_print_FINAL.pdf

 

 

AMERICAN PLANT AND HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE

 

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/nahss/equine/ehv/equine_herpesvirus_brochure_2009.pdf

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