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  • Author or Editor: Laurie McDuffee x
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Objective—To determine a range of limb loading activity for healthy adult horses confined to box stalls in an equine veterinary teaching hospital and determine the effects of hospital environmental factors on load rates and daily limb loading patterns.

Animals—6 mature healthy horses of various ages, breeds, and sexes, and 1 horse with a repaired metatarsal fracture.

Procedure—Step monitors were placed on 2 limbs of adult horses confined to box stalls. Relocation steps and weight shifts were recorded, as loading events, for 24 hours. Influence of forelimb versus hind limb and environmental factors on load rate (loading events per hour) were assessed with repeated-measures ANOVA.

Results—Loading activity was greater for the forelimb than the hind limb and was greater during the day than the night. Loading activity differences were not associated with daytime environmental factors.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Horses with normal locomotor activity appear to have higher load rates for forelimbs compared with hind limbs and higher load rates during the day compared with night. Knowledge of influence of environmental factors and mechanical restraint on limb loading activity may be useful in management of horses with musculoskeletal disorders. This information may also be used for in vitro simulation of in vivo loading of limbs during cyclic biomechanical investigations.(Am J Vet Res 2000;61:234–237)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To develop a transcutaneous ultrasonography (TUS) method for measuring the location of the stomach during various levels of fluid distension and evaluate any correlation between gastric fluid distension and stomach position.

Animals—6 adult horses.

Procedures—Known volumes of water were administered in 2 trials. In trial 1, the stomach was evaluated prior to and after the administration of 2, 4, and 6 L of water. In trial 2, the stomach was evaluated after administration of 6, 8, 10, and 12 L of water. The TUS was performed at the 7th through 16th left intercostal spaces (ICSs). For each volume of water, an image was captured at the most dorsal point in each ICS where the dorsolateral aspect of the stomach wall was viewed. The distance between this point and a horizontal line drawn on the skin at the level of the elbow joint was measured. The measurements at all ICSs were used to estimate the gastric wall height at ICS 12, which was subsequently evaluated for statistical association with volume administered.

Results—Significant correlation between the estimated height of the stomach wall at ICS 12 and the volume of fluid administered was detected. A regression equation to estimate gastric fluid volume when initial values for gastric wall height (cm) at ICS 12 and fluid volume (L) are known was developed.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that use of TUS for gastric fluid volume estimation is a potentially useful technique.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To characterize equine muscle tissue– and periosteal tissue–derived cells as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and assess their proliferation capacity and osteogenic potential in comparison with bone marrow– and adipose tissue–derived MSCs.

Sample—Tissues from 10 equine cadavers.

Procedures—Cells were isolated from left semitendinosus muscle tissue, periosteal tissue from the distomedial aspect of the right tibia, bone marrow aspirates from the fourth and fifth sternebrae, and adipose tissue from the left subcutaneous region. Mesenchymal stem cells were characterized on the basis of morphology, adherence to plastic, trilineage differentiation, and detection of stem cell surface markers via immunofluorescence and flow cytometry. Mesenchymal stem cells were tested for osteogenic potential with osteocalcin gene expression via real-time PCR assay. Mesenchymal stem cell cultures were counted at 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours to determine tissue-specific MSC proliferative capacity.

Results—Equine muscle tissue– and periosteal tissue–derived cells were characterized as MSCs on the basis of spindle-shaped morphology, adherence to plastic, trilineage differentiation, presence of CD44 and CD90 cell surface markers, and nearly complete absence of CD45 and CD34 cell surface markers. Muscle tissue–, periosteal tissue–, and adipose tissue–derived MSCs proliferated significantly faster than did bone marrow–derived MSCs at 72 and 96 hours.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Equine muscle and periosteum are sources of MSCs. Equine muscle- and periosteal-derived MSCs have osteogenic potential comparable to that of equine adipose- and bone marrow–derived MSCs, which could make them useful for tissue engineering applications in equine medicine.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To isolate and characterize mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from canine muscle and periosteum and compare proliferative capacities of bone marrow-, adipose tissue-, muscle-, and periosteum-derived MSCs (BMSCs, AMSCs, MMSCs, and PMSCs, respectively).

Sample—7 canine cadavers.

Procedures—MSCs were characterized on the basis of morphology, immunofluorescence of MSC-associated cell surface markers, and expression of pluripotency-associated transcription factors. Morphological and histochemical methods were used to evaluate differentiation of MSCs cultured in adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic media. Messenger ribonucleic acid expression of alkaline phosphatase, RUNX2, OSTERIX, and OSTEOPONTIN were evaluated as markers for osteogenic differentiation. Passage-1 MSCs were counted at 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours to determine tissue-specific MSC proliferative capacity. Mesenchymal stem cell yield per gram of tissue was calculated for confluent passage-1 MSCs.

Results—Successful isolation of BMSCs, AMSCs, MMSCs, and PMSCs was determined on the basis of morphology; expression of CD44 and CD90; no expression of CD34 and CD45; mRNA expression of SOX2, OCT4, and NANOG; and adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation. Proliferative capacity was not significantly different among BMSCs, AMSCs, MMSCs, and PMSCs over a 4-day culture period. Periosteum provided a significantly higher MSC yield per gram of tissue once confluent in passage 1 (mean ± SD of 19,400,000 ± 12,800,000 of PMSCs/g of periosteum obtained in a mean ± SD of 13 ± 1.64 days).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that canine muscle and periosteum may be sources of MSCs. Periosteum was a superior tissue source for MSC yield and may be useful in allogenic applications.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To compare the strength of the sutured linea alba, in vitro, using 2 suture patterns.


12 clinically normal llamas.


2 incisions in the linea alba of 12 llamas were closed with a simple continuous or inverted cruciate pattern, and tissue was harvested after 10 days. In 6 llamas, the simple continuous line was intact; the inverted cruciate specimens contained 6 sutures. In 6 llamas, 1 knot was excised in the simple continuous pattern to simulate a failed line; the cruciate pattern contained 5 knots. Tissue sections were taken from cranial, between, and caudal to the linea alba incisions to compare fascial thickness. The sutured specimens were mounted in a mechanical testing system and tested to failure. A mixed-model ANOVA was used to evaluate the effects of suture pattern and incisional position on mechanical properties.


Significant differences were not found between suture patterns or between location for yield force, failure force, or yield strain, whereas failure strain was lower for the intact simple continuous pattern than the inverted cruciate pattern (P = 0.003). From histomorphometric analysis, the caudal tissue specimens were significantly thinner than the middle tissue specimen cranial to the umbilicus (P = 0.006).


There was no significant difference in monotonic breaking strength of the linea alba sutured with the simple continuous or inverted cruciate pattern.

Clinical Relevance

These results justify the use of the simple continuous pattern over the cruciate pattern for ventral midline closure in llamas because of the ease of placement and speed. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:938–942)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research