Are Mares a Source of For Their Foals?

A study of one Lexington, Ky., Thoroughbred farm showed that on average, 30% of the farm’s foals developed Rhodococcus equi pneumonia during the 2004 and 2005 foaling seasons. Researchers searching for a source of the disease questioned i

Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

A study of one Lexington, Ky., Thoroughbred farm showed that on average, 30% of the farm’s foals developed Rhodococcus equi pneumonia during the 2004 and 2005 foaling seasons. Researchers searching for a source of the disease questioned if R. equi in the mare’s feces was a source of infection for her foal. Information from this study was presented at the 2006 AAEP Convention.

They found that all mares at some point post-foaling shed R. equi in their feces. This meant that screening mare feces for R. equi to help control the spread of the disease would be a waste of time.

Noah Cohen, VMD, PhD, MPH, Dipl. ACVIM, associate professor at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, said, “In either year, virulent R. equi was isolated from the feces of every mare in the study at one or more sampling times (there were four sample times),” Cohen explained. “One-third of the mares were shedding R. equi in all four of those samples.” He added that 80% of the mares were positive in three or more samplings.

“Fecal concentrations of total or virulent R. equi were not higher in mares whose foals developed R. equi than in those whose foals were unaffected,” Cohen said. “If this is true at other farms, screening mares for fecal concentrations cannot be used to help control R. equi pneumonia.

“Because all mares were culture- positive, they may be an important source of R. equi for their foals during the periparturient (immediately after foaling) periods,” he explained.

The study was funded by the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation with additional support from the Link Equine Research Endowment, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A & M University.




Get research and health news from the American Association of Equine Practitioners 2006 Convention in The Horse’s AAEP 2006 Wrap-Up sponsored by OCD Equine. Files are available as free PDF downloads

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:

Chad Mendell is the former Managing Editor for TheHorse.com .

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:

What lameness issues has your horse experienced? Select all that apply.
253 votes · 506 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!