igg in horses

Young or old, male or female, regardless of breed, your horse needs a strong immune system to stand up to the challenges that come with living outdoors, commingling with other equids, and more. And critical to that immune system are infection-fighting proteins called antibodies (or immunoglobulin G [IgG]). How much do you know about your horse’s IgG levels, and exactly how can they impact his health?

To help you enhance your antibody knowledge, we’ve compiled 10 resources on IgG and the equine immune system available for free on TheHorse.com. Find more by searching “IgG” or visiting the immune system topic page on TheHorse.com.

ARTICLE: Researchers Confirm IgG Values for Predicting Foal Survival Foals are born without infection-fighting proteins called antibodies (or immunoglobulin G [IgG]) circulating in the blood stream. The mare’s colostrum contains these IgGs and other immunoglobulins to help protect foals from developing life-threatening infections. If foals don’t get enough, they could be at risk for serious disease or death. But how much is enough? Read More

ARTICLE: Hyperimmune Plasma and R. equi Pneumonia Severity Youngsters are susceptible to a number of unique health conditions, including Rhodococcus equi pneumonia, which can mean a rocky start to life. There’s no vaccine to protect foals against this potentially deadly bacterial infection, so veterinarians must try other means to prevent it. One of those methods is administering R. equi-specific hyperimmune plasma, but available research supporting its use is controversial. So researchers recently evaluated the efficacy of one commercially available plasma product for preventing clinical disease in foals. Read More

VIDEO: Infectious Diarrhea in Horses Nathan Slovis, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, CHT, shares information about the causes and diagnosis of diarrhea in foals and adult horses. Watch Now

ARTICLE: Colostrum for Foals Now that foaling season is here, equine veterinarians who routinely treat and care for foals will be thinking about colostrum—who has it, who needs it, and where they can get it. But is it really that important? Actually, to a newborn foal, colostrum and the infection-fighting antibodies it contains can mean the difference between life and death. Read More

ARTICLE: Understanding Foal Immunity In Utero and Beyond Foals have a functional immune system at birth. Actually, they have a functioning immune system in utero—but it’s one appropriate to an unborn foal in a sterile and protected environment. Once that baby hits the real world, he needs real-world immunity. The science behind immunity is complex, but the lessons it teaches us can be very practical. Here’s what you need to know. Read More

ARTICLE: Equine Immunodeficiencies Reviewed A strong immune system is crucial to a horse’s overall health status, as a weakened immune system can leave the animal at increased disease risk. And although they’re uncommon in horses, immunodeficiencies can have serious consequences for affected animals. Read More

ARTICLE: Neonate Prognostic Indicators: Making Sense of the Noise Imagine standing in a store, looking for a single product, but having hundreds of similar options to choose from and not being sure which one to pick. Such is often the case for veterinarians when it comes to choosing the best method for predicting survival in sick equine neonates. Do you rely on clinical signs? Or do you focus on antibody levels? What about metabolic pathways? Or the foal’s history? Here’s a look at the many options available for predicting survival in ill equine neonates. Read More

ARTICLE: Understanding the Equine Immune System This important protective system is extremely complex. Here’s a rundown of how your horse’s immune responses function. Read More

ARTICLE: Gastrointestinal Problems in the Foal When your foal takes his first breaths, the inner happenings of his gastrointestinal tract (GI) probably aren’t your first concern. But there are a number of GI problems that could arise—some that are potentially life-threatening—so be on guard for clinical signs of these illnesses. Read More

SPONSORED CONTENT: Failure of Passive Transfer in Foals Failure of passive transfer (FPT) is a condition experienced by newborn foals who don’t receive sufficient immunoglobulins from their mother’s colostrum (first milk). Read More