Respiratory disease has been identified as an important and production-limiting health problem on equine stud farms. This study aimed to describe the prevalence and risk factors for respiratory disease on commercial Thoroughbred and Standardbred stud farms in New Zealand, using logistic regression analysis. In 2012, 33 stud managers were interviewed regarding the 2010/11 and 2011/12 breeding seasons, including stud manager reported respiratory disease and strangles vaccination practices. Twenty-two stud mangers reported having respiratory disease on their stud farm in the 2010/11 breeding season, and twenty-six stud managers reported disease in the following season. On 90% of stud farms, nasal discharge was reported by stud managers as the main sign of disease and on 41% of stud farms no treatment was undertaken. When breeding season and the size of the stud farm were accounted for, vaccinating horses against strangles increased the odds of horses having experienced respiratory disease (OR 7.26, 95% CI 1.48-35.64), while the presence of a stallion decreased the odds (OR 0.05, 95% CI 0.004 - 0.48). This study has confirmed that respiratory disease is a common health issue on Thoroughbred and Standardbred stud farms in New Zealand.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 74, Napier, 5-10, 2014
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