Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Live & Learn

I spent a good part of the day today hearing about the some of the most current research projects being undertaken by the veterinary school at Michigan State. Here are some of the things I got out of it:

1. I am very glad that I no longer have to spend my days sitting in a dim room listening to lectures all day.

2. There is a lot of exciting and clinically relavent research ongoing within our state pertinent to improving the health of the animals around us and also improving the lives of us who share our world with these animals.

3. There are a lot of people at MSU who are smarter than I am, and are deeply passionate about what they do.

4. Michigan State is a great resource for those of us who care deeply about the health of our horses.

One of the most exciting (at least to me) presentations was concerning some very preliminary studies exploring the potential use of a drug called Ethyl Pyruvate for the treatment of endotoxemia in horses. Endotoxemia is caused by certain types of bacteria that produce and and release substances called endotoxins. These endotoxins cause severe deleterious affects on multiple body systems. Endotoxemia results when bacterial produced endotoxins gain access to the blood stream. Once in the bloodstream, they have profoundly negative affects of multiple body systems. Endotoxemia usually occurs in association with severe infections or a severely compromised intestinal tract. This is a condition that, as of yet, we do not have a highly effective therapeutic option for. Researchers at MSU are looking at the potential use of this drug called Ethyl Pyruvate that looks to be very promising for the treatment of endotoxemia.

This is the first time Ethyl Pyruvate has been looked at in horses. The intial studes were primarily focused on demostrating safety and that is has a measurable indended affect. All of this work is VERY preliminary as it is not yet available and there are a lot of questions that remain unanswered about its potential use. With that said, it is very exciting to get a glimpse of a potentially very useful and effective durg that may be used in the future to battle many of the negative affects of endotoxemia.

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