Alison qualified from the University of Liverpool School of Veterinary Science in 2009. She spent 4 years in equine practice in Yorkshire and Essex before moving to the United States to complete a two-year Fellowship in equine medicine and field service at the University of California, Davis. She then returned to the UK in 2015, and worked in a first opinion practice in Hampshire. Alison joined the University of Surrey School of Veterinary Medicine in January 2018 as a Teaching Fellow in equine clinical studies.
OBJECTIVE To investigate the impact of age and inferred prior vaccination history on the persistence of vaccine-induced antibody against rabies in horses.
DESIGN Serologic response evaluation.
ANIMALS 48 horses with an undocumented vaccination history.
PROCEDURES Horses were vaccinated against rabies once. Blood samples were collected prior to vaccination, 3 to 7 weeks after vaccination, and at 6-month intervals for 2 to 3 years. Serum rabies virus–neutralizing antibody (RVNA) values were measured. An RVNA value of ≥ 0.5 U/mL was used to define a predicted protective immune response on the basis of World Health Organization recommendations for humans. Values were compared between horses < 20 and ≥ 20 years of age and between horses inferred to have been previously vaccinated and those inferred to be immunologically naïve.
RESULTS A protective RVNA value (≥ 0.5 U/mL) was maintained for 2 to 3 years in horses inferred to have been previously vaccinated on the basis of prevaccination RVNA values. No significant difference was evident in response to rabies vaccination or duration of protective RVNA values between horses < 20 and ≥ 20 years of age. Seven horses were poor responders to vaccination. Significant differences were identified between horses inferred to have been previously vaccinated and horses inferred to be naïve prior to the study.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE A rabies vaccination interval > 1 year may be appropriate for previously vaccinated horses but not for horses vaccinated only once. Additional research is required to confirm this finding and characterize the optimal primary dose series for rabies vaccination.
A 14-year-old Quarter Horse was examined for a draining tract of 8 months’ duration on the right mandible that was non-responsive to antibiotic therapy and surgical therapy. Further investigation and subsequent treatment with sialoendoscopy and ultrasonography were performed to relieve an obstruction of plant awns in the mandibular salivary duct.
This study aimed to assess the effect of lateral heel studs on foot–ground interaction in the horse by quantifying foot slip during stance whilst cantering on a grass surface. It was hypothesised that using studs would decrease foot slip distance on the ground conditions tested. Nine horses were ridden with and without a stud placed laterally in the shoe of each of the 4 feet. High speed video-analysis was used to track hoof markers and to provide data quantifying foot slip distance, slip duration and stance duration. Using studs resulted in a significant decrease in foot slip distance in all four limbs (all P values < 0.004). The magnitude of the difference in slip distance with and without studs was greatest in the trailing limbs.
The results supported the hypothesis that using studs will decrease foot slip distance in horses cantering on a grass surface, and additionally, highlights that stud efficacy may vary between limbs. The decrease in slip distance with studs demonstrated increased traction and a more stable foot–ground interaction, although this may cause a concomitant increase in the required energy dissipation, either within the limb or via surface deformation. The effect of repetitive usage of studs in the aetiology of musculoskeletal conditions should therefore be investigated further.
Simulation in veterinary education is an important means of providing a safe, welfare-friendly way for students to hone their skills prior to performing procedures on live animals. Students may not get many chances to practice passing a nasogastric tube and checking for reflux in live horses during clinical rotations and extra-mural studies. A low-cost equine nasogastric intubation model was created at the University of Surrey, allowing students to practice passing a tube and checking for reflux. Thirty-two equine veterinarians evaluated the model for realism, and its potential usefulness in teaching. Veterinarians found the model to be realistic, supported its use as a teaching aid, and provided helpful feedback for possible improvements. In addition, 83 year 4 veterinary students rated their level of confidence before and after using the model for nine specific aspects of nasogastric intubation. Students showed significantly increased confidence levels in all nine aspects after using the model, and reported that they appreciated being able to practice the skill in a safe environment prior to performing it on a live horse. The results of this study suggest that both clinicians and students considered that this model has educational value, which supports its use for training veterinary students prior to clinical placements. The model provides an affordable, robust educational aid that can be used in clinical skills teaching, increases student confidence, and allows students to practice the skill repeatedly.