EQUINE NEWS

AAEP PUBLISHES NOCARDIOFORM PLACENTITIS GUIDELINES

The American Association of Equine Practitioners has published new nocardioform placentitis guidelines to help veterinarians help protect their clients’ broodmares and unborn foals. The AAEP’s Nocardioform Placentitis Guidelines present the clinical features, risk factors, treatment, control measures, and more for a form of bacterial placentitis that can cause abortion, stillbirth, or delivery of a weak premature or full-term foal. NP was first diagnosed in Central Kentucky in the mid-1980s, and its occurrence since has varied from sporadic cases to outbreak years in the region. Outside of Kentucky and the United States, NP has been reported primarily as isolated cases with few outbreaks. The suggested window from exposure to clinical signs is generally three to five months. In addition, there is a strong association between weather conditions during mid-to-late-pregnancy and increased occurrence of NP, specifically exposure to low rainfall and high temperatures during August and September in Central Kentucky. “The insidious nature of NP makes the early diagnosis and onset of treatment rather challenging in clinical practice,” said guidelines co-author Igor Canisso, DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl. ACT, ECAR (Equine Reproduction), Associate Professor of Theriogenology at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Attempts to create experimental NP infection have been unsuccessful, limiting evidence-based assessment of therapy efficacy. Currently, mares suspected to have NP based on ultrasonographic lesions are usually empirically treated with antibiotics (e.g., sulfa, doxycycline, or gentamicin), anti-inflammatories (flunixin or firocoxib), steroids (altrenogest and/or estrogens), and supporting medications (pentoxifylline and vitamin E).