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Veterinary internal medicine is a growing specialty that boasts nearly 400 large animal internal medicine specialists, many of them focusing on horses. In a time when humans seek out experts in varying medical fields, it’s only logical that we seek
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Veterinary internal medicine is a growing specialty that boasts nearly 400 large animal internal medicine specialists, many of them focusing on horses. In a time when humans seek out experts in varying medical fields, it’s only logical that we seek the same for our animals.

Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) have been trained, tested, and approved to be veterinary internists. These specialist veterinarians, along with Diplomate candidates, gather annually for the ACVIM Forum, which consists of three days of presentations and discussions devoted to new developments in the veterinary internal medicine field. The 2006 Forum was held in Louisville, Ky., May 31-June 3. Presentations ranged from cutting edge treatments for common ailments and conditions to valuable reviews on rare diseases. Following are highlights from the Forum.

Biosecurity and Equine Diseases

Probably one of the most well-attended equine sessions of the forum was a lunchtime discussion sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health, in which a panel of internists presented information on recent outbreaks of salmonella and fielded questions from attendees. Salmonella bacteria can cause debilitating intestinal problems and life-threatening diarrhea. Salmonella can affect foals and adults, and it is spread easily by horse-to-horse contact and by fomites (shared tools, water buckets, hands, etc., on which bacteria can "hitch a ride" to the next victim). Seemingly well horses can harbor the bacteria, and when stressed, they can shed it or become ill

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