Centre has a global reputation for its pathology research
Published 16/12/2015 | 02:30
In 2014 the Irish Equine Centre's head of pathology, Dr Ursula Fogarty, dealt with one of the biggest cases of fatality in the industry when over 200 horses and ponies died from an countrywide outbreak of Atypical Myopathy (ATM).
It had been caused by horses ingesting hypoglycin which had been found in the seeds of Acer trees such as the sycamore.
"In hindsight, however, I believe a lot more than 200 died as there were many more cases that we did not hear about," Dr Fogarty said.
Fortunately this year's weather has been in favour of the equestrian industry and, to date, there have been no reported cases in Ireland.
A veterinary graduate of UCD, Dr Fogarty joined the team in 1985, and two years later was appointed assistant pathologist to Dr Brendan Farrelly.
She took over the unit three years later.
"I was originally researching and developing the lung wash technique (Bronchoalveolar lavage) in calves and I came down here to try to adapt it to horses," said Dr Fogarty.
During the procedure a bronchoscope is passed through the mouth or nose into the lungs and fluid is squirted into a small part of the lung.