Top Medicine Studies of 2011 (AAEP 2011)

A wrap-up of the most important, interesting, or applicable studies to equine medicine from Dr. Steve Reed.
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Each year, researchers publish hundreds of studies in the field of equine medicine. Steve Reed, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, an associate at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., had the unique (and behemoth) task of deciding which to feature to a veterinarian audience during the Kester News Hour at the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Nov. 18-22 in San Antonio, Texas.  Reed described the studies he found most important, interesting, or applicable to present day equine medicine during the session that is a perennial favorite among veterinarians.

Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders

Reed began by discussing a handful of studies on diagnosing the single most commonly detected endocrine disorder in aging horses—pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID, or equine Cushing’s disease), which is characterized by enlargement of the pars intermedia region of the pituitary gland). Diagnosing PPID, he noted, has been a challenge in the past, and usually PPID horses are identified through a combination of age and physical signs of the disease.

In one study Reed referenced researchers evaluated which breeds are most prone to PPID diagnosis and what—if any—effect geographic area had on PPID diagnosis. About 36% of all horses are diagnosed with PPID, Reed noted, but the disease is most commonly found in pony breeds and Morgan horses

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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