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Acupuncture as therapy and diagnostic test in horses suspected to be infected with equine herpes virus -1 (EHV-1)

In order to study the potency of acupuncture for treating and diagnosing vague clinical symptoms of poor performance and reluctance to dressage or jump training, 20 riding horses were submitted to acupuncture procedures based on their history of poor performance or sudden behavioural changes during riding and 20 other symptom-free horses were are taken as matched controls. These controls were from the same yards and/or owner as were the treated horses. All horses were clinically examined including a neurological examination. Special attention was paid at the examination of the back. The treatment group also underwent an " acupuncture diagnosis" by an experienced veterinary acupuncturist. Acute and reconvalescent blood samples were taken within an interval of 3 weeks. A specific Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for EHV-1 was run on the samples. Furthermore Serum Neutralisation Test (SN) aganst EHV-1 and Complement Fixation (CF) against EHV-1 and EHV-4 were performed on all sera, finally haematology was performed and routine blood biochemical parameters were determined.
The result of the neurological examination of the two groups was markedly different. The skin sensation on the both lateral sides of the neck was increased in the "problem horses", also the croup and flank on both sides appeared more sensitive. Haematology and biochemistry values were all within the normal range. The PCR was in all cases negative for EHV-1, the SN showed no significant differences between both groups. There was, however, a significantly higher antibody titre to EHV-1 in CF assay - in the first and second sample- compared to group 2, but not an increase.
Project leader
Nowotny Norbert
Type of Research
Applied research
Vetmed Research Units
University Equine Clinic, Clinical Unit of Equine Internal Medicine
Projekt partner
Contact: Marvin Kane
Marvin KANE
Funded by
Marvin KANE, , United States

Chvala, S (2002): Untersuchungen ├╝ber den Einsatz des "Meridiantests" aus dem Bereich der Akupunktur zur Diagnose von equinen Herpesvirus Typ-1 (EHV-1)-Infektionen bei Problempferden. Dissertation, Vet. Med. Univ. Wien, pp. 54.

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