VetTrue System UK Field Test
Posted on December 16, 2020
Five years of intensive R&D by the Epona Biotec Team has paid dividends, and the new VetTrue System App is now available on the App Store. Designing a system for detecting fevers in horses created some initial issues when it came to field testing. During testing, it was simple enough to place a TailTab sensor on a horse in an equine hospital that already had a fever, but how could we showcase the sensors by demonstrating the development and detection of a fever in a normal horse? This problem was solved with the simplest of ideas from equine veterinarian Dr Matthew O’Donnell, Director of the Cheshire Equine Clinic. It’s well known that following an Equine Influenza vaccination, some horses will develop a fever. Matthew’s idea was to simply place sensors on all the horses in a racing stable that were to be vaccinated, and then monitor what happened, comparing this to routine twice daily rectal temperature readings. The results were very interesting! As planned, a stable of horses had TailTab sensors attached one morning and then were vaccinated for equine influenza. After two days, the rectal temperature readings along with the TailTab sensor data was sent to Epidemiologist Dr Sarah Rosanowski for a statistical comparison. Using traditional rectal temperature readings, the stable staff identified one horse on the first afternoon with a fever, and an additional four horses the following morning. In total, the stable staff found 30% of the vaccinated horses had developed fevers. When the temperature data from the TailTab sensors was assessed, it was found that 9 horses had developed fevers. The VetTrue System had identified that 56% of the vaccinated horses had developed fevers rather than only 30% as identified using rectal thermometers. The trial demonstrated that the VetTrue System was practical to use and worked seamlessly when simultaneously monitoring the temperatures of a large group of horses. It also demonstrated that real-time 24-hour temperature monitoring is a more sensitive way of detecting fevers in horses than the traditional twice-daily rectal temperature method. In addition, the study was also of interest, as the percentage of horses developing fevers following vaccinations was a higher than expected. Such information is not only of importance to trainers and horse owners, but is also of relevance to equine researchers who now have an accurate temperature monitoring system available to them for future studies and research. The results from this trial were considered of such value that they were accepted as a poster presentation for the World Veterinary Association Congress, in Auckland, New Zealand in 2020. Learn more about the VetTrue System here.
Strategic use of the VetTrue System – Livery Yards
Posted on October 22, 2020
As a livery yard owner, you know the risk - any new horse has the potential to bring a highly contagious infectious disease into your yard, resulting in: your yard in lockdown, sick horses, vet bills, upset clients and a potential PR disaster. Although best practice is to quarantine new horses for at least 10 days, this is often not the most practical approach. So, what can you do? Well, taking your horse’s temperature twice a day is a good start. Chances are that your new horse may look completely fine but is actually brewing a virus and will develop a fever at some point in the next week. If you can identify this early on, you can take action right away and implement measures to stop the infection from spreading throughout your yard. However, recording rectal temperatures twice a day in a busy yard is time consuming and only tells part of the story, as diseases such as Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) cause ‘bi-phasic’ fevers, meaning that measurements taken only in the morning and evening may actually miss fevers occurring at other times of the day. The solution to these problems is now available. The VetTrue System™ from Epona Biotec is state-of-the-art technology that allows you to accurately monitor the temperature of your horses around the clock. The VetTrue System’s™ easy to use TailTab sensors can be attached to all new horses as they arrive and accurate temperature data will then be sent directly to your mobile device via Bluetooth, giving you and your clients confidence that the horse is in good health. Make the VetTrue System™ part of your yard’s standard operating procedure so you can rest assured knowing that our biosecurity technology has you and your horse covered 24/7. To learn more about the VetTrue System™ or to order TailTabs, visit our on page. #itsallaboutthehorse
Shipping Fever Pneumonia is the DVT of the Equine Transport Industry
Posted on October 22, 2020
Shipping Fever Pneumonia (SFP) is the most common complication encountered when transporting horses. As with DVT in humans, which is generally caused by sitting for long periods during travel, SFP is a direct result of horses being unable to move around and lower their heads during transportation. As a rule of thumb, when travelling for more than 10 hours, expect 10% of horses to develop a degree of SFP. In some cases, the resulting lung infection can be mild and even go undiagnosed, in others, it can develop into severe pleural pneumonia with lung abscesses and laminitis. Anyone experienced in horse transportation has seen cases of SFP. It remains a major health and welfare issue and can be particularly devastating on the performance of horses shipped long distances to compete. The standard advice for the prevention of SFP is fourfold: • Do not travel a sick horse • Ensure a dust-free and well-ventilated environment • Allow the horse to lower its head during transportation • Break up long journeys and let the horse out every 8 hours if possible Monitoring rectal temperature is also highly recommended as a fever is the first clinical sign of SFP. This recommendation is however, completely impractical during the transportation process. Not only is taking the rectal temperature a difficult procedure to perform inside the confines of a trailer or a cramped jet stall of an aircraft, it’s also a health and safety concern for the individual attempting to take it. The treatment options available to you at 35,000 feet after being injured by a horse are limited! The VetTrue System by Epona Biotec has been developed to monitor the temperature of horses accurately and safely, even during transportation. The disposable TailTab sensors are attached beneath the tail and send real-time temperature data via Bluetooth to a users’ iPhone. As horses developing SFP may initially appear bright and alert and continue to eat and drink normally, they are often transported for hours without anyone being aware they are actually sick. The early detection of a fever using the VetTrue System is the key to ensuring SFP cases are identified as early as possible so positive action can be taken. To learn more about the VetTrue System and to place an order, please visit www.eponabiotec.com - It’s All About the Horse
Should I Call the Vet?
Posted on October 22, 2020
As an owner, do you remember a time when you suspected something about your horse was not quite right? It could have been the small amount of feed left one evening, or the minor change in behaviour only you would detect. To anyone else, your horse appears perfectly fine, but you know it’s not. Chances are if you call the vet for a consultation, the first question will be “Does the horse have a temperature?" An elevated temperature is often the very first indicator of illness or disease. In fact, a fever can develop even before changes are detectable in your horse’s blood profile. Monitoring their temperature is therefore, the simplest and most useful way of assessing the health status of your horse. The VetTrue System™ from Epona Biotec is a world-first. This state-of-the-art technology allows you to accurately monitor the temperature of your horse in real-time. Never before has such detailed information on a horse’s core body temperature been available outside of research environments. The VetTrue System’s™ disposable, easy to use TailTab sensors attach beneath the tail and send accurate temperature data directly to your mobile device via Bluetooth. The VetTrue System™ is undoubtedly set to become a standard component of equine first aid kits. The next time you need more detailed information about your horse’s health status, simply attach a TailTab. You know your horse. Now you know its temperature and when to call the vet. To find out more about the VetTrue system, and to order your first TailTab at half price, visit eponabiotec.com/pricing.
Epona in Taupo
Posted on October 10, 2020
Epona Biotec was delighted to sponsor the CCN3* Horse Trials at the National Equestrian Centre in Taupo, New Zealand. Epona Biotec CEO Dr Michael Hurley Congratulations to Olympian Matthew Grayling and Henton Ambassador for winning the event. 16 horses competed, including Apsley Backchat Kid ridden by Brittany Fowler in her first three-star event. Well done Brittany! Brittany Fowler riding Apsley Backchat Kid Epona Biotec would like to thank organiser Denise Rushbrook, FEI Course Designer Philippa Howells, and Jan Sutherland from Take The Moment photography, for their superb organisation, hospitality and professionalism. Click here for the full Taupo Trial Results.
Epona Biotec: A Brand History
Posted on October 1, 2020
In 2015 a chance meeting in Hong Kong between tech entrepreneur Adrian Poon and equine veterinary surgeon Dr Michael Hurley established the basis for what would eventually become Epona Biotec. Adrian believed there was value in the remote monitoring of horses and that the equine industry was ready to become a part of the growing world of Internet of Things (IoT). With Michael’s extensive industry experience, it was clear that the concept of remotely monitoring simple clinical parameters such as temperature, pulse and respiration would provide incredibly valuable information on a horse’s health, if the data were available in real-time. Based on a scientific paper about Shipping Fever that Michael had published in The Veterinary Journal, the first use case scenario for such real-time data was identified. Shipping Fever is a potentially serious lung infection that horses are at risk of developing during long-distance transportation. As the name suggests, the first clinical sign to develop is a fever. It was theorised that if the fever could be identified early in the course of the disease, the horse could be treated immediately, resulting in a better clinical outcome. In 2016, with assistance from the Cyberport Creative Microfund, proof-of-concept was rapidly established and Epona Biotec was founded. The company is aptly named after the Celtic Goddess Epona, the protector of horses. Further research and development were completed in 2017 through the Cyberport Incubation Programme, and a first round of private investment was accepted in 2018. The capital investment allowed the company to fast track product development, and in 2020 Epona Biotec launched their flagship product the VetTrue™ System for monitoring the core body temperature of horses in real-time. This system is a world-first in the equine veterinary market and has applications in equine transport, veterinary hospitals, veterinary research, equine quarantine units, and during infectious disease outbreaks in horse populations. With the USA, Hong Kong and Australian patents recently secured, EU patents pending, and tremendous interest from industry bodies, Epona Biotec’s objective is to continue developing their innovative range of point-of-care biosensors. The company is proud of its achievements and particularly in its role of promoting equine welfare through the applied use of technology.