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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To evaluate clinical and tenoscopic findings in a large group of horses undergoing surgery of the carpal flexor sheath (CFS) and determine whether any of the presurgical clinical signs were associated with tenoscopic findings.

ANIMALS 242 horses that had undergone diagnostic and therapeutic tenoscopy of the CFS because of aseptic tenosynovitis.

PROCEDURES Medical and tenoscopic video records (when available) of 242 horses undergoing tenoscopy of the CFS at a single equine clinic between January 2005 and June 2014 were reviewed. Tenoscopic findings were categorized as present or absent, and tears in the deep digital flexor tendon (DDFT) were subjectively graded according to severity. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine whether presurgical clinical findings were associated with intraoperative tenoscopic findings.

RESULTS 242 horses (411 limbs) were evaluated by use of tenoscopy. An exostosis was detected in 228 horses (379 limbs) and was often multipartite. Most exostoses were found medial to, or within, the sagittal plane at the caudal margin of the scar on the distal physis of the radius. Effusion in the CFS was associated with tears in the DDFT. Other presurgical clinical findings were not predictive of intrathecal findings.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Synovial effusion was predictive of DDFT lesions within the CFS but was not predictive of the severity of lesions. Further studies will be necessary to determine whether any tenoscopic findings are associated with reduced athletic performance and to assess the effect of surgical intervention in affected horses.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To determine the holding capacity of a 5.5-mm-diameter cortical bone screw when placed in the third phalanx (P3) of horses and assess whether screw placement through the dorsal hoof wall into P3 would be tolerated by clinically normal horses and would alleviate signs of pain and prevent P3 rotation in horses with oligofructose-induced laminitis.

ANIMALS

40 limbs from 10 equine cadavers and 19 clinically normal adult horses.

PROCEDURES

In part 1 of a 3-part study, a 5.5-mm-diameter cortical bone screw was inserted by use of a lag-screw technique through the dorsal hoof wall midline into P3 of 40 cadaveric limbs and tested to failure to determine screw pullout force. In part 2, 6 horses had 5.5-mm-diameter cortical bone screws placed in both forefeet as described for part 1. Screws were removed 4 days after placement. Horses were monitored for lameness before and for 2 weeks after screw removal. In part 3, 13 horses were randomly assigned to serve as controls (n = 3) or undergo screw placement without (group 2; 6) or with (group 3; 4) a washer. Following the acquisition of baseline data, horses were sedated and administered oligofructose (10 g/kg) via a stomach tube. Twenty-four hours later, screws were placed as previously described in both forefeet of horses in groups 2 and 3. Horses were assessed every 4 hours, and radiographic images of the feet were obtained at 96 and 120 hours after oligofructose administration. Horses were euthanized, and the feet were harvested for histologic examination.

RESULTS

The mean ± SD screw pullout force was 3,908.7 ± 1,473.4 N, and it was positively affected by the depth of screw insertion into P3. Horses of part 2 tolerated screw placement and removal well and did not become lame. All horses of part 3 developed signs of acute lameness, and the distance between P3 and the dorsal hoof wall increased slightly over time. The change in the ratio of the dorsal hoof wall width at the extensor process of P3 to that at the tip of P3 over time was the only variable significantly associated with treatment.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Placement of a 5.5-mm-diameter cortical bone screw through the dorsal hoof wall into P3 had sufficient holding power to counteract the pull of the deep digital flexor tendon in approximately 500-kg horses, and placement of such a screw was well tolerated by clinically normal horses but did not alleviate signs of pain in horses with oligofructose-induced laminitis. Further research is necessary before this technique can be recommended for horses with naturally occurring acute laminitis.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine factors affecting race speed in Swedish Standardbred horses undergoing surgery of the carpal flexor sheath (CFS), to investigate whether preoperative racing speed was associated with specific intraoperative findings and whether horses returned to racing, and to compare the performance of horses undergoing surgery of the CFS with that of age- and sex-matched control horses.

ANIMALS 149 Swedish Standardbred trotters undergoing surgery of the CFS and 274 age- and sex-matched control horses.

PROCEDURES Medical records of CFS horses were examined. Racing data for CFS and control horses were retrieved from official online records. Generalizing estimating equations were used to examine overall and presurgery racing speeds and the association of preoperative clinical and intraoperative findings with preoperative and postoperative speeds. Multivariable regression analysis was used to examine career earnings and number of career races. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was used to compare career longevity between CFS and control horses.

RESULTS CFS horses were significantly faster than control horses. The CFS horses that raced before surgery were slower as they approached the surgery date, but race speed increased after surgery. There were 124 of 137 (90.5%) CFS horses that raced after surgery. No intrathecal pathological findings were significantly associated with preoperative racing speed. Career longevity did not differ between CFS and control horses.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Horses undergoing surgery of the CFS had a good prognosis to return to racing after surgery. Racing careers of horses undergoing surgery of the CFS were not significantly different from racing careers of control horses.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research