Objective—To evaluate the efficacy of tiludronate for the treatment of horses with signs of pain associated with lesions of the thoracolumbar vertebral column.
Animals—29 horses with clinical manifestations of pain associated with lesions of the thoracolumbar vertebral column and abnormal radiographic findings indicative of osteoarthritis of the articular processes–synovial intervertebral joints.
Procedures—Horses were initially examined in accordance with a standardized protocol, which included radiographic, ultrasonographic, and scintigraphic examinations. Fifteen horses were randomly assigned to receive tiludronate (1 mg/kg, IV, as a slow-rate infusion), and 14 horses received a control substance (day 0). Horses were monitored for the subsequent 120 days. Clinical evaluations were performed on days 60 and 120. Horses that had no evidence of clinical improvement on day 60 were administered tiludronate. Statistical analyses were performed to compare efficacy at day 60, improvement of dorsal flexibility at day 120, and dorsal flexibility before and 60 days after administration of tiludronate.
Results—Horses treated with tiludronate had significant improvement in dorsal flexibility between days 0 and 60, compared with control horses. Clinical improvement in dorsal flexibility was still evident at day 120. The percentage of positive responses was higher in the tiludronate group at 60 days.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Tiludronate had efficacy in the treatment of horses with signs of pain induced by osteoarticular lesions of the thoracolumbar vertebral column, causing a significant improvement in dorsal flexibility. Tiludronate may offer a treatment option for the management of horses with intervertebral lesions and the associated pain.
OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effect of track surface firmness on the development of musculoskeletal injuries in French Trotters during 4 months of race training.
ANIMALS 12 healthy 3-year-old French Trotters.
PROCEDURES Horses were paired on the basis of sex and body mass. Horses within each pair were randomly assigned to either a hard-track or soft-track group. The counterclockwise training protocol was the same for both groups. Surface firmness of each track was monitored throughout the training period. Radiography, ultrasonography, MRI, and scintigraphy were performed on all 4 limbs of each horse before and after 2 and 4 months of training. Lesions were described, and lesion severity was classified with a 5-point system, where 0 = no lesions and 4 = severe lesion.
RESULTS 86 lesions were identified, of which 46 (53.5%) were classified as potentially clinically relevant (grade, ≥ 2). Of the 18 moderate and severe lesions, 15 were identified in horses of the hard-track group, and 10 of those were in forelimbs. Moderate to severe tendinopathy of the superficial digital flexor tendon of the forelimb developed in 3 of the 6 horses of the hard-track group but none of the horses of the soft-track group. Metatarsal condyle injuries were more frequent in horses of the hard-track group than horses of the soft-track group. Severe lesions were identified only in left limbs.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that track surface firmness is a risk factor for musculoskeletal injuries in horses trained for harness racing.