Equine Health Update Issue 1 Volume 16 - Page 8

intestinal lymph nodes. Thoracic radiographs may show an interstitial pattern and nodules. Affected tissues, such as skin, oral mucosa, rectal mucosa, liver, and intestine, should be biopsied. Histopathology confirms chronic, fibrosing inflammatory reaction with infiltrates composed of lymphocytes, plasma cells, and eosinophils seen in multiple organs. In some tissues, the eosinophilic infiltrates form granulomas. Treatment is symptomatic, including systemic broad-spectrum antibiotics, anthelmintics, and corticosteroids. Prolonged therapy may be necessary, and some relapses have been reported. Use of the antineoplastic drug hydroxyurea has had limited success; the thiopurine antimetabolite azathioprine has also been suggested as a potentially effective treatment. A positive response to treatment shows as improved demeanor, weight gain, reduced pruritus, and resolution of diarrhea. The prognosis for horses with MEED is poor, and affected horses are generally euthanized due to lack of response to treatment. Survival and resolution of clinical signs has been reported, however, so treatment should be attempted. CONTACT: Dr. Rachael Conwell rcconwell@gmail.com EquiMed Referrals Ltd Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom Progress Toward New Biomarkers for the Diagnosis of Bacterial Placentitis in Mares Placentitis is a common cause of late-pregnancy abortion in mares and poses a significant threat to fetal and neonatal viability. Bacterial agents commonly associated with the occurrence of placentitis include Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Leptospira spp, nocardioform bacteria (Crossiella equi, Amycolatopsis spp) and others. Except for leptospiral and nocardioform placentitis, most cases of bacterial placentitis are thought to originate due to bacterial invasion via the cervix. Therefore, these cases of ascending placentitis usually start at the cervical star and spread from there. Infection of the placenta results in subsequent infection of the fetus and in the release of prostaglandins from the inflamed placenta, which ultimately leads to abortion or delivery of a premature foal with bacterial sepsis. 8 Effective treatment of placentitis requires early diagnosis prior to the appearance of clinical signs, such as premature udder development with or without the streaming of milk and/or vulvar discharge. Currently, ultrasonographic evaluation of the placenta is used to detect early cases of placentitis and to implement treatment to prevent abortion an