Racing performance of Standardbred trotting horses undergoing surgery of the carpal flexor sheath and age- and sex-matched control horses

James L. Carmalt Hallands Djursjukhus, Björkgatan 19, 311 68 Slöinge, Sweden.
Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.

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Bengt C. Johansson Hallands Djursjukhus, Björkgatan 19, 311 68 Slöinge, Sweden.

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Sandra M. Zetterström Hallands Djursjukhus, Björkgatan 19, 311 68 Slöinge, Sweden.

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Rebecca C. McOnie Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine factors affecting race speed in Swedish Standardbred horses undergoing surgery of the carpal flexor sheath (CFS), to investigate whether preoperative racing speed was associated with specific intraoperative findings and whether horses returned to racing, and to compare the performance of horses undergoing surgery of the CFS with that of age- and sex-matched control horses.

ANIMALS 149 Swedish Standardbred trotters undergoing surgery of the CFS and 274 age- and sex-matched control horses.

PROCEDURES Medical records of CFS horses were examined. Racing data for CFS and control horses were retrieved from official online records. Generalizing estimating equations were used to examine overall and presurgery racing speeds and the association of preoperative clinical and intraoperative findings with preoperative and postoperative speeds. Multivariable regression analysis was used to examine career earnings and number of career races. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was used to compare career longevity between CFS and control horses.

RESULTS CFS horses were significantly faster than control horses. The CFS horses that raced before surgery were slower as they approached the surgery date, but race speed increased after surgery. There were 124 of 137 (90.5%) CFS horses that raced after surgery. No intrathecal pathological findings were significantly associated with preoperative racing speed. Career longevity did not differ between CFS and control horses.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Horses undergoing surgery of the CFS had a good prognosis to return to racing after surgery. Racing careers of horses undergoing surgery of the CFS were not significantly different from racing careers of control horses.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine factors affecting race speed in Swedish Standardbred horses undergoing surgery of the carpal flexor sheath (CFS), to investigate whether preoperative racing speed was associated with specific intraoperative findings and whether horses returned to racing, and to compare the performance of horses undergoing surgery of the CFS with that of age- and sex-matched control horses.

ANIMALS 149 Swedish Standardbred trotters undergoing surgery of the CFS and 274 age- and sex-matched control horses.

PROCEDURES Medical records of CFS horses were examined. Racing data for CFS and control horses were retrieved from official online records. Generalizing estimating equations were used to examine overall and presurgery racing speeds and the association of preoperative clinical and intraoperative findings with preoperative and postoperative speeds. Multivariable regression analysis was used to examine career earnings and number of career races. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was used to compare career longevity between CFS and control horses.

RESULTS CFS horses were significantly faster than control horses. The CFS horses that raced before surgery were slower as they approached the surgery date, but race speed increased after surgery. There were 124 of 137 (90.5%) CFS horses that raced after surgery. No intrathecal pathological findings were significantly associated with preoperative racing speed. Career longevity did not differ between CFS and control horses.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Horses undergoing surgery of the CFS had a good prognosis to return to racing after surgery. Racing careers of horses undergoing surgery of the CFS were not significantly different from racing careers of control horses.

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