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Abstract

Objective—To determine repeatability of a wireless, inertial sensor–based lameness evaluation system in horses.

Animals—236 horses.

Procedures—Horses were from 2 to 29 years of age and of various breeds and lameness disposition. All horses were instrumented with a wireless, inertial sensor-based motion analysis system on the head (accelerometer), pelvis (midline croup region [accelerometer]), and right forelimb (gyroscope) before evaluation in 2 consecutive trials, approximately 5 minutes apart, as the horse was trotted in a straight line. Signal-processing algorithms generated overall trial asymmetry measures for vertical head and pelvic movement and stride-by-stride differences in head and pelvic maximum and minimum positions between right and left sides of each stride. Repeatability was determined, and trial difference was determined for groups of horses with various numbers of strides for which data were collected per trial.

Results—Inertial sensor–based measures of torso movement asymmetry were repeatable. Repeatability for measures of torso asymmetry for determination of hind limb lameness was slightly greater than that for forelimb lameness. Collecting large numbers of strides degraded stride-to-stride repeatability but did not degrade intertrial repeatability.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The inertial sensor system used to measure asymmetry of head and pelvic movement as an aid in the detection and evaluation of lameness in horses trotting in a straight line was sufficiently repeatable to investigate for clinical use.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the prevalence of pedunculated lipomas and identify risk factors affecting postoperative complications and survival in horses at a veterinary teaching hospital undergoing surgery for colic caused by pedunculated lipomas.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—102 horses with a diagnosis of pedunculated lipoma.

Procedure—Age, breed, weight, and sex of horses with pedunculated lipomas were compared with the total equine hospital population and the population of horses admitted for abdominal surgery during the same period. Follow-up information was obtained by reevaluation or contact with owners via telephone or written request.

Results—Prevalence of pedunculated lipomas as a reason for abdominal surgery in horses, compared with the population of horses with and without lipomas admitted for abdominal surgery, was 10%. Castrated male Saddlebred and Arabian horses > 14 years old were identified as being at risk for developing pedunculated lipomas. Postoperative complications were detected in 72% of horses with pedunculated lipomas. Variables associated with low survival rates included surgery before 1992, heart rate > 80 beats/min, abnormal color of abdominal fluid, pale mucous membranes, surgery requiring intestinal resection, and inability to attain a mean arterial pressure ≥ 100 mm Hg. Horses undergoing surgery from 1992 to 1996, weighing < 409 kg (900 lb), or requiring jejunojejunal anastomosis had a high survival rate.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although many of the variables reflected the health of the horse at the time of surgery, results may help veterinarians recognize risk factors associated with development of pedunculated lipomas and better predict the outcome of horses undergoing surgery for colic caused by pedunculated lipomas. (J Am Vet Med Assoc2005; 226:1529–1537)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate clinical findings, complications, and outcome of horses and foals with third metacarpal, third metatarsal, or phalangeal fractures that were treated with transfixation casting.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—29 adult horses and 8 foals with fractures of the third metacarpal or metatarsal bone or the proximal or middle phalanx.

Procedures—Medical records were reviewed, and follow-up information was obtained. Data were analyzed by use of logistic regression models for survival, fracture healing, return to intended use, pin loosening, pin hole lysis, and complications associated with pins.

Results—In 27 of 35 (77%) horses, the fracture healed and the horse survived, including 10 of 15 third metacarpal or metatarsal bone fractures, 11 of 12 proximal phalanx fractures, and 6 of 8 middle phalanx fractures. Four adult horses sustained a fracture through a pin hole. One horse sustained a pathologic unicortical fracture secondary to a pin hole infec-tion. Increasing body weight, fracture involving 2 joints, nondiaphyseal fracture location, and increasing duration until radiographic union were associated with horses not returning to their intended use. After adjusting for body weight, pin loosening was associated with di-aphyseal pin location, pin hole lysis was associated with number of days with a transfixation cast, and pin complications were associated with hand insertion of pins.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that transfixation casting can be successful in managing fractures distal to the carpus or tarsus in horses. This technique is most suitable for comminuted fractures of the proximal phalanx but can be used for third metacarpal, third metatarsal, or middle phalanx fractures, with or without internal fixation.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To investigate the impact of age and inferred prior vaccination history on the persistence of vaccine-induced antibody against rabies in horses.

DESIGN Serologic response evaluation.

ANIMALS 48 horses with an undocumented vaccination history.

PROCEDURES Horses were vaccinated against rabies once. Blood samples were collected prior to vaccination, 3 to 7 weeks after vaccination, and at 6-month intervals for 2 to 3 years. Serum rabies virus–neutralizing antibody (RVNA) values were measured. An RVNA value of ≥ 0.5 U/mL was used to define a predicted protective immune response on the basis of World Health Organization recommendations for humans. Values were compared between horses < 20 and ≥ 20 years of age and between horses inferred to have been previously vaccinated and those inferred to be immunologically naïve.

RESULTS A protective RVNA value (≥ 0.5 U/mL) was maintained for 2 to 3 years in horses inferred to have been previously vaccinated on the basis of prevaccination RVNA values. No significant difference was evident in response to rabies vaccination or duration of protective RVNA values between horses < 20 and ≥ 20 years of age. Seven horses were poor responders to vaccination. Significant differences were identified between horses inferred to have been previously vaccinated and horses inferred to be naïve prior to the study.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE A rabies vaccination interval > 1 year may be appropriate for previously vaccinated horses but not for horses vaccinated only once. Additional research is required to confirm this finding and characterize the optimal primary dose series for rabies vaccination.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Hypothyroidism is 2 possible predisposing factor in a number of disorders of companion psittacine birds. We developed and validated a thyroid-stimulating hormone (tsh) response testing protocol for cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus), using 0.1 IU of tsh/bird given IM, with blood sample collection at 0 and 6 hours after tsh, and a commercial radioimmunoassay for thyroxine (T4). This protocol was used to document a seasonal sex difference in stimulated T4 values— females responded with higher T4 values than those in males in summer—and a stress-induced depression of baseline T4 values was detected in a group of cockatiels with normal tsh response. An experimental model for mature-onset hypothyroidism in cockatiels was created by radiothyroidectomizing cockatiels with 3.7 MBq (100 μCi) of 131I/bird given IV. Induction of the hypothyroid state was confirmed by baseline T4 concentration, tsh response test results, thyroid pertechnetate scintigraphy, and gross and microscopic examinations. Classical signs of hypothyroidism (eg, hypercholesterolemia, obesity, poor feathering) were lacking or mild at 48 days after thyroid ablation.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To evaluate head, pelvic, and limb movement to detect lameness in galloping horses.

ANIMALS 12 Thoroughbreds.

PROCEDURES Movement data were collected with inertial sensors mounted on the head, pelvis, and limbs of horses trotting and galloping in a straight line before and after induction of forelimb and hind limb lameness by use of sole pressure. Successful induction of lameness was determined by measurement of asymmetric vertical head and pelvic movement during trotting. Differences in gallop strides before and after induction of lameness were evaluated with paired-sample statistical analysis and neural network training and testing. Variables included maximum, minimum, range, and time indices of vertical head and pelvic acceleration, head rotation in the sagittal plane, pelvic rotation in the frontal plane, limb contact intervals, stride durations, and limb lead preference. Difference between median standardized gallop strides for each limb lead before and after induction of lameness was calculated as the sum of squared differences at each time index and assessed with a 2-way ANOVA.

RESULTS Head and pelvic acceleration and rotation, limb timing, stride duration measurements, and limb lead preference during galloping were not significantly different before and after induction of lameness in the forelimb or hind limb. Differences between limb leads before induction of lameness were similar to or greater than differences within limb leads before and after lameness induction.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Galloping horses maintained asymmetry of head, pelvic, and limb motion between limb leads that was unrelated to lameness.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective

To estimate sensitivity and accuracy of subjective evaluation of mild lameness in horses during treadmill locomotion and to correlate subjective evaluation with kinematic analysis.

Animals

19 lame and 5 clinically normal horses.

Procedure

Lameness was evaluated by subjective score and kinematic analysis before and after palmar digital nerve block (PDNB). Evaluations were made by 6 clinicians and 7 interns or residents. Within- and between-observer agreement analyses (κ values) were calculated and compared, using a Student’s t-test. Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficients were calculated between clinician’s change in score and the change in kinematic variables after PDNB.

Results

Within-observer agreement was within the range expected for conditions of moderate diagnostic difficulty. Within-observer agreement was higher for clinicians than for interns or residents. Between-observer agreement was acceptable for scores within 1 value of each other. Between-observer agreement of change in lameness score after PDNB was poor. When kinematic variables were ranked with each clinician’s subjective change in score, only 2 were among the top 3 for the majority of clinicians. Asymmetry of vertical head movement between contralateral forelimb stance phases and the point of maximum hoof height during swing decreased as lameness subjectively improved.

Conclusion

Mild lameness may be difficult to evaluate during treadmill locomotion. Although clinicians were more repeatable in their subjective evaluation of lameness than interns or residents, they were not more reliable at detecting the true state of lameness.

Clinical Relevance

Lack of agreement between clinician scoring of mild lameness emphasizes the need to use more objective measures for quantifying lameness. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:1370–1377)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objectives

To develop a reference database for characterization of bovine Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus agalactiae strains by automated ribotyping and to use it to assess the discriminatory power of this typing procedure and the geographic distribution of Sta aureus and Str agalactiae strains in New York state dairy herds.

Sample Population

22 commercial dairy herds.

Procedure

Isolates of Sta aureus and Str agalactiae from bovine milk were identified by standard bacteriologic procedures, then typed by automated ribotyping. Antimicrobial susceptibility of isolates was tested in vitro. Two indicators made from the data were percentage of farms with multiple ribotypes and percentage of single ribotypes found in several geographic regions. Standard bacteriologic diagnosis, automated ribotyping, and determination of antibiograms (Kirby-Bauer method) also were done.

Results

Of 50 Sta aureus and 44 Str agalactiae isolates from composite milk samples of 12 and 10 herds, respectively, 18 and 14 ribotypes, respectively, were identified. The discriminatory power of automated ribotyping was approximately 0.96 (Hunter-Gaston's formula). A higher percentage of herds with Sta aureus had multiple ribotypes. The most common Sta aureus ribotypes tended to have broader geographic distribution. Some Sta aureus ribotypes were significantly associated with antibiotic resistance profiles.

Conclusions

Automated ribotyping appears to characterize bovine strains of bacteria associated with intramammary infections with a high discriminatory index. Potential applications include identification of strains that appear to have broad geographic distribution suggesting interfarm transfer, discrimination between recurrent versus new intramammary infections (ie, for control of Str agalactiae and Sta aureus), and evaluation of antibiotic therapy. (Am J Vet Res 1997;58:482–487)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research