WESTPORT, CT – December 12, 2012 – The EQUUS Foundation and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation jointly established the EQUUS Foundation Research Fellowship program in 2011 to emphasize the importance of equine research, to reward researchers for their contributions, and to meet the increasing need to train future equine veterinary researchers.
Two equine researchers were presented with the 2012 EQUUS Foundation Research Fellows for their work to advance veterinary knowledge during the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ 58th Annual Convention. Texas A&M University master of science candidate Michelle C. Coleman, DVM, DACVIM, and University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center doctoral candidate Allen E. Page, DVM, each received a $5,000 fellow to support their endeavors in equine research during the Frank J. Milne State-of-the-Art Lecture.
“Ensuring the well-being of horses is our core mission. We applaud the commitment, hard work, and contributions of equine researchers. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are able to sponsor this important work,” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President.
According to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) infection in horses can cause not only the neurologic disease (Equine Herpes Virus Myeloencephalopathy, or EHM for short) that is in the news now, but also respiratory disease, abortion in mares and neonatal foal death. Viruses spread through the air, contaminated equipment, clothing (including boots) and hands.
A virus, according to Wikipedia, is a biological agent that reproduces inside the cells of living hosts. Once the host cell is infected by a virus, it is forced to produce many thousands of identical copies of the original virus at an astounding rate. Because viruses do not have cells that divide, the new viruses accumulate in the infected host cell. Viruses are found wherever there is life and have most likely existed since living cells first evolved.
Viral infections are usually eliminated by the body’s immune system which protects against disease by identifying and killing pathogens and tumor cells. Detection of viruses is complicated as the pathogens can evolve rapidly, adapting easily to avoid the defenses of the immune system. When the immune system is not functioning properly, recurring and life-threatening infections can result. How can horse owners help protect their horses and build up their immune system?
Now there’s an opportunity to recognize these veterinarians. AAEP has invited American Quarter Horse members, owners and organizations to nominate veterinarians for the AAEP Good Works Campaign. This campaign celebrates the “good work” of veterinarians who devote time and expertise beyond the scope of their everyday practice to help horses and the equine community.
Throughout 2011, the AAEP Good Works Campaign will spotlight AAEP-member practitioners whose volunteer efforts are improving the health and welfare of horses. Each month, AAEP will select a veterinarian nominated by a horse owner or organization for special recognition.
Monthly honorees will be considered for the 2011 Good Works Award, to be presented during the 57th Annual Convention in San Antonio. The nomination form is available online.