NAHMS horse data counters other reports
Rockville, Md.-The National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) Equine '98 study deviates from prior scientific reports of Salmonella and the U.S. horse population, namely because of the horses it sampled, reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Of note is that the NAHMS Equine '98 traced lower levels of fecal shedding of Salmonella in horses than previously reported in veterinary literature. Of greater note, though, was the NAHMS study sampled horses in a population never before studied.
"The data from NAHMS looks at the prevalence of shedding in the feces of Salmonella and the horse population in general versus trying to establish the status of any given animal in that population," says Dr. Josie Traub-Dargatz, professor at Colorado State University who was involved in writing the report.
Prior to this study, no research had ever closely examined the general population, instead focusing on horses at veterinary hospitals, which are different from the general population, according to Traub-Dargatz.
"Lots of things happen to those horses that come in (to the hospital) for lameness (for example)," says Traub-Dargatz. "They have been hauled and been around other horses that the general population may not have been."
Equine practitioners, who are dealing with a herd of horses, can use the data from NAHMS to determine whether a single horse in the herd which is exhibiting signs of diarrhea from Salmonella signifies a Salmonella problem in the entire herd. If you are looking to establish the infection status of a given horse, you would sample it multiple times, according to Traub-Dargatz.
Read the full story by Senior Associate Editor Stephanie Davis in the August issue of DVM Newsmagazine.
For more information on NAHMS or the Equine '98 study, contact Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health at (970) 490-8000; e-mail NAHMSweb@usda.gov or visit the Web site at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/ceah/cahm.