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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To describe the clinical course and outcome in horses in which Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis infections were associated with musculoskeletal disease and lameness.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—35 horses.

Procedures—Clinical and clinicopathologic data were collected from horses diagnosed with lameness associated with C pseudotuberculosis infection between 1999 and 2009.

Results—32 (91.4%) horses had grade 4/5 lameness. Three (8.6%) horses had grade 5/5 lameness. Abscesses were diagnosed by clinical or ultrasonographic examination. Abscesses were located in the axillary or triceps region in 25 (71.4%) horses, the stifle region in 2 (5.7%), and the popliteal lymph node in 1 (2.9%). Diffuse lymphangitis was seen in 4 (11.4%) horses, osteomyelitis in 2 (5.7%) horses, and septic arthritis in 2 (5.7%) horses. Horses commonly had clinicopathologic abnormalities characterized by neutrophilia (96.4%), anemia (67.8%), hypoalbuminemia (66.6%), or hyperfibrinogenemia (42.8%). Treatment included surgical drainage of the abscess in 21 (60%) horses, performed under ultrasonography in 20 horses; anti-inflammatory medications in 34 (97.1 %) horses; and antimicrobials in 30 (85.7%) horses.

Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceC pseudotuberculosis infection of the limbs in horses typically results in severe lameness but may have a favorable prognosis. The diagnosis may be challenging, and results of blood work consistent with inflammation are nonspecific, but anemia, hyperglobulinemia, and increased synergistic hemolysis inhibition titers are common. Ultrasonography may localize the lesions and facilitate surgical drainage to alleviate lameness. When C pseudotuberculosis musculoskeletal infection results in osteomyelitis or septic arthritis, the prognosis for survival is poor.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To evaluate the use of a laparoscopic specimen retrieval pouch for removal of intact or fragmented cystic calculi from standing horses.

DESIGN Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS 8 horses (5 geldings and 3 mares) with cystic calculi.

PROCEDURES Physical examination and cystoscopic, ultrasonographic, and hematologic evaluations of urinary tract function were performed for each horse. A diagnosis of cystic calculus was made on the basis of results of cystoscopy and ultrasonography. Concurrent urolithiasis or other urinary tract abnormalities identified during preoperative evaluation were recorded. Horses were sedated and placed in standing stocks, and the perineum was aseptically prepared. Direct access to the urinary bladder was gained in geldings via perineal urethrotomy or in mares by a transurethral approach. Calculi were visualized endoscopically, manipulated into the retrieval pouch, and removed intact or fragmented (for larger calculi).

RESULTS For 4 geldings and 1 mare, fragmentation was necessary to facilitate calculus removal. Mean duration of surgery was 125 minutes, and trauma to the urinary bladder and urethra was limited to areas of hyperemia and submucosal petechiation. No postoperative complications were encountered for any horse. When lithotripsy was required, the retrieval pouch provided an effective means of stabilizing calculi and containing the fragments for removal.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Use of the laparoscopic specimen retrieval pouch was an effective, minimally traumatic method for retrieving cystic calculi from standing horses. The pouch protected the urinary bladder and urethra from trauma during calculus removal and allowed for stabilization, containment, and fragmentation of calculi when necessary.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To test the hypothesis that head-down positioning in anesthetized horses increases intracranial pressure (ICP) and decreases cerebral and spinal cord blood flows.

Animals—6 adult horses.

Procedures—For each horse, anesthesia was induced with ketamine hydrochloride and xylazine hydrochloride and maintained with 1.57% isoflurane in oxygen. Once in right lateral recumbency, horses were ventilated to maintain normocapnia. An ICP transducer was placed in the subarachnoid space, and catheters were placed in the left cardiac ventricle and in multiple vessels. Blood flow measurements were made by use of a fluorescent microsphere technique while each horse was in horizontal and head-down positions. Inferential statistical analyses were performed via repeated-measures ANOVA and Dunn-Sidak comparisons.

Results—Because 1 horse developed extreme hypotension, data from 5 horses were analyzed. During head-down positioning, mean ± SEM ICP increased to 55 ± 2 mm Hg, compared with 31 ± 2 mm Hg during horizontal positioning; cerebral perfusion pressure was unchanged. Compared with findings during horizontal positioning, blood flow to the cerebrum, cerebellum, and cranial portion of the brainstem decreased significantly by approximately 20% during head-down positioning; blood flows within the pons and medulla were mildly but not significantly decreased. Spinal cord blood flow was low (9 mL/min/100 g of tissue) and unaffected by position.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Head-down positioning increased heart-brain hydrostatic gradients in isoflurane-anesthetized horses, thereby decreasing cerebral blood flow and, to a greater extent, increasing ICP. During anesthesia, CNS regions with low blood flows in horses may be predisposed to ischemic injury induced by high ICP.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To describe clinical features and outcome of horses with severe large intestinal thickening diagnosed with transabdominal ultrasonography.

DESIGN: Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS 25 horses.

PROCEDURES Medical records of horses that underwent transabdominal ultrasonography between 2003 and 2010 were reviewed. Horses were included if the wall of the large intestine was ≥ 9 mm thick in any of 6 abdominal zones.

RESULTS Median age was 13 years (range, 3 to 28 years). Horses were initially examined because of colic, diarrhea, inappetence, weight loss, lethargy, fever, or hematuria. Severe large intestinal thickening (range, 9 to 46.6 mm; mean ± SD, 18.8 ± 6.8 mm) was the primary ultrasonographic finding in all horses. Thickened large intestine was more likely to be detected in ventral versus upper (ie, combined paralumbar and intercostal) abdominal zones and in right versus left zones. Eleven horses survived and had resolution of clinical signs, including the l horse treated surgically for colon torsion. An additional horse survived but continued to have intermittent colic. Ten horses were euthanized or died, including 3 horses with neoplasia and 3 with colitis. Three horses were lost to follow-up, including 1 horse with a cecal mass and 1 with hepatosplenic lymphoma. Severity of thickening and number of zones affected were not significantly different between survivors and nonsurvivors.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that in horses undergoing transabdominal ultrasonography, large intestinal wall thickness ≥ 9 mm may be detected in patients with a variety of conditions. Ultrasonographic examination of all abdominal zones was helpful to determine the extent of thickening and identify additional findings that helped prioritize differential diagnoses.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Femoral fractures are often catastrophic in large animals. Radiographic diagnosis is limited by patient size and feasibility, especially in ambulatory settings. Ultrasonography is widely available and may provide an alternative to radiography for definitive diagnosis.

ANIMALS

12 large animals (6 horses, 5 cattle, and 1 elephant).

PROCEDURES

Retrospective analysis of large animal patients diagnosed with femoral fracture by use of femoropelvic ultrasonography (2000 to 2019).

RESULTS

5 of 12 cases were ≤ 1 year of age. The remaining 7 cases were 2 to 33 years of age (median, 13 years). All patients developed severe acute lameness after falling (n = 4), limb entrapment (2), dystocia (1), vehicular collision (1), ipsilateral full limb casting (1), or unknown events (3). All were non–weight-bearing or lame at the walk, including 2 recumbent cattle. Ten cases showed upper limb swelling that was variable in location, and 3 had nonspecific upper limb crepitus. Ultrasonography revealed evidence of diaphyseal (n = 6), greater trochanteric (2), capital physeal (2), and distal femoral (2) fractures. Fracture movement during limb manipulation or weight shifting was sonographically visualized in 5 animals. Radiography confirmed fractures in 3 of 8 animals: 2 bovines with distal femoral fractures detected on standing projections and 1 capital physeal fracture that required ventrodorsal projections under general anesthesia. All animals were euthanized (11) or slaughtered (1 bovine). Postmortem examination confirmed ultrasonographic findings in 10 of 10 necropsied animals.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Femoral fractures were not localized nor confirmed in any case prior to ultrasonography. Study findings supported the use of ultrasonography for rapid patient-side diagnosis, prognostication, and decision-making in suspect cases.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To test a hypothesis predicting that isoflurane would interfere with cerebrovascular autoregulation in horses and to evaluate whether increased mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) would increase cerebral blood flow and intracranial pressure (ICP) during isoflurane anesthesia.

Animals—6 healthy adult horses.

Procedures—Horses were anesthetized with isoflurane at a constant end-tidal concentration sufficient to maintain MAP at 60 mm Hg. The facial, carotid, and dorsal metatarsal arteries were catheterized for blood sample collection and pressure measurements. A sub-arachnoid transducer was used to measure ICP Fluorescent microspheres were injected through a left ventricular catheter during MAP conditions of 60 mm Hg, and blood samples were collected. This process was repeated with different-colored microspheres at the same isoflurane concentration during MAP conditions of 80 and 100 mm Hg achieved with IV administration of dobutamine. Central nervous system tissue samples were obtained after euthanasia to quantify fluorescence and calculate blood flow.

Results—Increased MAP did not increase ICP or blood flow in any of the brain tissues examined. However, values for blood flow were low for all tested brain regions except the pons and cerebellum. Spinal cord blood flow was significantly decreased at the highest MAP.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that healthy horses autoregulate blood flow in the CNS at moderate to deep planes of isoflurane anesthesia. Nonetheless, relatively low blood flows in the brain and spinal cord of anesthetized horses may increase risks for hypoperfusion and neurologic injury.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine clinical signs, results of diagnostic testing, and outcome in horses with internal Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis infection.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—30 horses.

Procedure—Information pertaining to clinical data, results of diagnostic tests, and costs of hospitalization and treatment was extracted from medical records of affected horses.

Results—Internal C pseudotuberculosis infection was diagnosed on the basis of clinical signs, diagnostic imaging, and clinicopathologic data, including results of serologic tests and bacterial culture. The most common clinical signs were concurrent external abscesses, anorexia, fever, lethargy, weight loss, and signs of respiratory tract disease or abdominal pain. Clinicopathologic abnormalities included a geometric mean reciprocal serum synergistic hemolysin inhibition titer ≥ 512, leukocytosis with neutrophilia, hyperglobulinemia, hyperfibrinogenemia, and anemia. Specific organ involvement was diagnosed in 27 of 30 horses. Affected organs included the liver (18 horses), lungs (12), kidneys (7), and spleen (3); multiple organs were affected in 10 horses. Treatment with antimicrobials for a median of 36 days (range, 7 to 97 days) was usually successful, yielding an overall survival rate of 71%.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Early diagnosis and long-term antimicrobial treatment were important for a successful outcome in horses with internal C pseudotuberculosis infection. Ultrasonographic imaging was an important technique for identifying specific organs affected, aiding in obtaining samples for a definitive diagnosis, and monitoring response to treatment. Pregnant mares with internal infections are at risk for fetal loss. Preexisting chronic organ disease may be associated with a poor prognosis. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:441–448)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe the etiologies, clinicopathologic findings, diagnostic modalities employed, treatments, and outcome associated with cases of septic bicipital bursitis.

ANIMALS

9 horses.

CLINICAL PRESENTATION AND PROCEDURES

Medical records of horses diagnosed with septic bicipital bursitis between 2000 and 2021 were reviewed. Horses were included if synoviocentesis of the bicipital bursa revealed a total nucleated cell count of ≥ 20,000 cells/µL with a neutrophil proportion of ≥ 80%, a total protein concentration of ≥ 4.0 g/dL, and/or the presence of bacteria on cytology, or positive culture of the synovial fluid. Information retrieved from medical records included signalment, history, clinicopathologic variables, diagnostic imaging findings, treatment, and outcome.

RESULTS

Trauma was the most common inciting cause (n = 6). Synoviocentesis using ultrasonographic guidance was performed in all cases and showed alterations consistent with septic synovitis. Radiography identified pathology in 5 horses, whereas ultrasonography identified pathology in all horses. Treatment consisted of bursoscopy (n = 6) of the bicipital bursa of which 1 was performed under standing sedation, through-and-through needle lavage (3), bursotomy (2), or medical management alone (2). Five (55.6%) horses survived to discharge. Long-term follow-up was available for 3 horses and all were serviceably sound, with 2 in training as pleasure horses and 1 case continuing retirement.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Ultrasonography was the most informative imaging modality and paramount in obtaining synovial fluid samples for definitive diagnosis of septic bicipital bursitis. Bursoscopy performed under standing sedation is a feasible treatment option. Horses treated for bicipital septic bursitis have a fair prognosis for survival and may return to some level of athletic performance.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association