To kick-start the educational sessions at the 2014 American Association of Equine Practitioners’ (AAEP) Convention, held Dec. 6-10 in Salt Lake City, Utah, three veterinarians presented their favorite surgery, medicine, and reproduction studies from the past year. On the breeding side, researcher and Texas A&M University theriogenology professor Terry Blanchard, DVM, Dipl. ACT, described 12 equine reproduction-related papers sure to impact the industry. Of those, two featured work done by University of Kentucky researchers:

Using Acute Phase Proteins to Monitor Placentitis

Researchers from the University of Kentucky hypothesized that certain types of proteins become elevated in mares with placentitis (inflammation of the placenta, an important cause of pregnancy loss). To verify this, they measured concentrations of the proteins serum amyloid A (SAA) and haptoglobin (Hp), as well as white blood cell counts (WBC) and fibrinogen concentrations in mares with experimentally induced placentitis. They determined that SAA and Hp levels increased significantly after induced infection and remained high until the mares aborted. Fibrinogen concentrations and WBC counts, on the other hand, were not useful markers. Blanchard said these results raise the question of whether veterinarians can use SAA or Hp screening to identify at-risk mares earlier in the course of the disease.