Friday, December 21, 2012

Dr. RK Dedar

Equine Veterinary Science in India

Dr. Ramesh Kumar Dedar arrives to work each day by 10:00 am.  His first task is to examine the Marwari in his employer’s stables. He takes an easy stride to the first stall.  The horse Dr. Dedar examines is a stately stallion.  The horse stands quietly while Dr. Dedar checks each vital sign and internal sound.  The Marwari, an indigenous breed to India, represents centuries of equine culture and genetic grander.

Dr. Dedar examining Marwari.
Dr. Dedar was born in the small village of Shayamagarh, Rajasthan, India. The son of an army veteran turned agriculturist, Dr. Dedar knew from an early age that he wanted to be a scientist. After years of college, field study and hands-on experience, Dr. Dedar became an experienced veterinary medicine scientist, specializing in equine health. As a member of the India Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), Dr. Dedar’s goal is to improve the quality of livestock health throughout India and abroad. Currently positioned at the newly established medicine laboratory at the National Research Centre on Equines (NRCE), Bikaner, India, Dr. Dedar is working with world famous Marwari horses.

Upon arrival to NRCE today, Dr. Dedar’s first task is to examine the farm animals, more specifically the horses. Each animal’s health status is monitored and, if found ill, treated appropriately. At 11:00 am, Dr. Dedar promptly reports to his laboratory. His work there keeps him until 7:00 pm without break. It is a long day, filled with charts, hypotheses, statistics and science. With enthusiasm about his work, Dr. Dedar states, “I chose veterinary as my career because I wanted to be a biological scientist. I post graduated in veterinary medicine. Now I am working to understand the etiology of various equine clinical problems. I am also doing my PhD on oxidative stress and therapeutic efficacy of antioxidants in equines. My institute is also working on equine herpes virus 1, equine influenza, rhodococcus equi, rota virus, trypanosoma evansi, piroplasmosis, Japanese encephalitis etc. NRCE also prepared a vaccine for equine herpes virus 1 (Indian strain); however, I am not involved in the above mentioned project. At present I am working on oxidative stress in equine.”

Oxidative stress in equines is a biological phenomenon in which antioxidants in the bloodstream are outnumbered by the level of free radicals. The condition is sometimes linked to laminitis, insulin resistance, and arthritis, to name a few. Nutrition as well as environment plays an important role in diagnosis.  Horses with limited nutrition and adverse care are most likely to be a candidate for oxidative stress. Dr. Dedar says, “We are working on Marwari horses, which are not associated with any industry, and the population of this breed of horse is small, so there is a lack of buyers for our research products. Initially when I joined the ICAR as a scientist, my aim was to work for providing better quality animal protein to India. Per capita availability of animal protein in India is very low. I wanted to research on cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat, pigs and poultry. But I was posted in an equine research institute. In equine it is not always possible to obtain sufficient samples to work on particular health problems. However, I am trying hard to give some output to the country.”

“To work as a scientist in India is very hard due to insufficient funds,” Dr. Dedar continues. “I am working in the government sector. The purchase procedures for chemicals, equipments, instruments and repair of equipment is very long and tedious. These procedures make inconveniences for research work, especially when one has to do research on equines. At present there are very limited facilities existing in my laboratory. I am trying to develop laboratory facilities; for the next five year plan I have demanded some equipment to work at molecular levels. I am planning to find a microbial protein either of bacterial, fungal or other origin which can work as MMP inhibitor for laminitis that is effective against babesia or trypanosoma.”

In many countries, such as India, the nomenclature for a scientist is protected and regulated by government officials. Veterinary science requires prerequisite qualifications and significant training. NRCE employs only the best scientists. The impact of NRCE’s research in the field of equine science is far-reaching. Dr. Dedar explains the impact of his work, “India is one of the few countries where public funded NRCE exists. The Centre is currently working on various aspects of equine health and production; it has laboratories of international level. NRCE is also doing sero-surveillance for infectious diseases of equines in India. The Centre has diagnostic facilities for almost all equine diseases. NRCE has also developed a diagnostic kit for piroplasma, vaccine for EHV, and a pregnancy diagnosis kit for mares. NRCE is also working for agricultural utilization of equine energy and improving overall equine nutrition.” Besides clinical research, NRCE also provides telephonic advisory services to field veterinarians and equine breeders throughout India.

Dr. Dedar in field with farmers.

Mr. Gajjar, Indian horse breeder and Marwari expert from Gujarat, India, realizes the significance of Dr. Dedar’s research.  Mr. Gajjar explains, “The demand for our indigenous horse breeds is going up all over the world and they are proving their worth in equestrian sport as well. The infrastructural back-up one needs at the country-level in terms of veterinary facilities and easy access to them requires uncomplicated funding for equine research projects and incentives to recognize and appreciate the work of people contributing to the bigger picture. For now there are some individuals as well as the government that are working toward improving equine facilities and research in India, but a positive change can only come about with a more proactive involvement from the government. We have a vast pool of veterinary knowledge. Backed with the right facilities and support, they can be instrumental in improving the life of the average Indian horse.”

With the addition of new research projects, Dr. Dedar hopes to acquire additional equipment to enhance and enable the success of his clinical work. “I hope in a five year plan, from 2012 to 2017, all the required equipment for a medicine laboratory will come. I have worked on a project on therapeutic efficacy of antioxidants on equines and biomarkers of oxidative stress during the last two years. Now I am busy to analyze the data,” explains Dr. Dedar.

Dr. Dedar's laboratory.

The Marwari at Dr. Dedar’s facility receive the best of care.  The horses at the facility play an important role in the health and welfare of equines worldwide.  Research and treatment of diseases is instrumental to obtaining global equine health. Currently, veterinarian scientists face many challenges, including economic as well as socially accepted practices for caring for equines.  The need for better treatment and overall horse care begins with the local horse owner.  Veterinarian scientists pass important information through local veterinarians to the public, providing information on health, nutrition, breeding, stabling and overall care.  Every horse owner needs a good veterinarian; behind every veterinarian is a dedicated group of veterinarian scientists working hard for the best treatment of equines worldwide.

Links of Interest:
National Research Center for Equines
World Veterinary Day, April 28, 2012

(c) Gina McKnight, Freelance Writer, Ohio, USA 
Original Publication 2012 Going Gaited
All rights reserved.


Unknown said...

Never look into horse related things, have a fear of riding horses cause of a childhood experience.

Catatan Harian Irfan said...

Niche Blog :)

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