Neonate Prognostic Indicators: Making Sense of the Noise

One vet reviews the options practitioners have for determining prognosis and predicting survival for sick foals.
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Neonate Prognostic Indicators: Making Sense of the Noise
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse
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?

At the 2015 American Association of Equine Practitioners’ convention, held Dec. 5-9 in Las Vegas, Peter Morresey, BVSc, MACVSc, Dipl. ACT, ACVIM, an internal medicine specialist at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, in Lexington, Kentucky, reviewed the many options available for predicting survival in ill equine neonates.

“Estimating the prognosis of the sick neonate has profound clinical, economic, and client relationship implications,” Morresey said. “A plethora of information is available; however, inconsistency between study location and methodology has led to disparate results, and research center diagnostic capabilities are largely unavailable in field settings.”

With that in mind, he reviewed some study findings and options that are most useful for determining a prognosis and predicting survival for sick foals

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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