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Objective—To determine demographic characteristics of horses donated to the North Carolina State University Equine Health Center (EHC) between 1996 and 2008.

Design—Retrospective cohort study.

Animals—122 horses donated to the EHC between January 1996 and December 2008, and 246 horses offered for donation to the EHC between January 2007 and December 2008.

Procedures—Telephone and medical records were examined. Data were collected in 5 categories: age, sex, breed, reason for donation, and use prior to donation.

Results—From January 1996 through December 2008, 122 horses were donated to the EHC (median, 3 horses/y; range, 0 to 39 horses/y). There were 131 and 115 horses offered for donation during 2007 and 2008, respectively, of which 38 and 23 were accepted. Mean ± SD age of horses offered for donation during 2007 and 2008 was 12.7 ± 6.7 years, with 75 of the 246 (30.5%) horses between 6 and 10 years old. Musculoskeletal disease was the most commonly listed reason horses were offered for donation (115/240 [47.9%]).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that unwanted horses donated to the EHC between 1996 and 2008 spanned a wide range of ages and breeds and included both males and females. The most common reason given for unwanted horses offered for donation during 2007 and 2008 was musculoskeletal disease, with degenerative joint disease, lameness of undetermined cause, laminitis, and navicular disease being the most common musculoskeletal conditions.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To describe the clinical findings in horses with small intestinal strangulation through mesenteric rents, and to determine the recurrence and survival rates after surgery.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—15 horses with small intestinal obstruction via a mesenteric rent.

Procedure—Medical records of horses with obstruction of the small intestine via a mesenteric rent between January 1990 and December 1997 were reviewed. The signalment, history, initial physical examination findings, results of abdominocentesis, and clinical laboratory values were recorded. Surgical findings, including location of the mesenteric rent and surgical procedure performed, were recorded. Shortand long-term survival rates were calculated.

Results—Most mesenteric rents were located in the mesentery of the small intestine (13 horses). Two horses had multiple mesenteric defects. Seven horses were euthanatized at surgery because of an inability to reduce the entrapped intestine (3 horses), uncontrollable hemorrhage (2), inability to close the rent (1), and the amount of compromised intestine involved (1). Seven horses required intestinal resection and anastomosis. The median length of intestine resected was 2.6 m (range, 0.6 to 4.5 m). The mesenteric rents created during resection were not closed in 2 horses. One of these 2 horses subsequently developed a strangulating obstruction through the open rent.

Seven of 15 horses in our study were discharged from the hospital (ie, short-term survival rate of 47% [7/15]). Long-term follow-up information was available for 5 of the 7 horses (follow-up duration of 5 months to 9 years), of which 2 died as a result of colic, and 1 horse was euthanatized because of severe arthritis (ie, long-term survival rate of 40% [2/5]).

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Inability to reduce the intestinal obstruction, severe hemorrhage from the mesentery, and the length of intestine involved are the main factors that decrease survival rates in horses with small intestinal strangulation caused by mesenteric rents. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:1446–1449).

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To determine effects of finely ground diet and food deprivation on pH and bile acid concentration in the proximal portion of the porcine stomach and effects of bile acids and pH on the pars esophageal mucosa in vitro.


Sixteen 15- to 30-kg pigs.


Gastric content samples obtained from pigs fed a finely ground pelleted or coarsely ground meal diet were assayed for gastric pH and bile acids. Stratified squamous epithelium was studied in an Ussing chamber, and histologically. Electrical conductance and transmucosal mannitol fluxes (as indices of tissue permeability) were determined at pH 4.0, 2.0, and 1.5 and in response to treatment with 0, 1, 2, or 3 mM taurodeoxycholate or glycocholate.


Pigs fed the finely ground feed had significantly (P = 0.01 ) lower proximal stomach pH than did pigs fed the coarse meal. Proximal stomach bile acids concentration was significantly (P = 0.04) higher in pigs fed the finely ground diet. The H+ and bile acids concentration increased with time after feeding. In vitro exposure of the stratified mucosa to high H+ (pH < 4.0) and bile salt concentration (≥ 1.0 mM) resulted in significant (P < 0.05) dose-dependent increase in tissue conductance and mannitol fluxes, whereas low pH or bile acids alone had little effect.


High H+ and bile acids concentration in the stomach of pigs fed finely ground diets or subjected to feed deprivation may contribute to ulceration of the pars esophageal tissue. Bile acids act synergistically and in dose-dependent manner, with low pH causing damage to the stratified squamous epithelium in vitro. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:1170-1176)

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


To determine the feasibility of performing a single-incision loop colostomy for treatment of grade-3 rectal tears in horses.


Retrospective case series.


Seven adult horses with grade-3 rectal tears.


A single-incision loop colostomy was performed with horses under general anesthesia (n = 6) or while restrained in standing stocks (n = 1). The rectal tear was lavaged via an endoscope. The colostomy was resected after the rectal tear healed.


Rectal tears ranged from 4 to 10 cm in diameter and were > 25 cm proximal to the anus. All horses survived colostomy surgery. One horse was euthanatized at the request of the owner 1 day after surgery. Six horses underwent colostomy resection 13 to 30 days after colostomy. All horses had evidence of atrophy of the distal portion of the small colon, predisposing to impaction at the small colon anastomosis in 2 horses. One horse was euthanatized while hospitalized because of severe recurrent colic. Five horses were discharged from the hospital 31 to 45 days after admission. One horse was euthanatized 60 months after discharge from the hospital because of severe colic, and 4 horses were alive at the time of follow-up evaluation (3 to 12 months after discharge).

Clinical implications—

The prognosis for horses with grade-3 rectal tears treated by colostomy appears to be favorable.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To assess cyclooxygenase (COX) expression and prostanoid concentrations in pyloric and duodenal mucosae of dogs after administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Animals—8 healthy dogs.

Procedures—Each dog received carprofen (4.4 mg/kg, q 24 h), deracoxib (2 mg/kg, q 24 h), aspirin (10 mg/kg, q 12 h), and placebo (1 dog treat, q 24 h) orally for 3 days (4-week interval between treatments). Before study commencement (baseline) and on day 3 of each treatment, pyloric and duodenal mucosal appearance was assessed endoscopically and biopsy specimens were obtained for histologic examination. Cyclooxygenase-1 and COX-2 protein expressions were assessed via western blotting, and prostanoid concentrations were measured via ELISAs. An ANOVA was used to analyze data.

Results—Treatments had no effect on mucosal appearance and ulceration was not evident histologically. In pyloric and duodenal mucosae, COX-1 expression was unaffected by treatments. Cyclooxygenase-2 expression remained unchanged in pyloric mucosa; in duodenal mucosa, aspirin significantly increased COX-2 expression, compared with effects of deracoxib and carprofen. At baseline, total prostaglandin and thromboxane B2 concentrations in pyloric mucosa were significantly greater than those in duodenal mucosa. Aspirin significantly decreased both prostanoid concentrations in both mucosal tissues, compared with other treatments. In pyloric mucosa, carprofen administration significantly decreased total prostaglandin and thromboxane B2 concentrations, compared with deracoxib administration.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In dogs, prostanoid synthesis was greater in pyloric mucosa than it was in duodenal mucosa. Nonselective NSAIDs significantly decreased prostanoid concentrations in these mucosae, compared with the effects of a selective COX-2 NSAID.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine the effect of meloxicam and flunixin meglumine on recovery of ischemia-injured equine jejunum.

Animals—18 horses.

Procedures—Horses received butorphanol tartrate; were treated IV with saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (SS; 12 mL; n = 6), flunixin meglumine (1.1 mg/kg; 6), or meloxicam (0.6 mg/kg; 6) 1 hour before ischemia was induced for 2 hours in a portion of jejunum; and were allowed to recover for 18 hours. Flunixin and SS treatments were repeated after 12 hours; all 3 treatments were administered immediately prior to euthanasia. Selected clinical variables, postoperative pain scores, and meloxicam pharmacokinetic data were evaluated. After euthanasia, assessment of epithelial barrier function, histologic evaluation, and western blot analysis of ischemia-injured and control jejunal mucosa samples from the 3 groups were performed.

Results—Meloxicam- or flunixin-treated horses had improved postoperative pain scores and clinical variables, compared with SS-treated horses. Recovery of transepithelial barrier function in ischemia-injured jejunum was inhibited by flunixin but permitted similarly by meloxicam and SS treatments. Eighteen hours after cessation of ischemia, numbers of neutrophils in ischemia-injured tissue were higher in horses treated with meloxicam or flu-nixin than SS. Plasma meloxicam concentrations were similar to those reported previously, but clearance was slower. Changes in expression of proteins associated with inflammatory responses to ischemic injury and with different drug treatments occurred, suggesting cy-clooxygenase-independent effects.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although further assessment is needed, these data have suggested that IV administration of meloxicam may be a useful alternative to flunixin meglumine for postoperative treatment of horses with colic.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To determine the degree of histomorphometric damage in dorsal colon and pelvic flexure biopsy specimens (DCBSs and PFBSs, respectively) obtained from horses with large colon volvulus (LCV) and assess the accuracy of predicting short-term outcome for those horses on the basis of DCBS or PFBS characteristics.


18 horses with ≥ 360° LCV that underwent large colon resection.


During surgery, biopsy specimens from the dorsal colon resection site and the pelvic flexure (when available) were collected from each horse. Interstitial-to-crypt (I:C) ratio (ratio of the lamina propria space occupied by the interstitium to that occupied by crypts), hemorrhage within the lamina propria (mucosal hemorrhage score [MHS] from 0 to 4), and percentage losses of glandular and luminal epithelium were determined in paired biopsy specimens and compared to determine optimal cutoff values for calculating the accuracy of DCBS and PFBS characteristics to predict short-term outcome (survival or nonsurvival after recovery from surgery).


Paired biopsy specimens were obtained from 17 of the 18 horses. The I:C ratio and percentage glandular epithelial loss differed between DCBSs and PFBSs. For DCBSs, an I:C ratio ≥ 0.9 and MHS ≥ 3 each predicted patient nonsurvival with 77.8% accuracy. For PFBSs, an I:C ratio ≥ I and MHS ≥ 3 predicted patient nonsurvival with 70.6% and 82.4% accuracy, respectively.


Although different, histomorphometric measurements for either DCBSs or PFBSs could be used to accurately predict short-term outcome for horses with LCV that underwent large colon resection, and arguably PFBSs are easier to collect.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research