Evaluation of equine breeding farm characteristics as risk factors for development of Rhodococcus equi pneumonia in foals.
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OBJECTIVE: To identify farm characteristics as risk factors for the development of Rhodococcus equi pneumonia in foals. DESIGN: Prospective matched case-control study. ANIMALS: 2,764 foals on 64 equine breeding farms with 9,991 horses. PROCEDURE: During 1997, participating veterinarians completed paired data collection forms, 1 for a farm with > or = 1 foal with R equi pneumonia and 1 for an unaffected control farm. Matched data were compared by use of conditional logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: Farm characteristics found in bivariate analyses to be associated with increased risk for pneumonia caused by R equi in foals included > 200 farm acres, > or = 60 acres used in the husbandry of horses, > 160 horses, > or = 10 mares housed permanently on the farm (resident mares), > 17 foals, > 0.25 foals/acre, and the presence of transient mares (mares brought temporarily to the farm for breeding or foaling) and their foals. Affected farms were significantly more likely to be > 200 acres in size and have > or = 10 resident dam-foal pairs, whereas control farms were significantly more likely to have > or = 75% of their dam-foal pairs housed permanently on the farm. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Breeding farms with large acreage, a large number of mares and foals, high foal density, and a population of transient mares and foals are at high risk for foals developing pneumonia caused by R equi.
author list (cited authors)
Chaffin, M. K., Cohen, N. D., & Martens, R. J.