AAEP Award to Support Wobbler Syndrome Research

Jennifer Janes, DVM, a graduate student in the Department of Veterinary Science at the University of Kentucky, was selected as the 2009 recipient of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation Past Presidents’ Research Fellow award, which will support her project on orthopedic pathology and genetic association of wobbler syndrome (cervical stenotic myelopathy).
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Jennifer Janes, DVM, a graduate student in the Department of Veterinary Science at the University of Kentucky, was selected as the 2009 recipient of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation Past Presidents’ Research Fellow award, which will support her project on orthopedic pathology and genetic association of wobbler syndrome (cervical stenotic myelopathy).

Janes will receive the award at the AAEP’s 55th annual convention, which will be held Dec. 5-9 in Las Vegas. Janes said her research project, in which she’s studying Thoroughbreds, will provide information that will be applicable to all breeds. It is in its early stages and will take several years to complete. Wobbler syndrome is a devastating disease targeting the musculoskeletal and neurological systems of horses. Factors thought to contribute to the development of the disease include genetics, high planes of nutrition, trauma, rapid growth, and decreased copper/increased zinc levels. However, veterinarians do not understand the underlying cause and details of the disease’s progression.

The research is “a collaborative effort to re-examine this disease,” Janes said. She is working with Jamie MacLeod, VMD, PhD, the John S. and Elizabeth A. Knight Chair, professor of veterinary science at the Gluck Equine Research Center, and director of UK’s Equine Initiative; Stephen Reed, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital; and Neil Williams, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVP, associate director at the UK Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center (LDDC).

Wobbler syndrome impacts the athletic potential of affected Thoroughbreds. It is one of the most common causes of neurologic disease in Thoroughbreds and usually does not resolve with time and rest. Given the poor prognosis for recovery, the disease has a substantial emotional and financial impact on Thoroughbred owners and the industry

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