AAEP 2002: Biologic and Therapeutic Agents Forum

Among the topics of interest discussed were plasma products, compounding, and West Nile virus. The discussion of plasma products centered around the current United States Department of Agriculture licensure of only some of these products. Until 1995, noted Dr. Jim Bowman, president of Lake Immunogenetics, all plasma products were licensed by the USDA. At that point, it was decided by USDA officials not to license normal equine plasma (basic fluid replacement in horses). All equine plasmas that make specific claims, such as for enhanced IgG levels or Rhodococcus equi antibodies, are still required to undergo scrutiny and licensure by the USDA.

Some veterinarians in attendance expressed concern that the horses used as sources for normal equine plasma were not checked for diseases such as West Nile virus and equine viral arteritis.

Compounding has been an issue before this group for many years, noted forum moderator Dr. Rocky Bigbie. Research from the University of California, Davis, and other studies were discussed that showed the potential problems associated with compounded drugs that do not go through any quality control checks by state or federal officials before being sold to veterinarians. There were incidences in research that showed compounded drugs contained much more and much less than the advertised dosages. This could lead to treatment failure or positive drug tests in competition horses, respectively.

In the WNV update, the discussion involved vaccination protocols in pregnant mares, maternal antibody interference in young foals, and virulence. It was noted there doesn’t seem to be an increase in the disease-causing ability or severity of disease with WNV in the United States.

See information on vaccinating broodmares and foals for WNV at http://www.TheHorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=3985.

About the Author

Kimberly S. Brown

Kimberly S. Brown was the Publisher/Editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care from June 2008 to March 2010, and she served in various positions at Blood-Horse Publications since 1980.

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