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Abstract

Objective—To determine the types of musculoskeletal problems that result in lameness or poor performance in horses used for team roping and determine whether these problems are different in horses used for heading versus heeling.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—118 horses.

Procedure—Medical records of team roping horses that were evaluated because of lameness or poor performance were reviewed to obtain information regarding signalment, primary use (ie, head horse or heel horse), history, results of physical and lameness examinations, diagnostic tests performed, final diagnosis, and treatment.

Results—Among horses evaluated by lameness clinicians, the proportion with lameness or poor performance was significantly greater in horses used for heading (74/118) and lower in horses used for heeling (44/118) than would be expected under the null hypothesis. Most horses examined for poor performance were lame. A significantly greater proportion of horses used for heading had right forelimb lameness (26/74 [35%]), compared with horses used for heeling (7/44 [16%]). Horses used for heading had more bilateral forelimb lameness (18/74 [24%]), compared with horses used for heeling (4/44 [9%]). Horses used for heeling had more bilateral hind limb lameness (3/44 [7%]), compared with horses used for heading (0%). The most common musculoskeletal problems in horses used for heading were signs of pain limited to the distal sesamoid (navicular) area, signs of pain in the navicular area plus osteoarthritis of the distal tarsal joints, and soft tissue injury in the forelimb proximal phalangeal (pastern) region. Heeling horses most commonly had signs of pain in the navicular area, osteoarthritis of the metatarsophalangeal joints, and osteoarthritis of the distal tarsal joints.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Horses used for heading were most commonly affected by lameness in the right forelimb. Horses used for heeling had more bilateral hind limb lameness than horses used for heading. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:1694–1699)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify foal-related risk factors associated with development of Rhodococcus equi pneumonia among foals on farms with endemic R equi infection.

Design—Prospective case-control study.

Animals—220 foals at 2 equine breeding farms in Texas during a 2-year period.

Procedure—Information collected for each dam included age, time housed on the farm prior to parturition, whether there were any peripartum illnesses, parity, and health of previous foals. Information collected for each foal included breed, sex, gestational age, month and year of birth, location of birth, type of flooring and bedding in stall, postpartum management and preventive health care, passive immunity status, supplementation of immunoglobulins, exposure to other farms or foals affected with R equi pneumonia, stall and pasture exposure, commingling with other mare-foal pairs, age at weaning, and whether the foal developed R equi pneumonia.

Results—32 of the 220 (15%) foals developed R equi pneumonia, of which 4 (13%) died. Foals at 1 of the 2 farms and foals born during the second year of the study were more likely to develop R equi pneumonia. Foal-related factors that were examined were not significantly associated with risk of R equi pneumonia in multivariate analyses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that there are farm- and year-related effects on the risk that foals will develop R equi pneumonia. Other foal-related factors significantly associated with R equi pneumonia were not identified. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1791–1799)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify types of musculoskeletal problems associated with lameness or poor performance in horses used for barrel racing.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—118 horses.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed for information on signalment, history, physical and lameness examination findings, diagnostic tests performed, diagnosis, and treatment.

Results—Most horses were examined because of lameness (n = 72 [61%]) rather than poor performance (46 [39%]), but owner complaint was not significantly associated with age or body weight of the horse. The most common performance change was refusal or failure to turn properly around the first barrel (19/46 [41%]). The right forelimb (n = 57 [48%]) was most commonly affected, followed by the left forelimb (51 [43%]), the left hind limb (31 [26%]), and the right hind limb (25 [21%]). In 31 horses (26%), both forelimbs were affected, and in 6 (5%), both hind limbs were affected. The most common musculoskeletal problems were forelimb foot pain only (n = 39 [33%]), osteoarthritis of the distal tarsal joints (17 [14%]), suspensory ligament desmitis (15 [13%]), forelimb foot pain with distal tarsal joint osteoarthritis (11 [9%]), and bruised feet (10 [8.5%]). In 81 (69%) horses, the affected joint was treated with intra-articular medications.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that in horses used for barrel racing that are examined because of lameness or poor performance, the forelimbs are more likely to be affected than the hind limbs, with forelimb foot pain and osteoarthritis of the distal tarsal joints being the most common underlying abnormalities. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005; 227:1646–1650)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effects of treatment with platelet- and leukocyte-rich plasma (PRP) on future 2-, 3-, and 4-year-old racing performance of yearling Thoroughbreds with proximal sesamoid bone inflammation and associated suspensory ligament branch (SLB) desmitis.

Design—Randomized clinical trial.

Animals—39 yearling Thoroughbreds.

Procedures—Yearling Thoroughbreds with radiographic evidence of performance-limiting proximal sesamoid bone inflammation and ultrasonographic evidence of associated SLB desmitis were identified and randomly assigned to undergo PRP (treatment group) or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (control group) injection at the affected SLB-proximal sesamoid bone junction. Race records of horses for the 2-, 3-, and 4-year-old racing years were obtained. Data regarding amount of money earned and number of races started were used as outcome measures, and results for groups were compared.

Results—Horses treated with PRP were significantly more likely to start at least 1 race during the 2-year-old racing year than were horses treated with saline solution; no significant differences were detected between groups regarding that variable for the 3- and 4-year-old racing years. No significant differences between groups were detected regarding earnings for any racing year.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although PRP-treated horses were more likely to start a race during the 2-year-old racing year versus control group horses, results for horses in each group were not significantly different for the 3- and 4-year-old racing years. Therefore, the PRP treatment protocol evaluated in this study did not seem to improve future racing performance of yearling Thoroughbreds with proximal sesamoid bone inflammation and associated SLB desmitis, compared with injection of saline solution.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether mares are a clinically important source of Rhodococcus equi for their foals.

Sample Population—171 mares and 171 foals from a farm in Kentucky (evaluated during 2004 and 2005).

Procedures—At 4 time points (2 before and 2 after parturition), the total concentration of R equi and concentration of virulent R equi were determined in fecal specimens from mares by use of quantitative bacteriologic culture and a colony immunoblot technique, respectively. These concentrations for mares of foals that developed R equi–associated pneumonia and for mares with unaffected foals were compared. Data for each year were analyzed separately.

ResultsR equi–associated pneumonia developed in 53 of 171 (31%) foals. Fecal shedding of virulent R equi was detected in at least 1 time point for every mare; bacteriologic culture results were positive for 62 of 171 (36%) mares at all time points. However, compared with dams of unaffected foals, fecal concentrations of total or virulent R equi in dams of foals with R equi–associated pneumonia were not significantly different.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate that dams of foals with R equi–associated pneumonia did not shed more R equi in feces than dams of unaffected foals; therefore, R equi infection in foals was not associated with comparatively greater fecal shedding by their dams. However, detection of virulent R equi in the feces of all mares during at least 1 time point suggests that mares can be an important source of R equi for the surrounding environment.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the pharmacokinetics of gallium maltolate (GaM) after intragastric administration in healthy foals.

Animals—6 healthy neonatal foals.

Procedures—Each foal received GaM (20 mg/kg) by intragastric administration. Blood samples were obtained before (time 0) and at 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, 24, 36, and 48 hours after GaM administration for determination of serum gallium concentrations by use of inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy.

Results—Mean ± SD pharmacokinetic variables were as follows: peak serum gallium concentration, 1,079 ± 311 ng/mL; time to peak serum concentration, 4.3 ± 2.0 hours; area under the serum concentration versus time curve, 40,215 ± 8,420 ng/mL/h; mean residence time, 39.5 ± 17.2 hours; area under the moment curve, 1,636,554 ± 931,458 ng([h]2/mL); and terminal half-life, 26.6 ± 11.6 hours. The mean serum concentration of gallium at 12 hours was 756 ± 195 ng/mL.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Gallium maltolate administered via nasogastric tube at a dose of 20 mg/kg to neonatal foals resulted in gallium serum concentrations considered sufficient to suppress growth or kill Rhodococcus equi in macrophages and other infected tissues.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the use of sucrose permeability testing to detect ulcers in the gastric squamous mucosa of horses.

Animals—13 adult horses ranging from 5 to 19 years of age.

Procedure—Following induction of gastric ulcers by intermittent feed deprivation, horses underwent sucrose permeability testing (administration of sucrose by nasogastric intubation followed by collection of urine at 2 and 4 hours after intubation) and gastric endoscopy. Squamous ulcers were assigned a severity score (range, 0 to 3) by use of an established scoring system. Horses were subsequently administered omeprazole for 21 days, and sucrose testing and endoscopy were repeated. Pair-wise comparisons of urine sucrose concentration were made between horses with induced ulcers before and after omeprazole treatment. Urine sucrose concentrations also were compared on the basis of ulcer severity score.

Results—Urine sucrose concentrations and ulcer severity scores were significantly higher in horses with induced ulcers before omeprazole treatment than after treatment. Urine sucrose concentrations were significantly higher for horses with ulcer severity scores > 1. Use of a cut-point value of 0.7 mg/mL revealed that the apparent sensitivity and specificity of sucrose permeability testing to detect ulcers with severity scores > 1 was 83% and 90%, respectively. Results were similar after adjusting sucrose concentrations for urine osmolality.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Urine sucrose concentration appears to be a reliable but imperfect indicator of gastric squamous ulcers in horses. Sucrose permeability testing may provide a simple, noninvasive test to detect and monitor gastric ulcers in horses. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:31–39)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the importance of iron for in vitro growth of Rhodococcus equi, define potential iron sources in the environment and mechanisms by which R equi may obtain iron from the environment, and assess expression and immunogenicity of iron-regulated proteins.

Sample Population—10 virulent and 11 avirulent strains of R equi.

Procedure—In vitro growth rates and protein patterns of R equi propagated in media with normal, excess, or limited amounts of available iron were compared. Immunoblot analyses that used serum from foals naturally infected with R equi and monoclonal antibody against virulence-associated protein (Vap)A were conducted to determine immunogenicity and identity of expressed proteins.

Results—Excess iron did not alter growth of any R equi strains, whereas growth of all strains was significantly decreased in response to limited amounts of available iron. Virulent R equi were able to use iron from ferrated deferoxamine, bovine transferrin, and bovine lactoferrin. Only virulent R equi expressed an iron-regulated, immunogenic, surface-associated protein identified as VapA.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Iron is required for the growth and survival of R equi. Sources of iron for R equi, and mechanisms by which R equi acquire iron in vivo, may represent important virulence factors and novel targets for the development of therapeutic and immunoprophylactic strategies to control R equi infection in foals. Expression of VapA is substantially upregulated when there is a limited amount of available iron. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:1337–1346)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the sensitivity and specificity of 5 serologic assays used to diagnose Rhodococcus equi pneumonia in foals and to determine whether any of the assays could be used to identify affected foals prior to the onset of clinical signs or to differentiate between affected and unaffected foals when clinical signs first become apparent.

Design—Nested case-control study.

Animals—26 foals.

Procedure—Serum samples were obtained from all foals at 2, 4, and 6 or 7 weeks of age. Additional samples were obtained from affected foals at the time of diagnosis of R equi pneumonia and from agematched unaffected foals. Samples were tested with 3 ELISA, an agar gel immunodiffusion assay, and a synergistic hemolysis inhibition assay.

Results—Sensitivity and specificity data indicated that none of the assays could be used to reliably differentiate affected from unaffected foals at any testing period. Proportions of foals that had an increase in test values between paired samples collected at 4 and 6 or 7 weeks of age were not significantly different between affected and unaffected foals. For all assays, result values increased significantly over time; however, the rate of increase was not significantly different between affected and unaffected foals.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that serologic assays, whether performed on single or paired samples, cannot be used to reliably establish, confirm, or exclude a diagnosis of R equi pneumonia in foals. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:825–833)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify factors associated with abortions of mares during late gestation attributed to mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS).

Design—Case-control study.

Animals—282 broodmares from 62 farms in central Kentucky, including 137 mares that had late-term abortions (LTAs) associated with MRLS, 98 mares from the same farms that did not abort, and 48 mares that aborted from causes other than MRLS.

Procedure—Farm managers were interviewed to obtain data on a wide range of management practices and environmental exposures for the mares. Data for case and control horses were compared to identify risk factors for a mare having a MRLS-associated LTA (MRLS-LTA).

Results—Several factors increased the risk of mares having MRLS-LTAs, including increased amount of time at pasture, less time in a stall, feeding concentrate on the ground, higher proportion of diet derived from grazing pasture, being fed in pasture exclusively during the 4-week period prior to abortion, access to pasture after midnight during the 4-week period prior to abortion, and drinking from a water trough or not having access to water buckets or automatic waterers.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Analysis indicates that exposure to pasture predisposed mares to having MRLS-LTAs and stillborn foals. Methods for limiting exposure to pasture (keeping mares in stalls longer) during environmental conditions similar to those seen in 2001 should reduce the risk of mares having MRLS-LTAs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:199–209)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association