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Determining Likelihood of Positive Outcomes by Studying White Blood Cells of Sick Horses

Study Results:

Although profound improvements have been made in the diagnosis and treatment of horses with gastrointestinal diseases, colic remains the leading cause of death in horses. Many severe forms of colic result in systemic inflammation, which may be responsible for life-threatening complications, including lameness. Scientist from the University of Georgia studied how severe diseases activate horses' white blood cells and affect the probability of survival. They found that white blood cells undergo different changes among three disease categories; simple colic, non-strangulating obstructions and strangulating obstructions resulting from inflammatory diseases. This means it may be possible in the future to use patterns of gene expression in white blood cells as an additional tool to help identify the underlying cause of colic in horses. Ultimately, the researchers hope to help minimize deaths associated with colic, diarrhea and laminitis.

Posted by MAFon June 11, 2010.

Categories: Animal health, Animal studies, Horse health


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