The NAHMS Equine 2015 study will cover a va­ri­ety of top­ics, rang­ing from the man­age­ment of lame­ness and in­fec­tious dis­eases to trends in man­age­ment to health-re­lated costs of own­er­ship.

EQUUS - - Medical Front -

Peo­ple can­not vol­un­teer to par­tic­i­pate in the NAHMS study. In­stead, they will be se­lected through a pre­de­fined process. “The equine op­er­a­tions are se­lected by the Na­tional Agri­cul­tural Statis­tics Ser­vice (NASS) from a list of places that qual­ify as a “farm”---those that have or could have

sold 1,000 dol­lars of agri­cul­tural prod­ucts or own five or more equines and are not a com­mer­cial op­er­a­tion like a race­track,” says TraubDar­gatz. “If se­lected by NASS for par­tic­i­pa­tion in the study, the op­er­a­tion will re­ceive an in­tro­duc­tory let­ter and an in­for­ma­tion sheet with de­tails about the study. Then a NASS rep­re­sen­ta­tive will con­tact the per­son by phone to set up a face-to-face in­ter­view to com­plete the ques­tion­naire, which is phase 1 of the study. They will also de­ter­mine if the per­son is will­ing to par­tic­i­pate in the sec­ond phase of the study, which in­volves a site visit to their farm.”

There are some in­cen­tives for in­di­vid­ual own­ers to par­tic­i­pate in the study. For in­stance, those who par­tic­i­pate in the sec­ond phase of the study can have up to six horses tested for in­ter­nal par­a­sites to eval­u­ate them for an­thelmintic re­sis­tance.

“There is also an op­tion to have up to 10 equids ex­am­ined for ticks by a ve­teri­nary med­i­cal of­fi­cer or an­i­mal health tech­ni­cian [VMO/ AHT],” says Traub-Dar­gatz. If ticks are found they will be col­lected and sent to the Na­tional Ve­teri­nary Ser­vices Lab­o­ra­to­ries (NVSL) for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the type of tick(s) and a re­port will be pro­vided to the equine op­er­a­tor. There is also an op­tion to have the VMO/AHT per­form a biose­cu­rity as­sess­ment of the op­er­a­tion and a re­port of find­ings pro­vided back to the equine op­er­a­tion.”

Af­ter the data are an­a­lyzed, the NAHMS 2015 study re­sults will be shared through tech­ni­cal re­ports, in­for­ma­tion sheets and peer­re­viewed sci­en­tific pa­pers. “We make ev­ery ef­fort to have the re­ports and info sheets avail­able in a timely man­ner so that the re­sults are in the hands of equine own­ers and oth­ers af­fil­i­ated with the equine in­dus­try as quickly as pos­si­ble af­ter the data is col­lected, val­i­dated and in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the find­ings writ­ten,” says Traub-Dar­gatz.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the NAHMS 2015 Equine study go to www.aphis.usda. gov/nahms.

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