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Robin C.A.,Animal Health Trust | Ireland J.L.,Animal Health Trust | Wylie C.E.,Rossdales Equine Hospital | Collins S.N.,University of Queensland | And 2 more authors.
Equine Veterinary Journal

Reasons for performing the study: Few data are available on the prevalence of obesity in the general equine population of Great Britain (GB), and its associated risk factors. Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of owner-reported obesity in veterinary-registered horses and ponies in GB, and identify factors associated with obesity. Study design: A cross-sectional survey of horse/pony owners in GB was undertaken using a postal questionnaire. Methods: Thirty veterinary practices randomly selected horse/pony owners to complete a self-administered postal questionnaire. Owners estimated body condition score using a modified Carroll and Huntington method (1-6 scale), and animals were classified as obese if they were scored as either 5 (fat) or 6 (very fat). Factors associated with obesity were assessed using logistic regression analysis. Results: Prevalence of obesity was 31.2% (n = 247/792; 95% confidence interval [CI] 27.9-34.2%). Factors associated with increased odds of obesity were breed (P<0.001), ease of maintaining weight (P<0.001) and primary use (P = 0.002). Compared to Thoroughbreds, draught-type (odds ratio [OR] 7.3; 95% CI 3.1-17.1), cob-type (OR 5.6; 95% CI 2.5-12.5), native (OR 3.2; 95% CI 1.8-5.78) and Welsh breeds (OR 3.5; 95% CI 1.9-6.2) were more likely to be obese. Animals described as 'good doers' were more likely to be obese than those described as readily maintaining normal weight (OR 3.7; 95% CI 2.6-5.3). Compared to competition animals, animals used for pleasure riding (OR 2.5; 95% CI 1.4-4.4) and nonridden animals (OR 2.9; 95% CI 1.5-5.5) were more likely to be obese. Conclusions: Identification of at-risk breeds and other horse- and management-level risk factors for obesity will enable optimal targeting of owner education regarding management strategies to reduce the frequency of equine obesity. © 2014 EVJ Ltd. Source

Pietschmann J.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology | Guinat C.,Economics and Public Health Group | Beer M.,Institute of Diagnostic Virology | Pronin V.,National Research Institute for Veterinary Virology and Microbiology of Russia | And 4 more authors.
Archives of Virology

In 2007, African swine fever virus (ASFV) was introduced into the Transcaucasian countries and Russia. Since then, it has spread alarmingly and reached the European Union. ASFV strains are highly virulent and lead to almost 100 % mortality under experimental conditions. However, the possibility of dose-dependent disease courses has been discussed. For this reason, a study was undertaken to assess the risk of chronic disease and the establishment of carriers upon low-dose oronasal infection of domestic pigs and European wild boar. It was demonstrated that very low doses of ASFV are sufficient to infect especially weak or runted animals by the oronasal route. Some of these animals did not show clinical signs indicative of ASF, and they developed almost no fever. However, no changes were observed in individual animal regarding the onset, course and outcome of infection as assessed by diagnostic tests. After amplification of ASFV by these animals, pen- and stablemates became infected and developed acute lethal disease with similar characteristics in all animals. Thus, we found no indication of prolonged or chronic individual courses upon low-dose infection in either species. The scattered onset of clinical signs and pathogen detection within and among groups confirms moderate contagiosity that is strongly linked with blood contact. In conclusion, the prolonged course at the “herd level” together with the exceptionally low dose that proved to be sufficient to infect a runted wild boar could be important for disease dynamics in wild-boar populations and in backyard settings. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Wien. Source

Wylie C.E.,Center for Preventive Medicine | Collins S.N.,University of Queensland | Verheyen K.L.P.,Economics and Public Health Group | Newton J.R.,Center for Preventive Medicine
Veterinary Journal

Laminitis is a highly debilitating disease of the foot known to have a complex and multifactorial aetiology of metabolic, inflammatory, traumatic or vascular origin. The disease has major welfare implications due to unrelenting pain associated with degenerative changes, which often necessitate euthanasia on welfare grounds. Despite this, there have been few high-quality studies investigating risk factors for equine laminitis, and only a limited number of risk factors have been previously investigated. The aim of this study was to conduct a case-control study of risk factors for active episodes of veterinary-diagnosed laminitis in horses and ponies attended by veterinary practitioners in Great Britain, based on multivariable statistical analyses. Questionnaires were received for 1010 animals, comprising 191 laminitis cases and 819 controls. Factors associated with an increased risk of laminitis were weight gain in the previous 3. months, summer and winter months compared to spring, new access to grass in the previous 4. weeks, box rest in the previous week, owner-reported history of laminitis, lameness or foot-soreness after shoeing/trimming, existing endocrinopathic (pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction and equine metabolic syndrome) disease and increasing time since the last anthelmintic treatment. Factors associated with a decreased risk of laminitis were increasing height (cm), feeding of additional supplements in the previous week and transportation in the previous week. Novel associated factors were identified that may aid in the management and prevention of the disease in the veterinary-registered equine population. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Wylie C.E.,Center for Preventive Medicine | Ireland J.L.,Center for Preventive Medicine | Collins S.N.,University of Queensland | Verheyen K.L.P.,Economics and Public Health Group | Newton J.R.,Center for Preventive Medicine
Research in Veterinary Science

The objectives of this study were to describe the demographic characteristics and management practices undertaken by owners of horses/ponies within GB and assess seasonal and geographical variations in management practices. A cross-sectional study was conducted, surveying a random sample of veterinary-registered owners in GB, using a self-administered postal questionnaire. A total of 797 useable responses were received. Only 4.0% of animals were stabled 24. h/day, this proportion being greater in winter compared to other seasons (p< 0.001). Shavings (45.7%) and straw (35.3%) were the most frequently used bedding. Ninety-two percent of animals had access to pasture (median 91. h/week). The majority of animals received forage (82.6%) and concentrate/supplementary feeding (86.1%). Retired/companion animals and ponies received supplementary feed less frequently and most animals were used for pleasure riding (60.6%). Seasonal and regional differences in management practices were identified, of relevance to practitioners and researchers in the investigation and management of disease conditions. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Wylie C.E.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Carbonell-Antonanzas M.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Aiassa E.,European Food Safety Authority | Dhollander S.,European Food Safety Authority | And 3 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine

The objective of this study was to systematically review the efficacy of topically applied insecticide treatments of dogs (impregnated collars, spot-ons), and prophylactic medications to prevent natural Leishmania infantum (L. infantum) infection in dogs.Randomised controlled trials (RCT), non-randomised clinical trials, cohort studies and case-control studies that investigated preventive efficacy for natural L. infantum infection in dogs were eligible for inclusion. Two review authors independently assessed each study against the inclusion criteria, independently extracted relevant data from all included studies and assessed the risk of methodological shortcomings in each individual study. The odds ratio (OR) and absolute risk reduction (ARR) for dichotomous outcomes and mean difference for continuous outcomes were calculated. Meta-analysis was not performed due to heterogeneity of the studies identified.The search yielded 937 articles, from which 84 full text articles were selected for second stage screening. Eleven eligible studies were included; four on collars (two RCTs), three on spot-ons (two RCTs - one looking at two different dosing regimens), three on prophylactic medications (all RCTs) and one on both collars and spot-ons summarised in this paper. All of the studies were considered to be at a high risk of methodological shortcomings, with the exception of one spot-on study which was considered to be at an unclear risk of methodological shortcomings. Deltamethrin collars, 65% permethrin, 10% imidacloprid with 50% permethrin spot-ons and domperidone prophylactic medication tended to significantly reduce the proportion of dogs infected with L. infantum based on either parasitological or serological evidence. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

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