What might at first have seemed like a confusing, and slightly overwhelming, presentation of information the night of March 7 concerning the various theories surrounding the five syndromes that struck Kentucky and other places in the spring of 2001, actually helped sort out some of the facts.

  1. The weather was a factor.

  2. There was an “environmental” component to what caused the problems.

  3. There were specific, yet seemingly different problems going on that all stemmed from some “trigger” in the environment that wasn’t infectious or contagious.

  4. The problems that took place did have some common physical factors.

  5. While no one has the full answer yet, there is hope that a complete picture can and will be painted.

A smorgasbord of theories and personalities was available at a specially called meeting of the Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners. The association’s president, Bill Bernard, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, of Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, said the epidemiologic survey being conducted by the Governor’s Task Force was nearly complete for the late-term abortions and should be out by April 1. Information on the pericarditis cases was presented in February.

Bernard thanked the co-chairs of the organization’s Infectious and Emerging Diseases Committee, Doug Byars, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, of Hagyard-Davidson-McGee, and Steve Conboy, DVM, a private practitioner, for putting on the program.

The idea behind the gathering was to bring together the six major theories of the cause of the various syndromes seen in Kentucky last year and to open communication