Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 26

Search results for: horses

26 African Horse Sickness a Possible Threat to Horses in Al-Baha

Authors: Ghanem Al-Ghamdi


African Horse Sickness causes significant challenges to horse practitioners and owners in Africa and possibly in certain locations in the Arab Pensila. The aim of this work was to observe a hot spot of epidemic in Al-Baha, Southwestern of Saudi Arabia that could be AHS. A five year-old horse farm that had eight horses with no history of clinical problems was visited in late October 2014. In August 2014, horses showed clinical signs of severe pain, congestion of mucus membranes, foam oozing of the nose, recumbency, difficult breath and ultimately death. The course of the disease averaged 2 days. The farm had no previous history of this episode. Other animals including camel, sheep reside the same farm sharing feeding and water sources however no obvious similar clinical problems were noticed among the two species. Five horses showed the clinical disease and all horses were lost. Veterinary help was not available for diagnosis or treatment. A follow up visit to the farm after one year indicated that the three remaining horses were healthy but were relocated to a different facility out the Al-Baha Region. The most likely cause of such clinical problem is African Horse Sickness, however clinical exam and sampling of other horses in the region is absolute must as well as examining arthropods.

Keywords: African horse sickness, horses, Al-Baha, Saudi Arabia

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25 A Survey on Frequency of Cryptosporidiosis and Giardiasis in Horses in Ahvaz South-West of Iran

Authors: Ali R. Ghadrdan-Mashhadi, Hosein Hamidi-Nejat, Parisa Alizadehnia


Cryptosporidia and Giardia are protozoan parasites that have worldwide distribution and infect a variety of animals. Although, the infection to these parasites rarely caused to illness in horses, but some veterinarian recorded the clinical signs (such as diarrhea and malabsorbtion) especially in foals. In present study, the frequency of Cryptosporidiosis and Giardiasis in horses in Ahvaz investigated. The feces samples were taken from 100 horses that keep in seven horse breeding clubs, during spring and summer. The ages of horses were from 1 month to 27 years old. Fecal samples were stained by modified Ziehl-Neelsen and Tri-chrome methods. Results were analyzed with Chi-square Test and Fisher’s exact test. The results showed that the rate of infection to Cryptosporidium and Giardia were 18% and 40%, respectively. There weren't significant differences between infection to Cryptosporidium and Giardia with sex, age and fecal constancy. Although, the rate of infection to Cryptosporidium in studied horses is very similar to other studies but it seems, the rate of infection to Giardia is high in compare to other studies were done in the other countries.

Keywords: Ahvaz, cryptosporidium, giardia, horse

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24 Horse Exposition to Coxiella burnetii in France: Antibody Dynamics in Serum, Environmental Risk Assessment and Potential Links with Symptomatology

Authors: Joulié Aurélien, Isabelle Desjardins, Elsa Jourdain, Sophie Pradier, Dufour Philippe, Elodie Rousset, Agnès Leblond


Q fever is a worldwide zoonosis caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii. It may infect a broad range of host species, including horses. Although the role of horses in C. burnetii infections remains unknown, their use as sentinel species may be interesting to better assess the human risk exposure. Thus, we aimed to assess the C. burnetii horse exposition in a French endemic area by describing the antibody dynamics detected in serum; investigating the pathogen circulation in the horse environment, and exploring potential links with unexplained syndromes. Blood samples were collected in 2015 and 2016 on 338 and 294 horses, respectively and analyzed by ELISA. Ticks collected on horses were identified, and C. burnetii DNA detection was performed by qPCR targeting the IS1111 gene. Blood sample analyses revealed a significant increase of the seroprevalence in horses between both years, from 11% [7.67; 14.43] to 25% [20.06; 29.94]. On 36 seropositive horses in 2015 and 73 in 2016, 5 and four respectively showed clinical signs compatible with a C. burnetii infection (i.e., chronic fever or respiratory disorders, unfitness and unexplained weight loss). DNA was detected in almost 40% of ticks (n=59/148 in 2015 and n=103/305 in 2016) and exceptionally in dust samples (n=2/46 in 2015 and n=1/14 in 2016) every year. The C. burnetti detection in both the serum and the environment of horses confirm their exposure to the bacterium. Therefore, consideration should be given to target a relevant sentinel species to better assess the Q fever surveillance depending on the epidemiological context.

Keywords: ELISA, Q fever, qPCR, syndromic surveillance

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23 A Retrospective Study on Causes, Surgery Findings, Results and Follow up of 30 Horses with Colic in Tehran, Iran

Authors: Farajallah Adibhashemi


A retrospective study on causes, surgery findings, results and the follow up of 30 horses with colic in Tehran, Iran. Colic is the main problem horse industry.The causes of colic are related to management like food, sport and medical care. In this study that has been done between 2012-2015 for 30 horses referred to teaching hospital of veterinary medicine faculty of the University of Tehran. Seventy percent of causes was related to management of feeding and twenty percent was for malsporting. The rest of causes was from the anti parasite in bad root. The surgery findings were as follows: 60% displacement of dorsal right and left colon, 20% in impaction of pelvic flexure,10% impaction of the cecum, and 10% impaction of the stomach.

Keywords: horse, colic, Tehran, Iran

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22 Voluntary Water Intake of Flavored Water in Euhydrated Horses

Authors: Brianna M. Soule, Jesslyn A. Bryk-Lucy, Linda M. Ritchie


Colic, defined as abdominal pain in the horse, has several known predisposing factors. Decreased water intake has been shown to predispose equines to impaction colic. The objective of this study was to determine if offering flavored water (sweet feed or banana extract) would increase voluntary water intake in horses to serve as an assessable, noninvasive method for farm managers, veterinarians, or owners to decrease the risk of impaction colic. An a priori power analysis, which was conducted using G*Power version, indicated that the minimum sample size required to achieve 80% power for detecting a large effect at a significance level of α = .05 was 19 horses for a one-way repeated measures ANOVA with three treatment levels and assuming a non-sphericity correction of ε=0.5. After a three-day control period, 21 horses were randomly divided into two sequences and offered either banana or sweet feed flavored water. Horses always had a bucket of unflavored water available. A repeated measure study design was used to measure water consumption of each horse over a 62-hour period. A one-way repeated measures ANOVA was conducted to determine whether there were statistically significant differences among the means for the three-day average water intake (ml/kg). Although not statistically significant (F(2, 38) = 1.28, p = .290, partial η2 = .063), the three-day average water intake was largest for banana flavored water (M = 53.51, SD = 9.25 ml/kg), followed by sweet feed (M = 52.93, SD = 11.99 ml/kg), and, finally, unflavored water (M = 50.40, SD = 10.82 ml/kg). Paired-samples t-tests were used to determine whether there was a statistically significant difference between the three-day average water intake (ml/kg) for flavored versus unflavored water. The average unflavored water intake (M = 29.3 ml/kg, SD = 8.9) over the measurement period was greater than the banana flavored water (M = 27.7 ml/kg, SD = 9.8), but the average consumption of the sweet feed flavored water (M = 30.4 ml/kg, SD = 14.6) was greater than unflavored water (M = 24.3 ml/kg, SD = 11.4). None of these differences in average intake were statistically significant (p > .244). Future research is warranted to determine if other flavors significantly increase voluntary water intake in horses.

Keywords: colic, equine, equine science, water intake, flavored water, horses, equine management, equine health, horse health, horse health care management, colic prevention

Procedia PDF Downloads 35
21 Ultrasonographic Study of Normal Scapula in Horse

Authors: Mohamad Saeed Ahrari-Khafi, Abutorab Tabatabai-Naini, Niloofar Ajvadi


Scapular fracture is not common in horses, due to the proper protection of scapular muscles. However, if it happens, it can cause lameness in horses. Because of the overlapping of the scapula on the contralateral scapula and the thorax, usually radiography cannot be helpful in evaluation, except in small amount of its ventral part. Although ultrasonography is mainly used for diagnosis of soft tissue injuries, it also can be used for evaluation of bone surface abnormalities. This study was intended to document the normal ultrasonographic appearance of the equine scapula. Right forelimb of six horses was used. To facilitate the image assessment, a zoning system was developed. Ultrasonography was performed by using a 5-11 MHz linear array transducer. Ultrasonographic anatomy of scapula in different parts and planes was imaged and documented, hoping to help practitioners to diagnose fractures and injuries. Results showed that ultrasonography is capable to depict different parts of the scapula and regional muscles, and can be used for detecting fractures and other abnormalities.

Keywords: horse, scapula, scapular fracture, ultrasonography

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20 Comparison of Phynotypic Traits of Three Arabian Horse Strains

Authors: Saria Almarzook, Monika Reissmann, Gudrun Brockmann


Due to its history, occurrence in different ecosystems and diverse using, the modern horse (Equus caballus) shows large variability in size, appearance, behavior and habits. At all times, breeders try to create groups (breeds, strains) representing high homology but showing clear differences in comparison to other groups. A great interest of analyzing phenotypic and genetic traits looking for real diversity and genetic uniqueness existents for Arabian horses in Syria. 90 Arabian horses from governmental research center of Arabian horses in Damascus were included. The horses represent three strains (Kahlawi, Saklawi, Hamdani) originated from different geographical zones. They were raised on the same farm, under stable conditions. Twelve phenotypic traits were measured: wither height (WH), croup width (CW), croup height (CH), neck girth (NG), thorax girth (TG), chest girth (ChG), chest depth (ChD), chest width (ChW), back line length (BLL), body length (BL), fore cannon length (FCL) and hind cannon length (HCL). The horses were divided into groups according to age (less than 2 years, 2-4 years, 4-9 years, over 9 years) and to sex (male, female). The statistical analyzes show that age has significant influence of WH while the strain has only a very limited effect. On CW, NG, BLL, FCL and HCL, there is only a significant influence of sex. Age has significant effect on CH and BL. All sources of classes have a significant effect on TG, ChG, ChD and ChW. Strain has a significant effect on the BL. These results provide first information for real biodiversity in and between the strains and can be used to develop the breeding work in the Arabian horse breed.

Keywords: Arabian horse, phenotypic traits, strains, Syria

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19 Evaluation of Effectiveness of Three Common Equine Thrush Treatments

Authors: A. S. Strait, J. A. Bryk-Lucy, L. M. Ritchie


Thrush is a common disease of ungulates primarily affecting the frog and sulci, caused by the anaerobic bacteria Fusobacterium necrophorum. Thrush accounts for approximately 45.0% of hoof disorders in horses. Prevention and treatment of thrush are essential to prevent horses from developing severe infections and becoming lame. Proper knowledge of hoof care and thrush treatments is crucial to avoid financial costs, unsoundness and lost training time. Research on the effectiveness of numerous commercial and homemade thrush treatments is limited in the equine industry. The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of three common thrush treatments for horses: weekly application of Thrush Buster, daily dilute bleach solution spray, or Metronidazole pastes every other day. Cases of thrush diagnosed by a veterinarian or veterinarian-trained researcher were given a score, from 0 to 4, based on the severity of the thrush in each hoof (n=59) and randomly assigned a treatment. Cases were rescored each week of the three-week treatment, and the final and initial scores were compared to determine effectiveness. The thrush treatments were compared with Thrush Buster as the reference at a significance level of α=.05. Binomial Logistic Regression Modeling was performed, finding that the odds of a hoof treated with Metronidazole to be thrush-free was 6.1 times greater than a hoof treated with Thrush Buster (p=0.001), while the odds of a hoof that was treated with bleach to be thrush-free was only 0.97 times greater than a hoof treated with Thrush Buster (p=0.970), after adjustment for treatment week. Of the three treatments utilized in this study, Metronidazole paste applied to the affected areas every other day was the most effective treatment for thrush in horses. There are many other thrush remedies available, and further research is warranted to determine the efficacy of additional treatment options.

Keywords: fusobacterium necrophorum, thrush, equine, horse, lameness

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18 West Nile Virus in North-Eastern Italy: Overview of Integrated Surveillance Activities

Authors: Laura Amato, Paolo Mulatti, Fabrizio Montarsi, Matteo Mazzucato, Laura Gagliazzo, Michele Brichese, Manlio Palei, Gioia Capelli, Lebana Bonfanti


West Nile virus (WNV) re-emerged in north-eastern Italy in 2008, after ten years from its first appearance in Tuscany. In 2009, a national surveillance programme was implemented, and re-modulated in north-eastern Italy in 2011. Hereby, we present the results of surveillance activities in 2008-2016 in the north-eastern Italian regions, with inferences on WNV epidemiological trend in the area. The re-modulated surveillance programmes aimed at early detecting WNV seasonal reactivation by searching IgM antibodies in horses. In 2013, the surveillance plans were further modified including a risk-based approach. Spatial analysis techniques, including Bernoulli space-time scan-statistics, were applied to the results of 2010–2012 surveillance on mosquitoes, equines, and humans to identify areas where WNV reactivation was more likely to occur. From 2008 to 2016, residential horses tested positive for anti-WNV antibodies on a yearly basis (503 cases), also in areas where WNV circulation was not detected in mosquito populations. Surveillance activities detected 26 syndromic cases in horses, 102 infected mosquito pools and WNV in 18 dead wild birds. Human cases were also recurrently detected in the study area during the surveillance period (68 cases of West Nile neuroinvasive disease). The recurrent identification of WNV in animals, mosquitoes, and humans indicates the virus has likely become endemic in the area. In 2016, findings of WNV positives in horses or mosquitoes were included as triggers for enhancing screening activities in humans. The evolution of the epidemiological situation prompts for continuous and accurate surveillance measures. The results of the 2013-2016 surveillance indicate that the risk-based approach was effective in early detecting seasonal reactivation of WNV, key factor of the integrated surveillance strategy in endemic areas.

Keywords: arboviruses, horses, Italy, surveillance, west nile virus, zoonoses

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17 Nutritional Value Determination of Different Varieties of Oats and Barley Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Method for the Horses Nutrition

Authors: V. Viliene, V. Sasyte, A. Raceviciute-Stupeliene, R. Gruzauskas


In horse nutrition, the most suitable cereal for their rations composition could be defined as oats and barley. Oats have high nutritive value because it provides more protein, fiber, iron and zinc than other whole grains, has good taste, and an activity of stimulating metabolic changes in the body. Another cereal – barley is very similar to oats as a feed except for some characteristics that affect how it is used; however, barley is lower in fiber than oats and is classified as a "heavy" feed. The value of oats and barley grain, first of all is dependent on its composition. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) has long been considered and used as a significant method in component and quality analysis and as an emerging technology for authenticity applications for cereal quality control. This paper presents the chemical and amino acid composition of different varieties of barley and oats, also digestible energy of different cereals for horses. Ten different spring barley (n = 5) and oats (n = 5) varieties, grown in one location in Lithuania, were assayed for their chemical composition (dry matter, crude protein, crude fat, crude ash, crude fiber, starch) and amino acids content, digestible amino acids and amino acids digestibility. Also, the grains digestible energy for horses was calculated. The oats and barley samples reflectance spectra were measured by means of NIRS using Foss-Tecator DS2500 equipment. The chemical components: fat, crude protein, starch and fiber differed statistically (P<0.05) between the oats and barley varieties. The highest total amino acid content between oats was determined in variety Flamingsprofi (4.56 g/kg) and the lowest – variety Circle (3.57 g/kg), and between barley - respectively in varieties Publican (3.50 g/kg) and Sebastian (3.11 g/kg). The different varieties of oats digestible amino acid content varied from 3.11 g/kg to 4.07 g/kg; barley different varieties varied from 2.59 g/kg to 2.94 g/kg. The average amino acids digestibility of oats varied from 74.4% (Liz) to 95.6% (Fen) and in barley - from 75.8 % (Tre) to 89.6% (Fen). The amount of digestible energy in the analyzed varieties of oats and barley was an average compound 13.74 MJ/kg DM and 14.85 MJ/kg DM, respectively. An analysis of the results showed that different varieties of oats compared with barley are preferable for horse nutrition according to the crude fat, crude fiber, ash and separate amino acids content, but the analyzed barley varieties dominated the higher amounts of crude protein, the digestible Liz amount and higher DE content, and thus, could be recommended for making feed formulation for horses combining oats and barley, taking into account the chemical composition of using cereal varieties.

Keywords: barley, digestive energy, horses, nutritional value, oats

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16 A Descriptive Study of the Mineral Content of Conserved Forage Fed to Horses in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and France

Authors: Louise Jones, Rafael De Andrade Moral, John C. Stephens


Background: Minerals are an essential component of correct nutrition. Conserved hay/haylage is an important component of many horse's diets. Variations in the mineral content of conserved forage should be considered when assessing dietary intake. Objectives: This study describes the levels and differences in 15 commonly analysed minerals in conserved forage fed to horses in the United Kingdom (UK), Ireland (IRL), and France (FRA). Methods: Hay (FRA n=92, IRL n=168, UK n=152) and haylage samples (UK n=287, IRL n=49) were collected during 2017-2020. Mineral analysis was undertaken using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Statistical analysis was performed using beta regression, Gaussian, or gamma models, depending on the nature of the response variable. Results: There are significant differences in the mineral content of the UK, IRL, and FRA conserved forage samples. FRA hay samples had a significantly higher (p < 0.05) levels of Sulphur (0.16 ± 0.0051 %), Calcium (0.56 ± 0.0342%), Magnesium (0.16 ± 0.0069 mg/ kg DM), Iron (194 ± 23.0 mg/kg DM), Cobalt (0.21 ± 0.0244 mg/kg DM) and Copper (4.94 ± 0.196 mg/kg DM) content compared to hay from the other two countries. UK hay samples had significantly less (p < 0.05) Selenium (0.07 ± 0.0084 mg/kg DM), whilst IRL hay samples were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in Chloride (0.9 ± 0.026mg/kg DM) compared to hay from the other two countries. IRL haylage samples were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in Phosphorus (0.26 ± 0.0102 %), Sulphur (0.17 ± 0.0052 %), Chloride (1.01 ± 0.0519 %), Calcium (0.54 ± 0.0257 %), Selenium (0.17 ± 0.0322 mg/kg DM) and Molybdenum (1.47 ± 0.137 mg/kg DM) compared to haylage from the UK. Main Limitations: Forage samples were obtained from professional yards and may not be reflective of forages fed by most horse owners. Information regarding soil type, species of grass, fertiliser treatment, harvest, or storage conditions were not included in this study. Conclusions: At a DM intake of 2% body weight, conserved forage as sampled in this study will be insufficient to meet Zinc, Iodine, and Copper NRC maintenance requirements, and Se intake will also be insufficient for horses fed the UK conserved forage. Many horses receive hay/haylage as the main component of their diet; this study highlights the need to consider forage analysis when making dietary recommendations.

Keywords: conserved forage, hay, haylage, minerals

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15 Multi-Modality Imaging of Aggressive Hoof Wall Neoplasia in Two Horses

Authors: Hannah Nagel, Hayley Lang, Albert Sole Guitart, Natasha Lean, Rachel Allavena, Cleide Sprohnie-Barrera, Alex Young


Aggressive neoplasia of the hoof is a rare occurrence in horses and has been only sporadically described in the literature. In the few cases reported intra-hoof wall, aggressive neoplasia has been documented radiographically and has been described with variable imaging characteristics. These include a well-defined osteolytic area, a smoothly outlined semi-circular defect, an extensive draining tract beneath the hoof wall, as well as an additional large area of osteolysis or an extensive central lytic region. A 20-year-old Quarterhorse gelding and a 10-year-old Thoroughbred gelding were both presented for chronic reoccurring lameness in the left forelimb and left hindlimb, respectively. Both of the cases displayed radiographic lesions that have been previously described but also displayed osteoproliferative expansile regions of additional bone formation. Changes associated with hoof neoplasia are often non-specific due to the nature and capacity of bone to react to pathological insult, which is either to proliferate or be absorbed. Both cases depict and describe imaging findings seen on radiography, contrast radiography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging before reaching a histological diagnosis of malignant melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Although aggressive hoof wall neoplasia is rare, there are some imaging features which may raise our index of suspicion for an aggressive hoof wall lesion. This case report documents two horses with similar imaging findings who underwent multiple assessments, surgical interventions, and imaging modalities with a final diagnosis of malignant neoplasia.

Keywords: horse, hoof, imaging, radiography, neoplasia

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14 Respiratory Health and Air Movement Within Equine Indoor Arenas

Authors: Staci McGill, Morgan Hayes, Robert Coleman, Kimberly Tumlin


The interaction and relationships between horses and humans have been shown to be positive for physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing, however equine spaces where these interactions occur do include some environmental risks. There are 1.7 million jobs associated with the equine industry in the United States in addition to recreational riders, owners, and volunteers who interact with horses for substantial amounts of time daily inside built structures. One specialized facility, an “indoor arena” is a semi-indoor structure used for exercising horses and exhibiting skills during competitive events. Typically, indoor arenas have a sand or sand mixture as the footing or surface over which the horse travels, and increasingly, silica sand is being recommended due to its durable nature. It was previously identified in a semi-qualitative survey that the majority of individuals using indoor arenas have environmental concerns with dust. 27% (90/333) of respondents reported respiratory issues or allergy-like symptoms while riding with 21.6% (71/329) of respondents reporting these issues while standing on the ground observing or teaching. Frequent headaches and/or lightheadedness was reported in 9.9% (33/333) of respondents while riding and in 4.3% 14/329 while on the ground. Horse respiratory health is also negatively impacted with 58% (194/333) of respondents indicating horses cough during or after time in the indoor arena. Instructors who spent time in indoor arenas self-reported more respiratory issues than those individuals who identified as smokers, highlighting the health relevance of understanding these unique structures. To further elucidate environmental concerns and self-reported health issues, 35 facility assessments were conducted in a cross-sectional sampling design in the states of Kentucky and Ohio (USA). Data, including air speeds, were collected in a grid fashion at 15 points within the indoor arenas and then mapped spatially using krigging in ARCGIS. From the spatial maps, standard variances were obtained and differences were analyzed using multivariant analysis of variances (MANOVA) and analysis of variances (ANOVA). There were no differences for the variance of the air speeds in the spaces for facility orientation, presence and type of roof ventilation, climate control systems, amount of openings, or use of fans. Variability of the air speeds in the indoor arenas was 0.25 or less. Further analysis yielded that average air speeds within the indoor arenas were lower than 100 ft/min (0.51 m/s) which is considered still air in other animal facilities. The lack of air movement means that dust clearance is reliant on particle size and weight rather than ventilation. While further work on respirable dust is necessary, this characterization of the semi-indoor environment where animals and humans interact indicates insufficient air flow to eliminate or reduce respiratory hazards. Finally, engineering solutions to address air movement deficiencies within indoor arenas or mitigate particulate matter are critical to ensuring exposures do not lead to adverse health outcomes for equine professionals, volunteers, participants, and horses within these spaces.

Keywords: equine, indoor arena, ventilation, particulate matter, respiratory health

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13 Phenotypical and Molecular Characterization of Burkholderia mallei from Horses with Glanders: Preliminary Data

Authors: A. F. C. Nassar, D. K. Tessler, L. Okuda, C. Del Fava, D. P. Chiebao, A. H. C. N. Romaldini, A. P. Alvim, M. J. Sanchez-Vazquez, M. S. Rosa, J. C. Pompei, R. Harakava, M. C. S. Araujo, G. H. F. Marques, E. M. Pituco


Glanders is a zoonotic disease of Equidae caused by the bacterium Burkholderia mallei presented in acute or chronic clinical forms with inflammatory nodules in the respiratory tract, lymphangitis and caseous lymph nodes. There is not a treatment with veterinary drugs to this life-threatening disease; thus, its occurrence must be notified to official animal health services and any infected animal must be eliminated. This study aims to detect B. mallei from horses euthanized in outbreaks of glanders in Brazil, providing a better understanding of the bacterial characteristics and determine a proper protocol for isolation. The work was carried out with the collaboration of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Sao Paulo State Animal Health Department, while its procedures were approved by the Committee of Ethics in Animal Experimentation from the Instituto Biologico (CETEA n°156/2017). To the present time, 16 horses from farms with outbreaks of glanders detected by complement fixation test (CFT) serology method were analyzed. During the necropsy, samples of possibly affected organs (lymph nodes, lungs, heart, liver, spleen, kidneys and trachea) were collected for bacterial isolation, molecular tests and pathology. Isolation was performed using two enriched mediums, a potato infusion agar with 5% sheep blood, 4% glycerol and antibiotics (penicilin100U/ mL), and another with the same ingredients except the antibiotic. A PCR protocol was modified for this study using primers design to identify a region of the Flip gen of B. mallei. Thru isolation, 12.5% (2/16) animals were confirmed positive using only the enriched medium with antibiotic and confirmed by PCR: from mediastinal and submandibular lymph nodes and lungs in one animal and from mediastinal lymph node in the other. The detection of the bacterium using PCR showed positivity of 100% (16/16) horses from 144 samples of organs. Pathology macroscopic lesions observed were catarrhal nasal discharge, fetlock ulcers, emaciation, lymphangitis in limbs, suppurative lymphangitis, lymph node enlargement, star shaped liver, and spleen scars, adherence of the renal capsule, pulmonary hemorrhage, and miliary nodules. Microscopic lesions were suppurative bronchopneumonia with microabscesses and Langhans giant cells in lungs; lymph nodes with abscesses and intense lymphoid reaction; hemosiderosis and abscesses in spleen. Positive samples on PCR will be sequenced later and analyzed comparing with previous records in the literature. A throughout description of the recent acute cases of glanders occurring in Brazil and characterization of the bacterium related will contribute to advances in the knowledge of the pathogenicity, clinical symptoms, and epidemiology of this zoonotic disease. Acknowledgment: This project is sponsored by FAPESP.

Keywords: equines, bacterial isolation, zoonosis, PCR, pathology

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12 Valorization of Surveillance Data and Assessment of the Sensitivity of a Surveillance System for an Infectious Disease Using a Capture-Recapture Model

Authors: Jean-Philippe Amat, Timothée Vergne, Aymeric Hans, Bénédicte Ferry, Pascal Hendrikx, Jackie Tapprest, Barbara Dufour, Agnès Leblond


The surveillance of infectious diseases is necessary to describe their occurrence and help the planning, implementation and evaluation of risk mitigation activities. However, the exact number of detected cases may remain unknown whether surveillance is based on serological tests because identifying seroconversion may be difficult. Moreover, incomplete detection of cases or outbreaks is a recurrent issue in the field of disease surveillance. This study addresses these two issues. Using a viral animal disease as an example (equine viral arteritis), the goals were to establish suitable rules for identifying seroconversion in order to estimate the number of cases and outbreaks detected by a surveillance system in France between 2006 and 2013, and to assess the sensitivity of this system by estimating the total number of outbreaks that occurred during this period (including unreported outbreaks) using a capture-recapture model. Data from horses which exhibited at least one positive result in serology using viral neutralization test between 2006 and 2013 were used for analysis (n=1,645). Data consisted of the annual antibody titers and the location of the subjects (towns). A consensus among multidisciplinary experts (specialists in the disease and its laboratory diagnosis, epidemiologists) was reached to consider seroconversion as a change in antibody titer from negative to at least 32 or as a three-fold or greater increase. The number of seroconversions was counted for each town and modeled using a unilist zero-truncated binomial (ZTB) capture-recapture model with R software. The binomial denominator was the number of horses tested in each infected town. Using the defined rules, 239 cases located in 177 towns (outbreaks) were identified from 2006 to 2013. Subsequently, the sensitivity of the surveillance system was estimated as the ratio of the number of detected outbreaks to the total number of outbreaks that occurred (including unreported outbreaks) estimated using the ZTB model. The total number of outbreaks was estimated at 215 (95% credible interval CrI95%: 195-249) and the surveillance sensitivity at 82% (CrI95%: 71-91). The rules proposed for identifying seroconversion may serve future research. Such rules, adjusted to the local environment, could conceivably be applied in other countries with surveillance programs dedicated to this disease. More generally, defining ad hoc algorithms for interpreting the antibody titer could be useful regarding other human and animal diseases and zoonosis when there is a lack of accurate information in the literature about the serological response in naturally infected subjects. This study shows how capture-recapture methods may help to estimate the sensitivity of an imperfect surveillance system and to valorize surveillance data. The sensitivity of the surveillance system of equine viral arteritis is relatively high and supports its relevance to prevent the disease spreading.

Keywords: Bayesian inference, capture-recapture, epidemiology, equine viral arteritis, infectious disease, seroconversion, surveillance

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11 Markers for Predicting Overweight or Obesity of Riding Egyptian Broodmares Mares

Authors: Amal Abo El-Maaty, Amira Mohamed, Nashwa Abu-Aita, Hisham Morgan


For estimating markers of overweight or obesity of brood mares used for riding and training, 17 mares of different body conditions were subjected to blood sampling and ultrasound examination to measure rump fat thickness and monitor ovulation for six consecutive weeks. Also length (L), heart girth (G) and withers height (H) were measured to estimate body weight (BW), body fat %, body fat mass (BFM) and body mass index (BMI). Mares were classified into three groups according to both body condition score (BCS) and rump back fat (BF). Overweight mares (O) were having BCS > 7 and BF thickness >7mm, moderate body condition (M) mares were having BCS >3and ≤7and BF <3and <7mm, and emaciated mares (E) were having BCS ≤3 and BF ≤3mm. glucose, triglycerides, nitric oxide, ovarian, thyroid, insulin, insulin like growth factor-I (IGF-1), and leptin hormones were measured. Results revealed that BCS, G, L, L*G*H, BW, BF, fat %, BFM were significantly (P<0.0001) decreasing linearly from O to E. T4 concentrations of E were significantly high (P=0.04) compared to M and O but T3 concentrations tended to decrease in E (P>0.05). Insulin and IGF-1 concentrations tended to be high in O (P>0.05) and decrease with the decrease of body condition. M had (P=0.007) the highest leptin, but E mares had the lowest P4 concentrations (P=0.01). Concentrations of glucose and NO decreased with the decrease of BCS and BF but triglycerides of O were insignificantly high. In conclusion, exercise could prevent the development of metabolic syndrome in horses and back fat and morphometric measurements were the easiest and simple assessment of overweight and deviation to obesity.

Keywords: body condition score, insulin, leptin, mares, rump fat

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10 A Pilot Study Exploring Dog Owners’ Perceptions on Volunteering With Their Dogs in Animal-Assisted Therapy Program in Singapore

Authors: Julia Wong, Hua Beng Lim, Cheryl Ho, Gin Jen Gwee, Rachel Tay


In Singapore, a few hospitals and non-governmental social service agencies have been utilising animal-assisted therapy (AAT) in their practice in recent years, although the animals used (e.g., dogs, cats, and horses) and program modality may differ due to the different practice settings, client profiles, and intervention goals. This pilot study explores dog owners’ perceptions of AAT with a focus on examining the enablers and barriers towards volunteering with their dogs in AAT programs in Singapore. A qualitative, thematic analysis study was conducted using in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 16 dog owners. 3 of the dog owners had previous experience volunteering with their dogs serving elderly patients in a community hospital, while the rest of the dog owners had no previous experience volunteering with their dogs. The former group was recruited with the help of the hospital, while the latter group was recruited via word-of-mouth. Dog owners who had volunteering experiences in AAT program versus those who had none differed in their perceptions towards AAT. Dog owners who had volunteered with their dogs in an AAT program in a hospital felt that their volunteering experience were meaningful to patients and to themselves, as they were intrinsically motivated by the desire to serve the community. Those who had not volunteered were hesitant to volunteer with their dogs as they were not comfortable with strangers touching their dogs. They also felt that it would be a huge commitment in terms of time and money; most of them do not own a car as it is uneconomical, and pets are not allowed on Singapore’s public transport systems. This study is limited by its small sample size, and its findings are not generalisable. However, given that volunteers are an invaluable resource in healthcare settings, future studies can examine more stakeholders’ perceptions towards AAT.

Keywords: animal-assisted therapy, dog-assisted therapy, volunteers, complementary therapy

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9 A Finite Element Study of Laminitis in Horses

Authors: Naeim Akbari Shahkhosravi, Reza Kakavand, Helen M. S. Davies, Amin Komeili


Equine locomotion and performance are significantly affected by hoof health. One of the most critical diseases of the hoof is laminitis, which can lead to horse lameness in a severe condition. This disease exhibits the mechanical properties degradation of the laminar junction tissue within the hoof. Therefore, it is essential to investigate the biomechanics of the hoof, focusing specifically on excessive and cumulatively accumulated stresses within the laminar junction tissue. For this aim, the current study generated a novel equine hoof Finite Element (FE) model under dynamic physiological loading conditions and employing a hyperelastic material model. Associated tissues of the equine hoof were segmented from computed tomography scans of an equine forelimb, including the navicular bone, third phalanx, sole, frog, laminar junction, digital cushion, and medial- dorsal- lateral wall areas. The inner tissues were connected based on the hoof anatomy, and the hoof was under a dynamic loading over cyclic strides at the trot. The strain distribution on the hoof wall of the model was compared with the published in vivo strain measurements to validate the model. Then the validated model was used to study the development of laminitis. The ultimate stress tolerated by the laminar junction before rupture was considered as a stress threshold. The tissue damage was simulated through iterative reduction of the tissue’s mechanical properties in the presence of excessive maximum principal stresses. The findings of this investigation revealed how damage initiates from the medial and lateral sides of the tissue and propagates through the hoof dorsal area.

Keywords: horse hoof, laminitis, finite element model, continuous damage

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8 Positivity of Pathogenic Leptospira in Pigs from Rural Communities on the Coast of Ecuador

Authors: Veronica Barragan, Ligia Luna, Maria Patricia Zambrano, Carlos Bulnes, Eduardo Diaz, Talima Pearson


Leptospirosis impacts animal production and is responsible for important economic losses in the pig industry. Infection is associated with reproductive failures that lead to abortions, stillbirth, and perinatal mortality. The leptospira serogroups that have been traditionally linked to disease in pigs are Pomona, Australis, and Tarassovi. Unfortunately, knowledge about pig leptospirosis is biased towards infection in large-scale commercial farms from developed countries, where exposure is usually limited to host-specific serotypes. The aim of our study is to describe leptospirosis in pigs from rural communities located in the coast of Ecuador-South America, where leptospirosis is endemic. A particularity of these pigs is that, because they are usually raised in the backyard of their owner’s houses, exposure to other leptospira excreted by other animals is likely to occur. Therefore, we collected 420 kidney samples from pigs sacrificed at a local slaughterhouse, and Leptospira positivity was tested in all samples by amplifying the Lipl32 gen. Our results show pathogenic Leptospira positivity in 19.3% (81/420) of pigs. Microaglutination test was performed in 60 PCR positive samples with titers >1:100 in 17 pigs, titers of 1:50 in 28 pigs, and no MAT titers in 15 pigs even though Leptospira DNA was found in their kidneys. Interestingly, reacting serovars were very diverse, with 18.3% of pig sera reacting with two or more serovars. Additionally, serovar Canicola was found in 16.7% of pigs followed by Tarassovi (10%), Australis (6.7%), Pyogenes (5%), Icterohaemorrhageae (1.7%), and Grippotyphosa (1.7%). It is also important to highlight that most of the analyzed animals came from small-scale farms where pigs may be exposed to the pathogen by exposure to other domestic and peridomestic animals such as rats, dogs, horses, donkeys, and even wildlife. This would explain the finding of non-pig adapted Leptospira serovars such as Canicola, which is commonly reported in dogs.

Keywords: Leptospira, Lipl32, peridomestic, pig, serovar

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7 Profile of Serological Response of Equids Naturally Infected with Burkholderia mallei

Authors: Iahtasham Khan, Vania Lucia De Assis Santana, Marcilia Maria Alves De Souza, Mabel Hanna Vance Harrop, Fernando Leandro Dos Santos, Cecília Maria Souza Leão E. Silva, Pedro Paulo Silveira, Marcelo Brasil, Marcus Vinícius, Hélio Cordeiro Manso Filho, Muhammad Younus, Aman Ullah Khan


Glanders ranks high on clinical lists in some regions of Brazil as a cause of respiratory and lymphatic disease in equids. Glanders is caused by Burkolderia mallei (B. mallei) Gram-negative bacterium. B. mallei was first biological agent used in World War I in 20th century. The complement fixation test (CFT) is a serodiagnostic tool prescribed by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)for the diagnosis of glanders in the international trade of equids. The aim of the present study was to monitor the serological responses in equines naturally infected with B. mallei using the CFT. A total of 574 equids were tested with CFT, 30 days apart in a total of 12 samplings. One hundred thirty-four sera tested negative in all samplings; 192 sera tested positive in one sampling and 125 sera tested positive in two or more samplings. Remaining 123 samples showed uncertain results. Thus, CFT results can vary over a period of time. These variations could be the consequence of the effects of the natural immune response in each animal. The findings of the present study demonstrate difficulties regarding the simultaneous implementation of CFT and test and slaughter policies to eradicate glanders. Another constraint to control this disease is the presence of carrier/transitory CFT-negative animals, which are a potential source of disease in glanders-free areas. Serodiagnostic tests of higher sensitivity and specificity like immunobloat should be implemented to achieve success in the eradication of glanders.

Keywords: glanders, equids, horses, immunological, mules

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6 Authentication and Traceability of Meat Products from South Indian Market by Species-Specific Polymerase Chain Reaction

Authors: J. U. Santhosh Kumar, V. Krishna, Sebin Sebastian, G. S. Seethapathy, G. Ravikanth, R. Uma Shaanker


Food is one of the basic needs of human beings. It requires the normal function of the body part and a healthy growth. Recently, food adulteration increases day by day to increase the quantity and make more benefit. Animal source foods can provide a variety of micronutrients that are difficult to obtain in adequate quantities from plant source foods alone. Particularly in the meat industry, products from animals are susceptible targets for fraudulent labeling due to the economic profit that results from selling cheaper meat as meat from more profitable and desirable species. This work presents an overview of the main PCR-based techniques applied to date to verify the authenticity of beef meat and meat products from beef species. We were analyzed 25 market beef samples in South India. We examined PCR methods based on the sequence of the cytochrome b gene for source species identification. We found all sample were sold as beef meat as Bos Taurus. However, interestingly Male meats are more valuable high price compare to female meat, due to this reason most of the markets samples are susceptible. We were used sex determination gene of cattle like TSPY(Y-encoded, testis-specific protein TSPY is a Y-specific gene). TSPY homologs exist in several mammalian species, including humans, horses, and cattle. This gene is Y coded testis protein genes, which only amplify the male. We used multiple PCR products form species-specific “fingerprints” on gel electrophoresis, which may be useful for meat authentication. Amplicons were obtained only by the Cattle -specific PCR. We found 13 market meat samples sold as female beef samples. These results suggest that the species-specific PCR methods established in this study would be useful for simple and easy detection of adulteration of meat products.

Keywords: authentication, meat products, species-specific, TSPY

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5 Genomic Characterisation of Equine Sarcoid-derived Bovine Papillomavirus Type 1 and 2 Using Nanopore-Based Sequencing

Authors: Lien Gysens, Bert Vanmechelen, Maarten Haspeslagh, Piet Maes, Ann Martens


Bovine papillomavirus (BPV) types 1 and 2 play a central role in the etiology of the most common neoplasm in horses, the equine sarcoid. The unknown mechanism behind the unique variety in a clinical presentation on the one hand and the host-dependent clinical outcome of BPV-1 infection, on the other hand, indicate the involvement of additional factors. Earlier studies have reported the potential functional significance of intratypic sequence variants, along with the existence of sarcoid-sourced BPV variants. Therefore, intratypic sequence variation seems to be an important emerging viral factor. This study aimed to give a broad insight in sarcoid-sourced BPV variation and explore its potential association with disease presentation. In order to do this, a nanopore sequencing approach was successfully optimized for screening a wide spectrum of clinical samples. Specimens of each tumour were initially screened for BPV-1/-2 by quantitative real-time PCR. A custom-designed primer set was used on BPV-positive samples to amplify the complete viral genome in two multiplex PCR reactions, resulting in a set of overlapping amplicons. For phylogenetic analysis, separate alignments were made of all available complete genome sequences for BPV-1/-2. The resulting alignments were used to infer Bayesian phylogenetic trees. We found substantial genetic variation among sarcoid-derived BPV-1, although this variation could not be linked to disease severity. Several of the BPV-1 genomes had multiple major deletions. Remarkably, the majority of the cluster within the region coding for late viral genes. Together with the extensiveness (up to 603 nucleotides) of the described deletions, this suggests an altered function of L1/L2 in disease pathogenesis. By generating a significant amount of complete-length BPV genomes, we succeeded in introducing next-generation sequencing into veterinary research focusing on the equine sarcoid, thus facilitating the first report of both nanopore-based sequencing of complete sarcoid-sourced BPV-1/-2 and the simultaneous nanopore sequencing of multiple complete genomes originating from a single clinical sample.

Keywords: Bovine papillomavirus, equine sarcoid, horse, nanopore sequencing, phylogenetic analysis

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4 The Co-Existence of Multidominance and Movement in the Syntax of Chinese Bi-Comparatives

Authors: Yaqing Hu


This paper puts forward a syntactic analysis involving multidominance and rightward movement in Chinese bi-comparatives, as in 'Yuehan bi Mali gao (John is taller than Mary).' It is argued here that the predicate of comparison is a shared constituent in two small clauses, namely one for the target and one for the standard; and then it moves rightward to form a degree phrase with the comparative morpheme. This proposal comes from four aspects. First, the example above can also be expressed in this way, 'A: Yuehan he Mali, shui gao? (John and Mary, who is taller?) B: Yuehan gao./Yuehan geng gao. (John is taller).' This shows that the gradable adjective is predicated of the target. In addition, according to a constraint on Chinese bi-comparatives, namely the target and the standard must be arguments of the predicate simultaneously, it is not unreasonable to assume that the gradable adjective may also be predicated of the standard. Second, subcomparatives are totally disallowed in Chinese, as in '*zhe-zhang zhuozi bi zhe-zhang yizi kuan chang. (This table is longer than this chair is wide.)' In order to save it from ungrammaticality, the target and the standard should be compared along the same dimension denoted by the gradable adjective. It may follow that in Chinese comparatives, having equal roles in the same eventuality, the target and the standard bear the same thematic relationship with the predicate of comparison. Third, verb-copy can appear in Chinese bi-comparatives, as in 'Yuehan qi ma bi Mali qi ma qi de kuai. (John rides horses faster than Mary does.)' The predicate qi seems to form a small clause with both the target and the standard. This might be supporting evidence that both the target and the standard share the predicate of comparison. Fourth, Chinese comparatives do have comparative morphemes, as in 'Yuehan bi Mali geng gao. (John is taller than Mary)', which is semantically equivalent to the first example above. Thus, it follows that one feature of Chinese comparative morphemes is that they can remain overt or covert in the syntax, which will not affect semantics. This further shows that comparative morphemes in bi-comparatives may not be able to saturate the degree argument denoted by the predicate of comparison due to its optionality in the structure. These four aspects present a challenge to the Direct Analysis used in Chinese comparatives since this approach would presume that the target and the standard somehow show independency with the predicate in the syntax. Meanwhile, this study also rejects the previous analysis of multidomiance in bi-comparatives in which the degree phrase comprised of the comparative morpheme and the gradable adjective may be shared by the standard when the comparative morpheme is covert. This syntactic analysis proposed in this study will therefore offer a different perspective of how to treat degree phrase in Chinese comparatives and may offer evidence to argue whether there is degree phrase movement in bi-comparatives as in its English counterparts.

Keywords: Chinese comparatives, degree phrase, movement, multidominance, syntactic analysis

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3 Hematological Changes in the Hydatidosed Male Sheep after Experimental Inoculation of Echinococcus granulosus Eggs

Authors: M. Younus, Muhammad Shafique, M. Athar Khan, Tanveer Akhtar , M. Moeen Athar


A total of 48 apparently healthy weaned sheep lambs (Ovis aries) of 8-10 weeks old weighing 7-10 Kg were purchased from the contractors, maintained in the experimental station of University of the Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Campus at Lahore, Pakistan. They were dewormed against nematodes with levamisole (ICI) at recommended dose rates. The feces were tested against the parasitic eggs, no helminths ova were seen. All the 48 sheep lambs were divided into two groups i.e. group A & group B. Group 'A' comprising of 40 sheep, kept as infected groups whereas group 'B' comprising of 08 sheep & kept as a new infected control group. Each sheep lamb of group A was given 3-4 fresh gravid segments contains 2-3 thousand eggs of Echinococcus granulosus. These were collected from experimentally infected dogs by feeding fresh hydrated cysts collected from liver & lungs of sheep after slaughtering. Each lamb was fed with fresh gravid segments for a total period of 5 days or each alternate day. Coagulated blood was collected before the start of infected diet and after every month by jugular phlebotomy of each sheep lamb from the infected & new infected control group. One lamb each from group A & group B was slaughtered at the end of each month for the presence of macroscopic hydatid cyst in viscera & abdominal cavity. After 180 days of the experiment, hydatid cysts were confirmed in the abdominal cavity. Hematological parameters of zero days & then at the end of every month revealed that there was a gradual increase (PL 0.05) in the White Blood Cell (WBC), Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV), Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration (MCHC) and Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rates (ESR). The increasing trend was probably due to inflammatory response and lytic effect of the newly developing E. granulosus hydatid cysts. The red blood cell (RBC), Hemoglobin (HB), Packed Cell Volume (PCV) and Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH) infected groups were decreased significantly as compared to the control group (PL 0.05). The experiment was terminated at the end of the 7th month. It can be concluded that Echinococcus granulosus can damage livestock and other intermediate hosts such as horses, the development of hydatid cysts affect the organs due to the growing cysts pressuring the organ tissues. Parts of the tissue die, which impairs the functioning of the affected organ. The clinical signs depend on the affected organ. The major damage for livestock is organ condemnation at slaughter.

Keywords: echinococcus granulosus, hydatidosis, sheep, hematology

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2 The Effects of a Hippotherapy Simulator in Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Pilot Study

Authors: Canan Gunay Yazici, Zubeyir Sarı, Devrim Tarakci


Background: Hippotherapy considered as global techniques used in rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy as it improved gait pattern, balance, postural control, balance and gross motor skills development but it encounters some problems (such as the excess of the cost of horses' care, nutrition, housing). Hippotherapy simulator is being developed in recent years to overcome these problems. These devices aim to create the effects of hippotherapy made with a real horse on patients by simulating the movements of a real horse. Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of hippotherapy simulator on gross motor functions, sitting postural control and dynamic balance of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Methods: Fourteen children with CP, aged 6–15 years, seven with a diagnosis of spastic hemiplegia, five of diplegia, two of triplegia, Gross Motor Function Classification System level I-III. The Horse Riding Simulator (HRS), including four-speed program (warm-up, level 1-2-3), was used for hippotherapy simulator. Firstly, each child received Neurodevelopmental Therapy (NDT; 45min twice weekly eight weeks). Subsequently, the same children completed HRS+NDT (30min and 15min respectively, twice weekly eight weeks). Children were assessed pre-treatment, at the end of 8th and 16th week. Gross motor function, sitting postural control, dynamic sitting and standing balance were evaluated by Gross Motor Function Measure-88 (GMFM-88, Dimension B, D, E and Total Score), Trunk Impairment Scale (TIS), Pedalo® Sensamove Balance Test and Pediatric Balance Scale (PBS) respectively. Unit of Scientific Research Project of Marmara University supported our study. Results: All measured variables were a significant increase compared to baseline values after both intervention (NDT and HRS+NDT), except for dynamic sitting balance evaluated by Pedalo®. Especially HRS+NDT, increase in the measured variables was considerably higher than NDT. After NDT, the Total scores of GMFM-88 (mean baseline 62,2 ± 23,5; mean NDT: 66,6 ± 22,2; p < 0,05), TIS (10,4 ± 3,4; 12,1 ± 3; p < 0,05), PBS (37,4 ± 14,6; 39,6 ± 12,9; p < 0,05), Pedalo® sitting (91,2 ± 6,7; 92,3 ± 5,2; p > 0,05) and Pedalo® standing balance points (80,2 ± 10,8; 82,5 ± 11,5; p < 0,05) increased by 7,1%, 2%, 3,9%, 5,2% and 6 % respectively. After HRS+NDT treatment, the total scores of GMFM-88 (mean baseline: 62,2 ± 23,5; mean HRS+NDT: 71,6 ± 21,4; p < 0,05), TIS (10,4 ± 3,4; 15,6 ± 2,9; p < 0,05), PBS (37,4 ± 14,6; 42,5 ± 12; p < 0,05), Pedalo® sitting (91,2 ± 6,7; 93,8 ± 3,7; p > 0,05) and standing balance points (80,2 ± 10,8; 86,2 ± 5,6; p < 0,05) increased by 15,2%, 6%, 7,3%, 6,4%, and 11,9%, respectively, compared to the initial values. Conclusion: Neurodevelopmental therapy provided significant improvements in gross motor functions, sitting postural control, sitting and standing balance of children with CP. When the hippotherapy simulator added to the treatment program, it was observed that these functions were further developed (especially with gross motor functions and dynamic balance). As a result, this pilot study showed that the hippotherapy simulator could be a useful alternative to neurodevelopmental therapy for the improvement of gross motor function, sitting postural control and dynamic balance of children with CP.

Keywords: balance, cerebral palsy, hippotherapy, rehabilitation

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1 Human-Carnivore Interaction: Patterns, Causes and Perceptions of Local Herders of Hoper Valley in Central Karakoram National Park, Pakistan

Authors: Saeed Abbas, Rahilla Tabassum, Haider Abbas, Babar Khan, Shahid Hussain, Muhammad Zafar Khan, Fazal Karim, Yawar Abbas, Rizwan Karim


Human–carnivore conflict is considered to be a major conservation and rural livelihood concern because many carnivore species have been heavily victimized due to elevated conflict levels with communities. Like other snow leopard range countries, this situation prevails in Pakistan, where WWF is currently working under Asia High Mountain Project (AHMP) in Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan. To mitigate such conflicts requires a firm understanding of grazing and predation pattern including human-carnivore interaction. For this purpose we conducted a survey in Hoper valley (one of the AHMP project sites in Pakistan), during August, 2013 through a questionnaire based survey and unstructured interviews covering 647 households, permanently residing in the project area out of the total 900 households. The valley, spread over 409 km2 between 36°7'46" N and 74°49'2"E, at 2900m asl in Karakoram ranges is considered to be one of an important habitat of snow leopard and associated prey species such as Himalayan ibex. The valley is home of 8100 Brusho people (ancient tribe of Northern Pakistan) dependent on agro-pastoral livelihoods including farming and livestock rearing. The total number of livestock reported were (N=15,481) out of which 8346 (53.91%) were sheep, 3546 (22.91%) goats, 2193 (14.16%) cows, 903 (5.83%) yaks, 508 (3.28%) bulls, 28 (0.18%) donkeys, 27 (0.17%) zo/zomo (cross breed of yak and cow), and 4 (0.03%) horses. 83 percent respondent (n=542 households) confirmed loss of their livestock during the last one year July, 2012 to June, 2013 which account for 2246 (14.51%) animals. The major reason of livestock loss include predation by large carnivores such as snow leopards and wolf (1710, 76.14%) followed by diseases (536, 23.86%). Of the total predation cases snow leopard is suspected to kill 1478 animals (86.43%). Among livestock sheep were found to be the major prey of snow leopard (810, 55%) followed by goats (484, 32.7%) cows (151, 10.21%), yaks (15, 1.015%), zo/zomo (7, 0.5%) and donkey (1, 0.07%). The reason for the mass depredation of sheep and goats is that they tend to browse on twigs of bushes and graze on soft grass near cliffs. They are also considered to be very active as compared to other species in moving quickly and covering more grazing area. This makes them more vulnerable to snow leopard attack. The majority (1283, 75%) of livestock killed by predators occurred during the warm season (May-September) in alpine and sub-alpine pastures and remaining (427, 25%) occurred in the winter season near settlements in valley. It was evident from the recent study that Snow leopard kills outside the pen were (1351, 79.76%) as compared to inside pen (359, 20.24%). Assessing the economic loss of livestock predation we found that the total loss of livestock predation in the study area is equal to PKR 11,230,000 (USD 105,797), which is about PRK 17, 357 (USD 163.51) per household per year. Economic loss incurred by the locals due to predation is quite significant where the average cash income per household per year is PKR 85,000 (USD 800.75).

Keywords: carnivores, conflict, predation, livelihood, conservation, rural, snow leopard, livestock

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