Introducing SSA testing
Available now at Rocky Bay Equine
The role of a veterinarian can be summarized as a problem solver, a super sleuth as adept as any Sherlock Holmes. When a patient presents with a complaint such as fever and a swollen, painful leg it's our mission to categorize each abnormal finding in the case and determine how they all come together. Like a puzzle, the more pieces we can fit into place the more likely we are to solve the problem. Puzzle parts in the form of bits of factual information come from careful observation of the patient, from interrogation of all the witnesses and from data collection. History and physical evaluation provide details of the scenario and facts such as temperature, heart and respiratory rates. Additional data is gleaned from diagnostic testing or "lab work".
A relatively new laboratory test that provides a significant piece to the diagnostic puzzle is the SAA test. Serum Amyloid A (SAA) is the major reactive protein produced in the horse’s body in response to inflammation and infection. SAA levels ramp up quickly when an infection takes hold. Why is that useful? Because recognizing inflammation in its earliest stages is vital to catching and eliminating the cause. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications are important treatment tools when dealing with infection. As those medications begin to impact the infection, Serum Amyloid A levels respond by going down. This gives us timely information about the effectiveness of our treatment, a huge advantage when dealing with complicated infections. No other lab test provides this information so quickly and accurately. The test is fast and portable, allowing your veterinary Sherlock Holmes to collect a blood sample and come clean with the SAA report in just 10 minutes.
Rocky Bay Equine has added stall side SAA testing to our tool kit in our ongoing effort to provide your animals with the best possible care. A few applications for this new SAA technology include on site evaluation of illness or infection, pre-transport testing for potential underlying issues, pregnancy monitoring for mares at risk of placentitis and annual screening of senior horses for subtle subclinical problems.