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A clinical investigation into the underlying cause of equine hoof canker was conducted in Austria. Tissue samples from 24 canker specimens were examined for the presence of viral DNA from the papilloma virus that causes warts in cattle and has been associated with sarcoid tumors in horses. Most of the patients were warmbloods. On average they were 12 years old. Most were well cared for and presumably living in good, relatively clean environments. Tissues from 13 horses without canker were similarly examined as controls.
The viral DNA was found in all of the canker specimens. Most of the skin biopsies and blood samples from affected horses were also positive for the DNA. None of the canker patients were affected by sarcoid skin tumors. This along with the discovery that the specific variants of the virus found in the canker cases are also those associated with sarcoids led the researchers to suggest the canker patients likely acquired the viral infections from other horses rather than from cows. They also concluded effective treatment for canker might be improved by using antiviral medication and immune modulators, some of which have been effective for sarcoids.
—Brandt S et al. EVJ 2011;43:202-209.
A retrospective, descriptive study was conducted to better understand the most common characteristics of rattlesnake bites to horses in Northern California and identify factors associated with survival. The medical records of two referral hospitals were searched to identify 58 cases of rattlesnake bite…