rhodococcus in foals
rhodococcus in foals

This lung contains multifocal pyogranulomas associated with Rhodococcus pneumonia

(Photo : Texas AM University)


We wrote about a year ago about our ground-breaking innovation in dealing with bacterial-inspired diseases, and the biological measures we were adopting in countering them. The most common outbreaks on stud farms involve Salmonella, Rhodococcus and E.coli, and it’s that time of the year again when we begin to see the first signs of Rhodococcus, which manifests itself as a respiratory tract infection, and is capable of killing foals if it’s not quickly diagnosed and dealt with.

While an early response is always desirable, it’s our response to try and pre-empt it, and the best early warning system is the observation of foals to see whether they’re on the “suck” and whether or not they’re carrying a temperature. Of course, this takes enormous manpower, as every foal has to be caught every morning, in order that we can insert a thermometer and establish their well being.

Better than that, is to take the pathogens on in their own backyard, because we know that every farm has them, and it’s simply a case of when they raise their dirty, little heads. In order to keep these under control, we have discovered a means of countering them. When the pathogens get to dominate, they play very quickly on the immune systems of foals, so we need to curb their dominance. We do so by introducing “friendly” bacteria into the environment, and we achieve that by spraying the paddocks with home-cultured bacteria, introducing it through the water system, and where foals are stabled, by “defogging” the stable environment containing the friendly fellows.

Obviously, the bio-security measures you have in place are fundamentally important as well, so that it’s very much a two pronged attack.

Farms in the Midlands (and, we understand, in various parts of the country) have reported beginnings of a somewhat early Rhodococcus presence, and so our team is hard at work with its revolutionary response. While there’s much work to be done on this front, and we don’t know all the answers yet, what we do know is that it appears an imminently successful way of dealing with these things when they occur, so we’re wasting little time in getting stuck in.