A paper has been published on the trial drug Oroquin-10 and the use of the stall-side antibody test strips. Published in International Journal of Applied Research in Veterinary Medicine. Rapid diagnosis of EPM has always been an issue. The UC Davis test takes 7-10 days to get results back, and measures antibodies to protozoa that don’t cause EPM. The Multiplex strip is specific to Sarcocystis neurona, and is performed at the barn, while the vet is looking at the horse. The vet can perform a nerological exam, rule out other diseases, AND perform the antibody test while at the horse. This is a major step forward in diagnostics. The test packs are available from Prota.
Posts Tagged ‘horse’
As the temps dip into the single digits tonight, I’d like to talk about slow feeders again. Horses stay warm by the heat created during fermentation of forage in the cecum. Calories from grain will provide energy and add fat to the horse, but giving forage helps to heat them. Horses need small amounts of forage over long periods to keep the fermentation going. To slow down the consumption of hay, I use slow feeders.
I showed a picture and video of the horses with a cheap, easily constructed slow feeder in May 2010. Fudge has figured out how to strip the hay out of the small mesh hay bag pretty quickly, so I now use two small mesh hay bags over the muck bucket. The resulting small holes mean the horses can only pull out one or two strands of hay at a time. It trickle-feeds the horses through the cold night. Remove the cord from both small-mesh hay bags. Place one bag inside the other, and re-string one cord through both nets. Add the cord loops and a two-ended snap.
Caveat: Horses with shoes should not use this type of slow feeder, or small mesh hay nets near the ground. The heel of the shoe will get caught in the net when they paw at the hay.
Many new people have found Fudgie’s blog in the past week. The short soundbites of today’s media are not as adept at scientific concepts, lists of symptoms, or the complexities of EPM. The blog is a stepping stone to the website. Take a walkabout by using the buttons to the right, and get to know us.
EPM was certainly discussed at AAEP. In one class with Dr. Reed and Dr. MacKay, Dr. MacKay said he would wait for FDA approval to use the Oroquin-10. Dr. MacKay also promotes the use of Marquis at 7X the dose for loading, or at higher doses, longer duration, or mixed with sulpha/pyrimeth.
Marquis is only approved by FDA at 1X for 28 days. Dr. MacKay is using and publishing protocols that are not FDA approved. Why? Because Marquis at 1X doesn’t work very well. The FOI will tell you that 5X doesn’t work any better. At 10X the FDA approved dose Marquis does have a marginally better success rate. The published CNS values of Marquis are not high enough to kill at 1X.
Dr. Andrews is using a protocol with Sulpha/pyrimeth at a 2X dose. This was shown in the Rebalance trials (FOI) to be toxic. It is not FDA approved. Why is he using this? Because sulpha/pyrimeth at 1X for 270 days doesn’t work very well, and causes anemia. A 2X dose makes the anemia worse.
Protazil, using the blinded observers, was only 42% effective at 1X dose (it’s on the insert). MacKay suggests diclazuril be used at 7X the FDA dose, or for longer periods, or mixed with sulpha/pyrimeth. Only 1X for 28 days is FDA approved.
Dr. Reed suggested to me by consultation, that I use a higher dose of Marquis on Charlie. This is not an FDA approved protocol. He certainly did not let me know that.
Dr. Johnson said on the latest Intervet-sponsored EPM Webinar, they would only talk about FDA-approved drugs. Less than a minute later, Dr. Andrews is answering web questions about higher, longer drug protocols that are not FDA approved. (Intervet makes Protazil)
None of these used/published protocols are FDA approved. The veterinarians are not collecting information in a trial. They do not collect titers after the treatment to see if the horse’s immune system is winding down. They are simply throwing drugs at the problem, and hoping it will go away. Does this sound scientific to you? It shouldn’t. If your vet has prescribed one of these
protocols to you, they are running a non-FDA-approved mini field trial, with no back-up of proof that it works. Why? Because the existing FDA-approved drugs don’t work well.
At least the Oroquin-10 drug trial indicates ‘TRIAL’, is measuring titers before and after the treatment, provides support to vets, and is working its way through the FDA process. Oroquin-10 is based on a study of decoquinate by Dr. David Lindsay. This study shows a very high kill rate. Adding levamisole to the mix seems to help.
If MacKay, Andrews, Johnson and Reed want to use only FDA approved drugs, why are they promoting, using, and publishing non-FDA protocols? Seems like the pot is calling the kettle black.
In September I posted that I had seen great improvement with Fudge’s cranial symptoms with the preventative dose of decoquinate. I discussed giving Fudge a treatment of decoquinate to see if it would help with any latent infection. And the answer is… I have not seen additional improvement with the treatment dose. I think he is as good as he is going to get.
I know from testing the other horse that my two are getting multiple exposures to Sarcocystis neurona over the course of a year. There are a lot of opossums in my area, and I see them weekly. This re-exposure will help keep the IgG antibodies primed in their bodies. In this case, did a treatment dose of decoquinate help? I don’t think so, the preventative had already helped his immune system tackle any latent infection. Did the treatment dose hurt? I’m not seeing any downside to one treatment dose. It would not be a good idea to treat repeatedly, thinking he would get better.