Objective—To assess gait abnormalities associated with selective anesthesia of the suprascapular nerve (SSN) achieved by use of perineural catheterization and thereby determine the function of that nerve as it relates to gait in horses.
Animals—3 adult horses with no preexisting clinically apparent lameness at a walk.
Procedure—Each horse was anesthetized; the right SSN was exposed surgically for placement of a perineural catheter to permit delivery of 1 mL of 2% mepivacaine hydrochloride. Six hours after recovery from anesthesia, each horse was videotaped while walking (50-step data acquisition period) before and after administration of mepivacaine. Videotapes were reviewed and the proportion of abnormal steps before and after selective SSN anesthesia was assessed. A step was considered abnormal if a marked amount of scapulohumeral joint instability (ie, lateral luxation of the proximal portion of the humerus) was observed during the weight-bearing phase of the stride.
Results—Clinically apparent gait dysfunction was detected in all 3 horses following perineural administration of the local anesthetic agent. Anesthesia of the SSN resulted in scapulohumeral joint instability as evidenced by consistent lateral excursion of the shoulder region during the weight-bearing phase of gait at a walk. The proportion of abnormal steps before and after SSN anesthesia was significantly different in all 3 horses.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These data support the role of the SSN in shoulder joint stability in horses and define SSN dysfunction as 1 mechanism by which the syndrome and gait dysfunction clinically referred to as sweeny may develop.
OBJECTIVE To determine effects for 2 IV regional limb perfusion (IVRLP) protocols involving tiludronate on lameness of horses with navicular syndrome.
ANIMALS 15 horses with bilateral forelimb navicular syndrome.
PROCEDURES Shoeing and anti-inflammatory injection into the distal interphalangeal joint (DIPJ) of both forelimbs (day 0) were performed on all horses. On day 14, horses received 1 of 3 IVRLPs consisting of 0.1 mg of tiludronate/kg (low-dose tiludronate [LDT]; n = 5), 0.2 mg of tiludronate/kg (high-dose tiludronate [HDT]; 5), or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (placebo; 5); treatments were repeated at days 24 and 34. Lameness severity of both forelimbs was evaluated via subjective evaluation and force plate analysis before and after shoeing on day 0 and at days 14, 34, 60, and 120. Mean subjective lameness score and peak vertical ground reaction force (PVGRF) for the more severely lame forelimb (LFL) and both (combined) forelimbs (CFL) were compared over time.
RESULTS For all horses, mean PVGRF for the LFL and CFL was increased at 14 days. No difference in mean subjective lameness score or mean PVGRF was detected within groups at any time. Mean PVGRF of the CFL was higher for the HDT group than the LDT and placebo groups only at 120 days.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Use of the tiludronate IVRLP protocols described here provided no further improvement in lameness over therapeutic shoeing and anti-inflammatory injection of the DIPJ in horses with navicular syndrome. However, HDT-treated horses were objectively less lame than LDT- or placebo-treated horses at 120 days.
OBJECTIVE To measure penetration efficiencies of low-level laser light energy through equine skin and to determine the fraction of laser energy absorbed by equine digital flexor tendons (superficial [SDFT] and deep [DDFT]).
SAMPLE Samples of skin, SDFTs, and DDFTs from 1 metacarpal area of each of 19 equine cadavers.
PROCEDURES A therapeutic laser with wavelength capabilities of 800 and 970 nm was used. The percentage of energy penetration for each wavelength was determined through skin before and after clipping and then shaving of hair, through shaved skin over SDFTs, and through shaved skin, SDFTs, and DDFTs (positioned in anatomically correct orientation). Influence of hair color; skin preparation, color, and thickness; and wavelength on energy penetration were assessed.
RESULTS For haired skin, energy penetration was greatest for light-colored hair and least for dark-colored hair. Clipping or shaving of skin improved energy penetration. Light-colored skin allowed greatest energy penetration, followed by medium-colored skin and dark-colored skin. Greatest penetration of light-colored skin occurred with the 800-nm wavelength, whereas greatest penetration of medium- and dark-colored skin occurred with the 970-nm wavelength. As skin thickness increased, energy penetration of samples decreased. Only 1% to 20% and 0.1% to 4% of energy were absorbed by SDFTs and DDFTs, respectively, depending on skin color, skin thickness, and applied wavelength.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that most laser energy directed through equine skin was absorbed or scattered by the skin. To achieve delivery of energy doses known to positively affect cells in vitro to equine SDFTs and DDFTs, skin preparation, color, and thickness and applied wavelength must be considered.
OBJECTIVE To determine effects of 2 tiludronate administration protocols on measures of lameness in horses with navicular syndrome (NS).
ANIMALS 12 horses with bilateral forelimb NS.
PROCEDURES Horses were randomly assigned to receive tiludronate (1 mg/kg), diluted in 5 L of isotonic electrolyte solution and delivered through a jugular vein catheter (systemic treatment group; n = 6), or tiludronate (0.1 mg/kg), diluted with saline (0.9% NaCl) solution to a total volume of 35 mL and delivered into the lateral digital vein of each forelimb with an IV regional limb perfusion (IVRLP) technique (IVRLP group; 6). Mean peak vertical ground reaction force (pVGRF) measured with a stationary force plate and subjective lameness scores (SLSs) were recorded before (day −1) and at predetermined time points after tiludronate administration on day 0. Mean pVGRFs (standardized as percentage body weight of force) and mean SLSs for the most lame forelimb and for both forelimbs of horses in each group were compared with day −1 values to determine treatment effect.
RESULTS Mean pVGRF for both forelimbs and for the most lame forelimbs of systemically treated horses were significantly increased on days 120 and 200, compared with day −1 results. No significant difference in mean pVGRF was observed for IVRLP-treated horses. The SLSs were not improved at any time point following systemic treatment and were improved only on day 120 following IVRLP.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Tiludronate (1 mg/kg, IV) as a single systemic treatment appeared to be beneficial for horses with NS, but no horses were judged as sound during the study period. Additional research on IVRLP with tiludronate is needed before this method can be recommended. (Am J Vet Res 2016;77:167–173)