Researchers investigated tackling placentitis on three fronts using a combination of firocoxib, trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole, and altrenogest (a progestin used to suppress estrus).
Placentitis in pregnant mares can be a death knell for the foal they carry, but quick recognition of the infection and inflammation of the placenta, as well as a new drug protocol, may help prevent the loss of the foal.
Researchers at the University of Georgia and the University of Florida Colleges of Veterinary Medicine believe they have found an effective, three-pronged approach to battling placentitis: it involves the use of the antibiotic trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole (TMS), altrenogest (a progestin used to suppress estrus) an the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) firocoxib, reports The Horse.
Jennifer Varner of the University of Georgia's College of Veterinary Medicine reported on the findings at 2019 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention. She noted that previous placentitis treatment involved antimicrobials to treat the bacterial infections, but that one small study suggested that stopping the mare's inflammatory response and preventing uterine contractions may help save foal's life.
Varner and her team sought to find a combination of drugs that would address infection, inflammation and premature contractions in pregnant mares. To test the drug combination, the research team introduced Streptococcus zooepidemicus into the cervixes of 13 mares that were between 270 and 300 days of gestation. Each mare was then randomly assigned to a control or a treated group.
The treated group received the firocoxib, TMS and altrenogest as soon as they began showing signs of placentitis, which is generally two days after infection. These mares then received the drugs until they delivered.
At the conclusion of the study, all seven mares that had received the treatment delivered live foals, while only two of the untreated mares had live foals. Three of the foals were immature. Every foal that survived needed supportive care after birth that continues for several days; this included giving each foal antimicrobials.
The researchers concluded that the drug combination of TMS, altrenogest and firocoxib helps adjust the inflammatory response that leads to uterine contractions and preterm birth.
Read more at The Horse.
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