Silent gastric ulceration occurs without evidence of clinical signs and is common in horses. There is currently no a simple and effective method to diagnose this disease. Proteomics can be used to identify serum biomarkers, but the most abundant serum protein, albumin, could conceal candidate biomarkers. Therefore, it is recommended to remove albumin before a proteomic study; however, there is no specific albumin depletion kit or standard protocol available for horse samples. The objectives of this study were to optimise a protocol to remove equine serum albumin and to use albumin-depleted serum to identify the protein biomarkers for silent gastric ulceration. Gastroscopy was used to identify gastric ulceration, and serum was obtained from horses with either a healthy gastric mucosa or gastric ulceration. Serum albumin was removed using the trichloroacetic acid (TCA) protein precipitation method, and this protocol was optimised by varying the concentration of TCA, type of organic solvents, ratio of serum to protein precipitation solution, and incubation times. Electrophoresis and image analysis were used to compare the amounts of albumin, immunoglobulins G (IgG), and protein degradation before and after TCA precipitation. The best protocol was chosen to remove albumin for a proteomic study (electrophoresis and mass spectrometry). The results revealed that protocol 2 (ratio of serum to solution 1:5, 10% TCA in acetone, and 90 min incubation) was the most efficient protocol to remove albumin (98%) and IgG heavy (80%) and light (98%) chains without degrading other proteins. After electrophoresis and mass spectrometry analysis, KRT1, KRT6A and KRT18 were identified as potential markers for silent gastric ulceration.
The lying behavior of Thoroughbred foals on breeding farms was continuously measured using triaxial accelerometers. Accelerometers were attached on the side of the hind limb cannon and under the halter of six foals to record triaxial angle data every 10 sec for a period of 24 hr. Lying behavior was divided into sternal lying and lateral lying based on head angle. Sampling was performed for two consecutive days each week until weaning. Sampling periods were divided into two periods on the basis of pasturing time: daytime pasturing (period A: 7-hr pasturing period, 2–60 days of age) and overnight pasturing (period B: 19-hr pasturing period, 32–152 days of age). Lying duration and frequency were longer and higher, respectively, in period A (44.6% of the time and 26.8 ± 7.4 times per day) than those in period B (27.7% of the time and 15.3 ± 4.2 times per day). In addition, foals spent more time laterally in period A (48.1% of total lying time) than in period B (38.9% of total lying time). Foals lie down longer in stalls than in pastures (Period A, 56.3 vs. 16.0%; Period B, 52.5 vs. 21.1%). Lateral lying was also longer in the stall than in the pasture. Lying duration and frequency changed with age in period A. Wet weather prevented lying behavior in the pasture. These results suggested that age, weather, and pasturing time affected the lying behavior of Thoroughbred foals under management at a breeding farm. Triaxial accelerometers may be useful for monitoring equine lying behavior.
The 2016 Equibase data set of American Quarter Horse starts in North America was analyzed, with the purpose of ranking the sires of the racehorses. A speed z-score derived from the race times and distances was used as a racing performance measure. Mixed effects models were used on various subsets of the data based on race distance and sire offspring number. The sire categorical variable was considered as a random effect. Various statistical criteria were used to optimize the model. The constructed models were then varied in terms of the random and fixed effects included, and the conditional modes of the sire effects were extracted from these models. The benefit of the sire ranking that comes from this analysis is that it is controlled for track, jockey, trainer, weather, and several other variables that can impact speed. Sires are typically valued for high rankings for offspring earnings and winners. Yet a sire with a low stud fee may still produce offspring with a high ranking using our z-score model. The offspring of this bargain sire have the potential to produce fast offspring that could pay a dividend on a relatively low cost investment. The model sire ranking approach described in this paper is clearly bringing a new approach to the field of sire rankings.
It is desirable to reduce surgery-induced oxidative stress (OS) because it can cause immune suppression and delayed wound healing. Propofol is known to have antioxidant potential and to reduce OS in humans, but there have been no studies of this issue in horses. This study was conducted to evaluate OS under three different propofol administration protocols in Thoroughbred racehorses undergoing arthroscopic surgery with sevoflurane anesthesia. Blood oxidative stress (bOS) and blood antioxidant power (bAP) were used as OS biomarkers. Both bOS and bAP significantly decreased after surgery in all groups, but no differences in these reductions were found among them. Different propofol administration protocols with sevoflurane anesthesia did not cause a difference in OS in Thoroughbred racehorses that underwent arthroscopic surgery.
Although severe blood coagulopathy in horses with acute colitis causes multiple organ failure, which may be fatal, few studies have focused on the correlation between the fluctuations of coagulation parameters and severity of colitis. In this study, we evaluated the fluctuations of coagulation parameters in 14 Thoroughbred racehorses with acute colitis for 5 days from the day of hospitalization and compared them between 5 survivors and 9 non-survivors. Noteworthy features in the non-survivors were that antithrombin activity and fibrin degradation products continuously decreased and increased, respectively, for 4 days or more and that thrombin-antithrombin complexes increased in the last 2 days before death. Thus, these parameters should be continuously monitored to observe these fluctuations in assessing the severity of acute colitis.