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Sublingual administration of detomidine in horses: Sedative effect, analgesia and detection time.

Sublingual administration of detomidine in horses: Sedative effect, analgesia and detection time.

Vet J. 2012 Oct 10;

Authors: L’ami JJ, Vermunt LE, van Loon JP, Sloet van Oldruitenborgh-Oosterbaan MM

Abstract
A single dose of 40μg/kg bodyweight (BW) of oromucosal detomidine gel was administered sublingually to 10 healthy Dutch Warmblood mares aged 7±4years (mean±SD) and BW 580±69kg. Blood and urine samples were collected before and for 8days following administration and evaluated qualitatively in an FEI Reference Laboratory and quantitatively in a research laboratory. Clinical effects were evaluated at baseline and for 24h after administration. Sedation was determined using head height and scores of reaction to auditory and mixed auditory/sensory stimuli. Mechanical nociceptive thresholds (MNTs) were assessed using pressure algometry to evaluate analgesia. Heart rate (HR) was measured and ataxia scored. All horses were considered negative for detomidine in blood samples by 48h post-administration and in urine by 60h. These results indicated that a safe withdrawal time for detomidine oromucosal gel may be 72h following a single sublingual administration of 40μg/kgBW. Decreases in HR and head height were maximal at 40 and 60min post-administration, respectively. The maximal decrease in response to stimuli was observed at 100min. Ataxia was maximal at 60min. At 40 and 80min MNTs were significantly increased compared to baseline. All parameters, except the MNTs of two locations, which were decreased, returned to baseline values within 24h post-administration.

PMID: 23062724 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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Field efficacy of praziquantel oral paste against naturally acquired equine cestodes in Ethiopia.

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Field efficacy of praziquantel oral paste against naturally acquired equine cestodes in Ethiopia.

Parasitol Res. 2012 Sep 22;

Authors: Getachew AM, Innocent G, Proudman CJ, Trawford A, Feseha G, Reid SW, Faith B, Love S

Abstract
The efficacy of an oral formulation of praziquantel (Equitape, Horse paste, Fort Dodge) in the reduction of cestode egg counts and serum antibody level against Anoplocephala perfoliata was assessed in 44 donkeys under field conditions. The donkeys were confirmed both by faecal examination and serum antibody assessed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to have natural infection with tapeworms. The donkeys were randomly allocated into treatment (n = 22) and control (n = 22) groups. The treatment group was treated with both praziquantel and ivermectin (Ivomec, Merial) at a dose rate of 1 mg/kg and 200 μg/kg, respectively while the control group was treated only with ivermectin. Faecal samples were collected before treatment (day-0) and 2, 6, 8, 12, and 16 weeks post-treatment while blood samples were collected before treatment and 8 and 16 weeks after treatment and analysed. The results of the study demonstrated that praziquantel paste was highly effective in reducing cestode eggs in donkeys and had an efficacy of more than 99 % until week 16 (day 112). No cestode egg reappearance by 16 weeks post-treatment in any animal in the treatment group was observed while donkeys in the control group continued shedding cestode eggs. The immunological assay also showed a significant reduction in serum antibody level against A. perfoliata in treated donkeys compared to the control group (p = 0.0001). This marked decrease in serum antibody level indicates reduced risk of cestode-associated colic and other gastrointestinal disorders and clinical diseases. No adverse reactions or clinical effects were encountered in any animal within either group throughout the trial period.

PMID: 23001508 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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Psychological factors affecting equine performance.

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Psychological factors affecting equine performance.

BMC Vet Res. 2012 Sep 27;8(1):180

Authors: McBride SD, Mills DS

Abstract
ABSTRACT: For optimal individual performance within any equestrian discipline horses must be in peak physical condition and have the correct psychological state. This review discusses the psychological factors that affect the performance of the horse and, in turn, identifies areas within the competition horse industry where current behavioral research and established behavioral modification techniques could be applied to further enhance the performance of animals. In particular, the role of affective processes underpinning temperament, mood and emotional reaction in determining discipline-specific performance is discussed. A comparison is then made between the training and the competition environment and the review completes with a discussion on how behavioral modification techniques and general husbandry can be used advantageously from a performance perspective.

PMID: 23016987 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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Estimating variance components and predicting breeding values for eventing disciplines and grades in sport horses.

Estimating variance components and predicting breeding values for eventing disciplines and grades in sport horses.

Animal. 2012 Sep;6(9):1377-88

Authors: Stewart ID, White IM, Gilmour AR, Thompson R, Woolliams JA, Brotherstone S

Abstract
Eventing competitions in Great Britain (GB) comprise three disciplines, each split into four grades, yielding 12 discipline-grade traits. As there is a demand for tools to estimate (co)variance matrices with a large number of traits, the aim of this work was to investigate different methods to produce large (co)variance matrices using GB eventing data. Data from 1999 to 2008 were used and penalty points were converted to normal scores. A sire model was utilised to estimate fixed effects of gender, age and class, and random effects of sire, horse and rider. Three methods were used to estimate (co)variance matrices. Method 1 used a method based on Gibbs sampling and data augmentation and imputation. Methods 2a and 2b combined sub-matrices from bivariate analyses; one took samples from a multivariate Normal distribution defined by the covariance matrix from each bivariate analysis, then analysed these data in a 12-trait multivariate analysis; the other replaced negative eigenvalues in the matrix with positive values to obtain a positive definite (co)variance matrix. A formal comparison of models could not be conducted; however, estimates from all methods, particularly Methods 2a/2b, were in reasonable agreement. The computational requirements of Method 1 were much less compared with Methods 2a or 2b. Method 2a heritability estimates were as follows: for dressage 7.2% to 9.0%, for show jumping 8.9% to 16.2% and for cross-country 1.3% to 1.4%. Method 1 heritability estimates were higher for the advanced grades, particularly for dressage (17.1%) and show jumping (22.6%). Irrespective of the model, genetic correlations between grades, for dressage and show jumping, were positive, high and significant, ranging from 0.59 to 0.99 for Method 2a and 0.78 to 0.95 for Method 1. For cross-country, using Method 2a, genetic correlations were only significant between novice and pre-novice (0.75); however, using Method 1 estimates were all significant and low to moderate (0.36 to 0.70). Between-discipline correlations were all low and of mixed sign. All methods produced positive definite 12 × 12 (co)variance matrices, suitable for the prediction of breeding values. Method 1 benefits from much reduced computational requirements, and by performing a true multivariate analysis.

PMID: 23031512 [PubMed – in process]

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Do horses expect humans to solve their problems?

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Do horses expect humans to solve their problems?

Front Psychol. 2012;3:306

Authors: Lesimple C, Sankey C, Richard MA, Hausberger M

Abstract
Domestic animals are highly capable of detecting human cues, while wild relatives tend to perform less well (e.g., responding to pointing gestures). It is suggested that domestication may have led to the development of such cognitive skills. Here, we hypothesized that because domestic animals are so attentive and dependant to humans’ actions for resources, the counter effect may be a decline of self sufficiency, such as individual task solving. Here we show a negative correlation between the performance in a learning task (opening a chest) and the interest shown by horses toward humans, despite high motivation expressed by investigative behaviors directed at the chest. If human-directed attention reflects the development of particular skills in domestic animals, this is to our knowledge the first study highlighting a link between human-directed behaviors and impaired individual solving task skills (ability to solve a task by themselves) in horses.

PMID: 22936923 [PubMed – in process]

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Identification of suitable areas for West Nile virus outbreaks in equid populations for application in surveillance plans: the example of the Castile and Leon region of Spain.

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Identification of suitable areas for West Nile virus outbreaks in equid populations for application in surveillance plans: the example of the Castile and Leon region of Spain.

Epidemiol Infect. 2012 Sep;140(9):1617-31

Authors: Rodríguez-Prieto V, Martínez-López B, Martínez M, Muñoz MJ, Sánchez-Vizcaíno JM

Abstract
The introduction and rapid spread of West Nile virus (WNV) into new areas such as the American continent, associated also with the severity of the disease in humans and equids has increased concerns regarding the need to better prevent and control future WNV incursions. WNV outbreaks in equids usually occur under specific climatic and environmental conditions and, typically, before detection of WNV cases in humans. Targeting surveillance strategies in areas and time periods identified as suitable for WNV outbreaks in equids may act as an early-warning system to prevent disease in both equids and humans. This study used a GIS-based framework to identify suitable areas and time periods for WNV outbreak occurrence in one of the most important areas of equid production in Spain, i.e. Castile and Leon. Methods and results presented here may help to improve the early detection and control of future WNV outbreaks in Spain and other regions.

PMID: 22126826 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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A questionnaire study on parasite control practices on UK breeding Thoroughbred studs.

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A questionnaire study on parasite control practices on UK breeding Thoroughbred studs.

Equine Vet J. 2012 Jul;44(4):466-71

Authors: Relf VE, Morgan ER, Hodgkinson JE, Matthews JB

Abstract
REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: Improved education of veterinarians and equine owners/managers is essential in implementing parasite control strategies that are less reliant on chemicals.
METHODS: This questionnaire study, conducted on 61 UK Thoroughbred (TB) establishments during 2009 and 2010, was designed to obtain an understanding of current helminth control practices on studs. To our knowledge, this is the first occasion that statements obtained from TB studs via questionnaire have been supported by statistical analysis.
RESULTS: Despite many respondents indicating high levels of concern regarding anthelmintic resistance, 56% of these establishments that received visiting equines co-grazed these animals with permanent stock and <74% administered anthelmintics prior to integration. In the 12 months preceding the study, most respondents administered frequent macrocyclic lactone (ML) treatments, with none appearing to leave any animals in groups untreated at each administration. Indiscriminate whole group treatments with MLs and movement of animals to 'clean grazing' post treatment (reported by >25% of respondents), indicates that many stud owners/managers are not aware of the strong risk factors for the development of anthelmintic resistance. Few studs had conducted faecal egg count (FEC) analysis in the past and only 22% indicated that they considered this form of analysis beneficial in determining anthelmintic choice.
CONCLUSIONS AND POTENTIAL RELEVANCE: The challenge now is to convince stud owners/managers to deviate from their current practices to control strategies that are more likely to preserve anthelmintic efficacy. Veterinarians need to get more involved in implementing these control strategies, with better emphasis placed on the role of diagnostic tests in facilitating targeted treatments and in investigating anthelmintic sensitivity in the associated nematode populations.

PMID: 22050130 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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Mating behavior increases workload of the heart in Thoroughbred stallions.

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Mating behavior increases workload of the heart in Thoroughbred stallions.

J Vet Med Sci. 2012 Apr;74(4):423-8

Authors: Hatazoe T, Kubota C, Fujiki M, Misumi K

Abstract
To evaluate the influence of mating behavior on cardiac function, changes in heart rate (HR), electrocardiogram (ECG), hematocrit (Hct) and serum concentration of alpha-atrial natriuretic peptide (alpha-ANP) were evaluated in 10 clinically sound Thoroughbred stallions before and after mating behavior. The stallions were submitted twice to experimental pseudomating in the same month in 2009 and 2010. Measurements and blood samples were collected at a stable before mating (baseline) and at a covering yard before and after mating. ECG was recorded by a Holter-ECG system. Arrhythmias were detected in 5 stallions before or after mating behavior. Minimum HR (HRmin), maximum HR (HRmax) and HR recorded when the stallions entered into yard (HRent) and ejaculated (HRejc) were 34.2 ± 3.7, 168.9 ± 14.2, 141.8 ± 35.3 and 142.6 ± 27.3 beats/min, respectively. Time from entrance into the yard to ejaculation (mating time; MT) ranged from 30 to 2,103 sec and was highly correlated with HRent (r=-0.82) and the time required for attaining HRmax after entrance into the yard (dT HRmax) (r=0.87). Hct and serum alpha-ANP concentration significantly increased after ejaculation (60.0 ± 3.2%, P<0.0001, and 1.54 ± 0.61 ng/ml, P=0.0353) compared with the baselines values (46.9 ± 4.4%, 1.40 ± 0.60 ng/ml). HRent and Hct were significantly higher in the stallions with an MT of less than 5 min (n=5) compared with those (n=5) with an MT of more than 5 min (P=0.0324 and P=0.0082). Mating behavior increases the workload of the heart in Thoroughbred stallions.

PMID: 22123303 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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