The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of straw, sawdust, coconut husk (husk), and coconut fiber (fiber) on the welfare of stable horses by observing their resting behavior. Twenty horses with ages ranging from 3 to 21 years were used at the Equine Research Institute of the Japan Racing Association, Utsunomiya, Japan. Five horses were allocated to each bedding condition. The behavior of each horse was recorded by video camera for 3 days and was continuously sampled from 17:00 to 05:00. The total duration, the number of bouts, and the mean and the maximum duration of bouts in standing rest, sternal lying, and lateral lying were calculated and analysed by the Kruskal-Wallis test and post hoc Steel-Dwass test. There was no difference in the standing rest and the sternal lying among beddings. Significant differences were observed in these values in the lateral lying among the different beddings (P<0.05). The values of the means of the total duration, the number of bouts, and the mean and the maximum duration of bout in the lateral lying were greater when husk was used as the bedding material than when sawdust were used (P<0.05). The results of the observations show that the new bedding materials would be as usable as straw. However, lateral lying was observed less frequently when sawdust were used as bedding; this indicates that use of sawdust as bedding material will decrease the welfare of stabled horses.
Epiphyseal fracture, also known as epiphysiolysis, is the loosening or separation, either partial or complete, of an epiphysis from the shaft of a long bone. Distal epiphyseal fractures in foals pose a substantial challenge due to their guarded prognosis. This report describes the clinical signs, diagnosis, successful conservative treatment of an 1-month-old, male Skyros pony with an epiphyseal fracture of the right third metacarpal bone (type II Salter-Harris). The owner declined surgical treatment because of financial considerations along with the unfavorable prognosis. Conservative fracture treatment was pursued through external reduction and coaptation. The total duration of the conservative treatment was eighteen weeks and the foal returned to complete health.
Estimation formulas for the morbidity of horses infected with equine influenza virus by linear regression, logistic regression and probit transformation were developed, using data from the outbreak at the Sha Tin Racing Track in Hong Kong in 1992. Using these formulas, we estimated the equine influenza virus morbidity rates at training centers belonging to the Japan Racing Association (JRA) in October 1997 and in October 1998. In 1998 JRA started a new vaccination program, and every horse must now be vaccinated twice per year. At that time, the vaccine included two US lineage virus strains, the A/equine/Kentucky/81 strain and the A/equine/La Plata/93 (LP93) strain, against equine type-2 influenza viruses; it did not include any EU lineage virus strains, such as A/equine/Suffolk/89 (SF89). Comparing the geometric mean (GM) values of hemagglutination inhibition (HI) titers between the LP93 strain and the SF89 strain in 1997 and in 1998, they both rose significantly at every age (p<0.05) by Wilcoxon test. Calculations by the simulation models show the morbidity rates for LP93 diminished from 0.439 (linear), 0.423 (logistic) and 0.431 (probit) to 0.276 (linear), 0.265 (logistic) and 0.271 (probit), respectively. On the other hand, the estimated morbidity rates for SF89 diminished only slightly from 0.954 (linear), 0.932 (logistic) and 0.944 (probit) to 0.946 (linear), 0.914 (logistic) and 0.927 (probit), respectively. Our simulation models could estimate the effect of the vaccine on each of the equine virus strains represented by the morbidity of infected horses. Thus, they are useful for vaccine evaluation.