Progress against uveitis

EQUUS - - Letters -

Nancy Obertz Westhamp­ton, Mas­sachusetts

I par­tic­u­larly en­joyed the ar­ti­cle on pro­tect­ing your horse from wa­ter­borne dis­eases (“Threats in the Wa­ter,” EQUUS 466). It flooded me with mem­o­ries of an ar­ti­cle of mine that you pub­lished in April 1994 en­ti­tled “The Enigma of Moon Blind­ness,” which told of a study done by Bart Rohrbach, VMD, MPH, and his stu­dents at the Univer­sity of Ten­nessee. At the time, they were just be­gin­ning to make the con­nec­tion be­tween equine re­cur­rent uveitis (ERU) and in­fec­tion with Lep­tospira spp. Pomona.

This ar­ti­cle set up com­mu­ni­ca­tion among horse own­ers across the coun­try who were suf­fer­ing in the same way that I was, and with the help of Mary Nel­son and oth­ers, we set up the ERU Net­work to ad­vo­cate for a pre­ven­tive mea­sure against this dread­ful dis­ease that robs our equine com­pan­ions of their sight. We dis­banded in 2006 and al­ways hoped a vac­cine would be de­vel­oped.

Our sin­cere thanks to Zoetis and their re­search de­part­ment for de­vel­op­ing a vac­cine that is ap­proved for horses. My cur­rent vet­eri­nar­ian had been in­volved in the fol­low-up of the study in my ar­ti­cle, so when we dis­cussed vac­ci­nat­ing the four horses on my farm, she called Zoetis and talked to a re­searcher about the vac­cine and was sat­is­fied that it was safe and ef­fec­tive. I plan to have my small herd vac­ci­nated soon and will in­clude the vac­cine in their an­nual sched­ule. I do hope other horse own­ers will dis­cuss this with their vet­eri­nar­i­ans as it is a sim­ple way to pre­vent a whole lot of heartache and mis­ery.

Once again, thanks for help­ing spread the word about new de­vel­op­ments to help the horse world! Nancy Van­der­lan Clin­ton, Ten­nessee

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