2018 marks The Equine Veterinary Journal’s (EVJ) 50th year. To celebrate, the influential flagship journal for the British Equine Veterinary Association has published a series of special review articles in six priority areas. These document the scientific progress that has been made in equine veterinary science over the past half century. Guest-edited by Leo Jeffcott, Professor Emeritus of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney, Australia, the series covers mare reproductive performance, laryngeal neuropathy, anaesthesia, colic surgery, osteochondrosis and in vitro embryo production.
First published in 1968 under the helm of Colonel John Hickman, Volume 1 of the EVJ comprised two issues in its first year and then became a quarterly publication until 1983 when it increased to six editions per year. Leo Jeffcott succeeded John Hickman in 1976 and Peter Rossdale took over the reins in 1980, also creating the educational journal Equine Veterinary Education (EVE). The publication of the EVJ was transferred to John Wiley & Sons Inc in 2010 and Professor Celia Marr was appointed as Editor-in-Chief. Under her watch the EVJ has built an impact factor of 2.382 and 7/136 in the ISI Journal Citation Reports Ranking.
The 50th Birthday series covers six areas of consistently vibrant research. Professor Twink Allen and Sandra Wilsher kick off the reviews with a look back at half a century of equine reproduction research and application, considering the various techniques that have resulted in a dramatic improvement in the reproductive performance of mares.1
Recurrent laryngeal neuropathy remains an enigma despite significant numbers of studies over the past five decades. Eric Parente considers the current state of play with surgical interventions such as laryngoplasty, arytenoidectomy, ventriculocordectomy and neurological pedicle graft.2
Techniques in anaesthesia have continued to progress over the past 50 years. Mosing and Senior reflect on Barbara Weaver’s groundbreaking paper on controlled inhalation, which was published in the first volume of the EVJ, and review progress since then. They conclude that while ‘new’ inhalation agents are unlikely to appear in the near future, further enhancements to anaesthetic practice may still lead to improved outcomes.3
Colic surgery has seen dramatic improvements in surgical techniques over the past 50 years, although success rates are variable. David Freeman advocates that teamwork plays a critical role in the final outcome and that future efforts should focus on prompt referral, good surgical technique and reduction of the cost of colic surgery to an affordable level that saves more lives.4
Fifty years ago osteochrondrosis (OC) was an emerging topic. EVJ has published more than 60 papers on the condition since then, yet it remains a fascinating and highly complex orthopaedic disorder, explains Professor Van Weeren in his introductory editorial. Naccahe, Metzger and Distl review the genetic aspects of OC, with the view that gene expression may help to unravel the complex pathophysiological processes that result in this important cause of lameness in young horses.5
In the final paper in the celebratory series Dr Lee Morris discusses the huge advancements with in vitro embryo production, which have revolutionised horse breeding in recent decades.6
Professor Celia Marr, editor of the Equine Veterinary Journal said: “It is a true testament to the EVJ’s consistent quality and relevance of content that during the past half century the journal has established itself as one of the most reputable sources of information and knowledge to horse vets, not just in the UK but around the world.”
The online collection is available free online here.
1. WR Allen, S Wilsher Half a century of equine reproduction research and application: A veterinary tour de force (2018) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/evj.12762
2. EJ Parente Fifty years of recurring struggles with recurrent laryngeal neuropathy (2018) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/evj.12763
3. M Mosing, JM Senior Maintenance of equine anaesthesia over the last 50 years: Controlled inhalation of volatile anaesthetics and pulmonary ventilation (2018) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/evj.12793
4. DE Freeman Fifty years of colic surgery (2018) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/evj.12817
5. F. Naccache, J. Metzger and O. Distl Genetic risk factors for osteochondrosis in various horse breeds https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/evj.12824
6. L Morris The development of in vitro embryo production in the horse (2018) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/evj.12839
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