Kaylee Kohlhaas is evaluating the effects of the polyphenol resveratrol on metabolic function and reproductive efficiency in the obese broodmare as part of her Master’s thesis. Recent studies have shown resveratrol to have beneficial effects on several components of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is characterized by several factors including obesity, insulin resistance, high plasma concentrations of triglycerides, chronic low-grade inflammation, reproductive dysfunction, and increased levels of circulating leptin and insulin. Characteristic of many obese or overweight individuals, these factors serve as precursors to major metabolic co-morbidities such as, type II diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, and insulin resistance. Pathological issues associated with metabolic syndrome in the obese broodmare have been directly correlated to poor reproductive performance. Increased inter-ovulatory intervals, hemorrhagic follicles, and decreased pregnancy rates are just a few of the many challenges breeders face with obese broodmares, making it difficult to get the mare bred and resulting in increased cost incurred by the owner. The goal of this study is to see if oral supplementation of resveratrol helps mitigate metabolic and reproductive problems commonly observed in overweight mares. Data collection is ongoing, with analysis to begin later this fall.
MSc Candidate Sarah Ciamillo is researching alternative mortality disposal options. Mortalities are inevitable; given the current economy as well as greater concerns for environmental issues, more cost effective and environmentally friendly routes of disposal are being investigated. Standard methods of disposal include: rendering, burial, landfills, incineration, natural disposal, and composting. Large animal mortality composting is becoming a more explored route of disposal. In this process, the mortality is placed within a pyramid-shaped pile consisting of stall waste and woodchips, and the mortality is broken down by microbes. This results in nutrient- rich compost that can be used as fertilizer. Some questions have arisen about drugs used and the potential effect on soil and compost when the mortality is broken down. Previous research has shown that the barbiturate used to euthanize the animal has no negative effect on the soil or compost after the process is finished. In this research, the anti-parasitic agent Ivermectin, was studied throughout the composting process to see if Ivermectin would harm or change the activity of the microbes within the soil and compost. Of the results that have already been analyzed, no Ivermectin has been detected within the soil or the compost throughout the entire composting process, and microbial activity appears unchanged, suggesting the method is safe