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Treatment of supraspinous bursitis by use of debridement in standing horses: 10 cases (1968–1999)

Jan F. HawkinsDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907- 1248.

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John F. FesslerDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907- 1248.

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 DVM, MS, DACVS

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate efficacy of debridement for treatment of supraspinous bursitis in horses and to evaluate the outcome.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—10 horses with clinical signs of supraspinous bursitis.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed for signalment, anamnesis, results of physical and radiographic examination, microbial culture results of supraspinous bursa tissue or exudate, Brucella abortustiters, type of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory therapies, surgical technique, complications of the surgical procedure, and findings on histologic examination of excised nuchal ligament and bursal tissue. Telephone follow-up with owners, trainers, or referring veterinarians was performed.

Results—The described surgical technique was effective in resolving drainage from the supraspinous bursal region in 5 of 6 horses available for long-term follow-up. The most common complication following surgery was the development of purulent wound drainage. Two horses required multiple surgeries to resolve clinical signs of supraspinous bursitis. The most common organism isolated from the supraspinous bursa was β- hemolytic Streptococcus spp. All horses were discharged from the hospital and long-term follow-up was available for 6 horses. All 6 horses could be used for their intended use.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Debridement in standing horses is an effective method of resolving clinical signs of supraspinous bursitis. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:74–78)

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate efficacy of debridement for treatment of supraspinous bursitis in horses and to evaluate the outcome.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—10 horses with clinical signs of supraspinous bursitis.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed for signalment, anamnesis, results of physical and radiographic examination, microbial culture results of supraspinous bursa tissue or exudate, Brucella abortustiters, type of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory therapies, surgical technique, complications of the surgical procedure, and findings on histologic examination of excised nuchal ligament and bursal tissue. Telephone follow-up with owners, trainers, or referring veterinarians was performed.

Results—The described surgical technique was effective in resolving drainage from the supraspinous bursal region in 5 of 6 horses available for long-term follow-up. The most common complication following surgery was the development of purulent wound drainage. Two horses required multiple surgeries to resolve clinical signs of supraspinous bursitis. The most common organism isolated from the supraspinous bursa was β- hemolytic Streptococcus spp. All horses were discharged from the hospital and long-term follow-up was available for 6 horses. All 6 horses could be used for their intended use.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Debridement in standing horses is an effective method of resolving clinical signs of supraspinous bursitis. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:74–78)