Researchers Confirm IgG Values for Predicting Foal Survival

Foals with IgG levels lower than 800 mg/dL are more likely to die than those with levels greater than 800 mg/dL.
Share
Favorite
Please login

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

Researchers Confirm IgG Values for Predicting Foal Survival
Foals are born without infection-fighting proteins called antibodies (or immunoglobulin G %91IgG%93) circulating in the blood stream. | Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse
It’s foaling season again, which means it’s also time to watch newborns for signs of failure of passive transfer. This condition occurs when the foal does not ingest or absorb a sufficient quantity or quality of colostrum (the mare’s first milk), which results in a reduced ability to fight disease.

Foals are born without infection-fighting proteins called antibodies (or immunoglobulin G ) circulating in the blood stream. The mare’s colostrum contains these IgGs and other immunoglobulins to help protect foals from developing life-threatening infections. But how do you know if your foal has obtained enough IgG?

“Even though veterinarians and horse owners and managers have been testing foals for failure of passive transfer (FPT) by measuring foal IgG levels for over 30 years, the accepted ‘cut-off value’ for what defines FPT remains largely empirical,” explained Ramiro Toribio, DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, from the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, in Columbus.

Reported values vary dramatically, especially when classifying foals with adequate transfer of passive immunity versus partial or complete. Overall, however, past study results have suggested that the “magic” IgG level is 800 mg/dL

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Stacey Oke, MSc, DVM, is a practicing veterinarian and freelance medical writer and editor. She is interested in both large and small animals, as well as complementary and alternative medicine. Since 2005, she’s worked as a research consultant for nutritional supplement companies, assisted physicians and veterinarians in publishing research articles and textbooks, and written for a number of educational magazines and websites.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

How do you prevent gastric ulcers in horses? Please check all that apply.
158 votes · 371 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!