Progress against uveitis
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