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  • Author or Editor: Debra C. Sellon x
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Objective—To compare the analgesic efficacy of administration of butorphanol tartrate, phenylbutazone, or both drugs in combination in colts undergoing routine castration.

Design—Randomized controlled clinical trial.

Animals—36 client-owned colts.

Procedures—Horses received treatment with butorphanol alone (0.05 mg/kg [0.023 mg/lb], IM, prior to surgery and then q 4 h for 24 hours), phenylbutazone alone (4.4 mg/kg [2.0 mg/lb], IV, prior to surgery and then 2.2 mg/kg [1.0 mg/lb], PO, q 12 h for 3 days), or butorphanol and phenylbutazone at the aforementioned dosages (12 horses/group). For single-drug–treated horses, appropriate placebos were administered to balance treatment protocols among groups. All horses were anesthetized, and lidocaine hydrochloride was injected into each testis. Physical and physiological variables, plasma cortisol concentration, body weight, and water consumption were assessed before and at intervals after surgery, and induction of and recovery from anesthesia were subjectively characterized. Observers assessed signs of pain by use of a visual analogue scale and a numerical rating scale.

Results—Significant changes in gastrointestinal sounds, fecal output, and plasma cortisol concentrations were evident in each treatment group over time, compared with preoperative values. At any time point, assessed variables and signs of pain did not differ significantly among groups, although the duration of recumbency after surgery was longest for the butorphanol-phenylbutazone–treated horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—With intratesticular injections of lidocaine, administration of butorphanol to anesthetized young horses undergoing routine castration had the same apparent analgesic effect as phenylbutazone treatment. Combined butorphanolphenylbutazone treatment was not apparently superior to either drug used alone.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To identify potential risk factors for digit injuries in dogs training and competing in agility events.

DESIGN Internet-based, retrospective, cross-sectional survey.

ANIMALS 1,081 dogs training or competing in agility events.

PROCEDURES Data were collected for eligible animals via retrospective surveys distributed electronically to handlers of dogs participating in agility-related activities. Variables evaluated included demographic (handlers) and signalment (dogs) information, physical characteristics of dogs, and injury characteristics. A separate survey of dogs competing in similar agility-related activities but without digit injuries was also administered. Multivariable logistic regression was used to develop a model for assessment of risk factors.

RESULTS Data were collected from 207 agility dogs with digit injuries and 874 agility dogs without digit injuries. Factors associated with significantly increased odds of injury included Border Collie breed (OR, 2.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.5 to 3.3), long nails (OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.3 to 4.5), absence of front dewclaws (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.3 to 2.6), and greater weight-to-height ratio (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1 to 2.0). Odds of injury decreased with increasing age of the dog (OR, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.76 to 0.86).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results should be cautiously interpreted because of potential respondent and recall bias and lack of review of medical records. Nevertheless, results suggested that retaining healthy dewclaws, maintaining lean body mass, and trimming nails short for training and competition may decrease the likelihood of digit injuries. Research to investigate training practices, obstacle construction specifcations, and surface considerations for dogs competing in agility activities is indicated.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To determine the plasma pharmacokinetics and safety of 1% diclofenac sodium cream applied topically to neonatal foals every 12 hours for 7 days.

ANIMALS Twelve 2- to 14-day old healthy Arabian and Arabian-pony cross neonatal foals.

PROCEDURES A 1.27-cm strip of cream containing 7.3 mg of diclofenac sodium (n = 6 foals) or an equivalent amount of placebo cream (6 foals) was applied topically to a 5-cm square of shaved skin over the anterolateral aspect of the left tarsometatarsal region every 12 hours for 7 days. Physical examination, CBC, serum biochemistry, urinalysis, gastric endoscopy, and ultrasonographic examination of the kidneys and right dorsal colon were performed before and after cream application. Venous blood samples were collected at predefined intervals following application of the diclofenac cream, and plasma diclofenac concentrations were determined by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry.

RESULTS No foal developed any adverse effects attributed to diclofenac application, and no significant differences in values of evaluated variables were identified between treatment groups. Plasma diclofenac concentrations peaked rapidly following application of the diclofenac cream, reaching a maximum of < 1 ng/mL within 2 hours, and declined rapidly after application ceased.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Topical application of the 1% diclofenac sodium cream to foals as described appeared safe, and low plasma concentrations of diclofenac suggested minimal systemic absorption. Practitioners may consider use of this medication to treat focal areas of pain and inflammation in neonatal foals.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To compare hematologic and serum biochemical variables and plasma ACTH concentration between healthy horses 5 to 12 years old and those more than 20 years old.


30 healthy horses 5 to 12 years old and 30 healthy horses more than 20 years old.


Venous blood was collected from all horses, and CBC and serum biochemical analysis were performed for each horse. Plasma ACTH concentration was determined by radioimmunoassay. Student's paired t-test or the Mann-Whitney rank sum test was used to compare values between control and aged horse groups.


Compared with values for control horses, aged horses had significantly higher erythrocyte mean cell volume and mean cell hemoglobin. Aged horses also had significantly decreased total lymphocyte count. Five aged horses had lymphocyte count that was lower than the low reference limit as established for horses in our laboratory. Differences between control and aged horses for serum biochemical or plasma ACTH values were not significant.


Compared with younger adult horses, those more than 20 years old have some hematologic differences, but there is no apparent effect of aging on baseline plasma ACTH concentration.

Clinical Relevance

It is important to establish age-matched control values for optimal interpretation of clinicopathologic variables. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59: 1247–1251)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine whether daily administration of pyrantel tartrate can prevent infection in horses experimentally challenged with Sarcocystis neurona.

Animals—24 mixed-breed specific-pathogen-free weanling horses, 10 adult horses, 1 opossum, and 6 mice.

ProcedureSarcocystis neurona-naïve weanling horses were randomly allocated to 2 groups. Group A received pyrantel tartrate at the labeled dose, and group B received a nonmedicated pellet. Both groups were orally inoculated with 100 sporocysts/d for 28 days, 500 sporocysts/d for 28 days, and 1,000 sporocysts/ d for 56 days. Blood samples were collected weekly, and CSF was collected monthly. Ten seronegative adult horses were monitored as untreated, uninfected control animals. All serum and CSF samples were tested by use of western blot tests to detect antibodies against S neurona. At the end of the study, the number of seropositive and CSF-positive horses in groups A and B were compared by use of the Fisher exact test. Time to seroconversion on the basis of treatment groups and sex of horses was compared in 2 univariable Cox proportional hazards models.

Results—After 134 days of sporocyst inoculation, no significant differences were found between groups A and B for results of western blot tests of serum or CSF. There were no significant differences in number of days to seroconversion on the basis of treatment groups or sex of horses. The control horses remained seronegative.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Daily administration of pyrantel tartrate at the current labeled dose does not prevent S neurona infection in horses. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:846–852)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research