Stall-Side Test Can Help Determine If A Cough Is Contagious

A coughing horse isn’t always an immediate concern, but sometimes his cough can be caused by more than just inhaled dust. A new stall-side blood test can help determine if his cough is caused by a chronic inflammatory condition or infectious disease. If the cough is caused by an infectious disease, it’s important to take immediate steps to protect other horses on the farm.

Drs. Molly Vinera, Melissa Mazan, Daniela Bedenice, Samantha Mapes and Nicola Pusterla created a study to test for the significance of the protein serum amyloid (SAA) in the blood of horse’s with various respiratory conditions. The presence of SAA is indicative of inflammation; it has been used to evaluate and monitor colic and joint disease treatment.

The research team reviewed records of 167 horses that were sent to clinics for respiratory issues; they then analyzed stored serum samples related to each case. The scientists divided the horses into four groups: horses with equine influenza virus (EIV), horses with equine herpesvirus-4 (EHV-4), horses with strangles and horses with heaves. Serum samples from an additional 40 healthy horses served as controls.

They then used an available stall-side test to determine SAA levels in the stored samples. The results of the test showed that all horses with respiratory issues had higher SAA levels then the control horses. Horses that had equine influenza or other infectious respiratory diseases had significantly higher SAA levels than the horses that had heaves or other noninfectious inflammatory conditions.

The team concludes that these findings suggest that stall-side SAA tests can be a useful first step in diagnosing the cause of equine coughs: It allows for the differentiation between infectious and non-infectious respiratory problems, which can help veterinarians make better treatment and management recommendations.

Read the full study here.

Read more at EQUUS magazine.

The post Stall-Side Test Can Help Determine If A Cough Is Contagious appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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