Thursday, 28 July 2011

Faecal egg counts after tapeworm treatment

Horses infected with the horse tapeworm (Anoplocephala perfoliata) cannot always be identified by performing faecal examinations. Unlike roundworms, tapeworms don’t release eggs regularly. Not only does this make it difficult to identify infected horses; it causes problems monitoring the response to treatment.

A serological test for antibodies to tapeworm antigen gives a good indication of level of infection, but the test is not available in all countries.

It may be possible to increase the sensitivity of faecal examination by treating the horse with a custodial drug, such as praziquantel, and performing the examination 24 - 48 hours later. Once killed, the tapeworms may disintegrate, releasing the eggs into the faeces.

Research carried out by Johanne Elsener of Wyeth Animal Health and Alain Villeneuve of the Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal looked at whether treating for tapeworms one day before carrying out a faecal examination improved the chance of identifying infected animals

The study involved horses of differing ages on a single stud farm - from weanlings to adult breeding mares and stallions.

All horses were presumed to be naturally infected with Anoplocephala perfoliata -as tapeworm-infected animals had been identified previously on the farm.

The horses were weighed and dosed according to weight.

The researchers examined faecal samples before and 24-48 hours after treatment with a paste containing praziquantel (and moxidectin). Faecal samples were examined using a modified Wisconsin sugar centrifugation technique - performed by a technician who was unaware of the treatment given to each .horse.

Overall, the researchers found that they were twice as likely to detect tapeworm eggs in the faeces of horses 24 - 48 hours after treatment with praziquantel than they were before treatment.

In adult horses (mares and stallions) the difference was statistically significant. Young horses (weanlings, yearlings and two year olds) showed a numerical increase in positive horses after treatment, but the difference was not statistically significant.

The two-year old horse group had the highest proportion of positive faeces, (66% horses were positive before treatment)

The researchers conclude that sampling after treatment may give a better idea of the true prevalence of tapeworm infection.

© Equine Science Update 2001 -2011

For more details see:Examination of faecal samples after cestocidal treatment in infected horses. J Elsener and A Villeneuve
Canadian Veterinary Journal 52, 158 - 161

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Interesting paper on S. equi (Strangles)

Full paper here


Management practices to prevent or control outbreaks of Streptococcus equi subsp. equi often include consideration of environment survival, but limited objective data are available. This study involved evaluation of S. equi persistence following inoculation of wood, metal, and rubber surfaces in an outdoor environment. Survival was short, ranging from < 1 to 3 d. There was no effect of rain (P = 0.33) or surface type (P = 0.95), but there was an effect of sunlight (P = 0.002). Outdoor survival of S. equi is poor, and prolonged quarantine of outdoor areas, particularly areas exposed to the sun, is probably unnecessary.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Murphy Musings

Am hoping writing it down will get it off my mind and give me some peace.

It is a sunny Saturday in June, Murphy is sunbathing on the patio table we're about to go out so I want to get him in, so go to pick him up. Oliver come running out barking at nothing :@), Murphy has a bit of a struggle, I hold him a bit tighter and then he goes limp.

Rush him down to vets and he is OK, I insist they take blood, they say he is OK I insist so vet complies and we go back home.

Sunday get call they have messed up bloods so go back, Monday get told he has low PCV back in more blood PCV dropping. I insist they hospitalise him.

Long and short of it is we lose him, they have no donor cats and don't hold artificial blood doesn't arrive in time so we lose him.

Vet who is lovely is in tears when I go to collect his body.

It was after this I changed vets and found out where A had gone to, I know A would have taken me seriously on the Saturday, they have donors (Rafferty being one!) and could have got artificial blood faster.

We may have still lost Murphy who knows but my problem is what I now know about the old practice (from ex vet who is not A) suggests that the quality of care the vets are able to give is why their turnover of vets is so high.

Sky high charge for a drip for aged patients (ten times what I paid at new canine practice), vets being limited to drugs they can prescribe.

I don't think the above came into play with regard to Murphy but I'll never know at least now with A and the other vets at my feline practice my cats are in good hands.

I can't help but regret not trying to find where A had gone earlier but at the time I thought I'd get good quality care even if she had left.

Hindsight is always 20/20 sleep well Murphy cat you were much loved.

Open Air Stuff

So far have been to see:-

Simple Minds at Westonbirt - great concert but it rained
Comedy of Errors (Oxford Shakespeare Company) at Cornbury Park - blazing sunshine, peacocks and great fun
Midsummer's Night Dream - (Tomahawk Theatre Company) at Oxford Castle - sunshine and great production
Texas at Westonbirt - ok concert far too short and yes if it is Westonbirt it must be raining!

To come:-

As You Like It - (Globe Theatre on Tour) at Bodleian Quadrangle
The Importance of Being Earnest (Oxford Shakespeare Company) at Wadham College gardens

Monday, 18 July 2011


So Sunday get a call from vets they have a cat in that has been attacked by a dog and needs a transfusion, so Rafferty puts his Supercat underpants on and goes and does the right thing.

Moppet belongs to the lovely Kate, went over Monday AM to collect Rafferty, got a lovely bunch of flowers, Applaws and a toy for Rafferty and the good news that Moppet was going home that night.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Blood Test Could Predict Intestinal Obstructions

quick response is crucial when a horse suffers a bout of colic, and a prompt diagnosis increases a horse's chance for survival. A team of German researchers recently determined that the blood level of a specific enzyme could indicate a strangulated intestine at presentation, allowing quicker initiation of potentially life-saving treatment without having to wait for exploratory surgery to take place.

"Colic due to acute intestinal obstruction can be a life-threatening situation and is the most common reason that horses are referred to an animal hospital," explained Gerald Fritz Schusser, DrVetMed, Dipl. ECEIM, a veterinarian in the Department of Large Animal Medicine at the University of Leipzig, Germany. "Unfortunately, determining the exact cause of the obstruction and (prognosis for) survival in these horses remains difficult without taking the horse to surgery."

Researchers believe the cause of death for most horses with strangulating obstructions (commonly twisted intestines) stems from the body's absorption of bacterial toxins released from dying or dead intestines (which occur when the blood supply to a region of the twisted intestine is cut off). Once these toxins are absorbed into the bloodstream, they "activate" specific cells in the immune system that injure the liver and threaten the horse's life.

"The enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) is produced in specific regions of the liver and plays a key role in detoxification," noted Schusser. "Studies in rats recently showed that ADH could be used as a marker for intestinal ischemia (death)."

To evaluate whether ADH could help predict if horses had strangulating obstructions, Schusser and colleagues measured ADH levels in 33 healthy horses, 36 horses with confirmed nonstrangulating obstructions (e.g., impactions, displacements), 22 horses with confirmed small intestinal strangulations, and 19 horses with confirmed colon torsion.

Explore the power of the human-horse connection as you travel the emotional journey that veterinarians at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital and owners embark on when a beloved horse becomes ill in Equine ER

Key findings of the study were:

  • The median ADH activity was 10.5 U/L (enzyme units per liter of blood) in healthy horses;
  • ADH levels were significantly higher in all three of groups of colicky horses than the control horses;
  • Horses with an ADH activity >20 U/L were likely to have a strangulating obstruction; and
  • Horses with an ADH activity <80 U/L were more likely to survive than horses with ADH activities >80 U/L.

"ADH appears to be useful in differentiating intestinal strangulations from other causes of colic, which is important for guiding treatment and determining outcome," concluded Schusser.

The study, "Clinical evaluation of serum alcohol dehydrogenase activity in horses with acute intestinal obstruction" was published in the June 2011 edition of the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. The abstract is available on PubMed.

Lesson 5 - Quarters in / quarters out

So not ridden since 20th June am so slack have this generous opportunity and am a total flake need proverbial boot to bottom!

So started off in walk checking reaction to leg, as in will he go sideways?

Quarters in to halt, quarters out, walk piri to change rein.

In trot half circle with 1/4s in then straight and grow the trot, repeat for 1/4s out change rein repeat.

Walk collect walk using seat only then push walk out, then collect walk then ask for trot. Wow that makes a difference! Had one trot transition that was just great, couldn't repeat it but one is the start. He felt over the back and pushed into the upwards.


On left rein need to ask him to weight his right shoulder and thus weight left shoulder less then leave him to carry himself for a few steps then rebalance. Do not try to hold him up off his left shoulder for that way lies front end riding and madness! So keep checking left hand is soft and give it forwards.

Need to have faith in my feel.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Scan 3

So the day for scan number three dawns, whilst not being negative about it I have resolutely refused to build up my hopes *this* time as last time when I was so hopeful and the scan was not good it took a long time to pick myself up off the floor and carry on. So neutrality rules!

Scan looked good, can now see a fibrous structure, still enlarged but that is to be expected at this stage. So good news still a long way to go but good news :-)

So carry on with weekly long wave ultrasound, can now go out in a pen (twice stable size) for change of environment, keep up the bute and keep on keeping on.