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Objective

To determine the outcome of horses with suprascapular nerve injury treated with stall rest alone.

Design

Retrospective case series.

Animals

8 horses.

Procedure

Information on signalment, history, limbs affected, severity of lameness, degree of muscle atrophy, gait abnormalities, and results of radiography and electromyography was obtained from medical records. All horses were treated with stall rest. Follow-up information on severity of lameness, gait abnormalities, degree of muscle atrophy, time between injury and resolution of gait abnormalities, and outcome was obtained during reexamination at the hospital or through telephone conversations with owners.

Results

In 4 horses, the injury was a réduit of trauma; in the other 4, the injury was suspected to be a result of trauma. All horses had pronounced instability of the shoulder joint during the weight-bearing phase. Follow-up information was available for 7 horses. Shoulder joint instability resolved in all 7 horses within 3 to 12 months (mean, 7.4 months) after the original injury. Two horses had complete return of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscle mass 15 and 18 months after the injury. Two horses used as broodmares before the injury and 4 of 5 horses used for riding or in race training before the injury were able to return to preinjury activities.

Clinical Implications

Horses with suprascapular nerve injury treated with stall rest alone have a good prognosis for recovery of normal gait and return to performance; however, the recovery period may be prolonged. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;214:1657-1659).

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

All horses diagnosed by a commission veterinarian of the Kentucky Racing Commission as having sustained a musculoskeletal injury, defined as an obvious change in soundness immediately before, during, or after a race held between Jan 1, 1992 and May 31, 1993 were included in a study to determine the prevalence of and factors associated with racing injuries involving the musculoskeletal system of horses competing at 4 Thoroughbred racetracks in Kentucky. During the 17-month study, there were 35,484 racing starts among 7,649 horses in 3,824 official Kentucky Racing Commission races. During this period, 132 musculoskeletal racing injuries were diagnosed among 117 horses. Twenty-eight injured horses were male, 46 were geldings, and 43 were female. The prevalence of horses with racing injuries per racing start was 0.33% (117/35,484). The injuries of 51 horses were classified as catastrophic, and 66 as noncatastrophic. The prevalence of horses with catastrophic injuries per racing start was 0.14% (51/35,484).

The proportion of horses with injuries of the left forelimb, sesamoid, and third metacarpal bone in the catastrophic group was significantly (P < 0.05) greater than those of horses in the noncatastrophic group. The proportion of horses with injuries of the superficial digital flexor tendon among those in the catastrophic group was significantly less than that of horses in the noncatastrophic group.

The distance of the race was significantly shorter and the number of turns less among horses with catastrophic injuries than among horses with noncatastrophic injuries. The proportions of horses injured at the last turn in the race (stretch turn) and the straight stretch of track before the last turn (back- stretch) among the catastrophic group were significantly greater than those among horses in the noncatastrophic group. Injuries detected after the race among horses in the catastrophic group were significantly less common than those among horses in the noncatastrophic group. The proportion of horses removed from the racetrack by an ambulance was significantly greater among horses in the noncatastrophic group, compared with that of horses in the catastrophic group.

The proportions of horses with racing injuries positioned in the fourth (last) quartile of the group of horses competing in the race (field) and in the third and fourth quartiles (last half) of the field at a point one quarter of a mile after the start (first quarter fraction) were significantly greater than was expected by chance alone. The proportion of horses with catastrophic injuries positioned in the last half of the field at the first quarter fraction was significantly greater than was expected by chance alone.

The forelimbs were involved in 90.2% of racing injuries. The suspensory apparatus of the forelimbs (sesamoid and interosseous ligament) was the area most frequently involved (44.7%), and 85.8% of all racing injuries were located from the carpus to the metacarpophalangeal joint.

Ninety-six horses’ injuries involved only 1 forelimb (81.8%). The proportion of horses (n = 96) with injuries that developed at or near the finish line was significantly greater for the right forelimb than for the left forelimb. Injuries of the left forelimb that developed in the stretch turn were significantly more common, compared with those of the right forelimb.

The proportion of horses with injuries involving the sesamoid was significantly greater for the left forelimb than for the right forelimb. The proportion of horses with injuries to the diaphysis of the third metacarpal bone was significantly greater among horses with injuries that developed in the backstretch and the turn ahead of the finish (clubhouse turn) than that for horses injured at other locations on the track. Injuries of the sesamoids were significantly more common in the stretch turn than at other locations on the track. Injuries of the third metacarpal condyle were significantly more likely to be detected after the race than during the race.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Background Tendinopathy and desmopathy are major causes of lameness and reduced performance in horses. Tendon and ligament fibers have some elasticity, allowing for the elongation of fibers during exercise; injury occurs when the strain

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare the location and severity of injuries in pregnant sows housed in individual gestation stalls with that in pregnant sows housed in dynamic groups in pens with electronic sow feeders.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—100 pregnant sows of parity 1 to 3 and various body weights.

Procedure—Fifty sows each were randomly allotted to gestation stalls or group pens with electronic sow feeders. Injuries were scored on the basis of location, number, and depth of wounds. Injury scores for sows in both housing systems were compared during a period of 90 days. The influence of factors such as duration of stay in the housing system, parity, and body weight on sow injuries was also examined.

Results—Injury scores were higher in group pens with electronic sow feeders. As body weight increased, injury scores decreased for sows housed in group pens with electronic sow feeders and increased for sows housed in gestation stalls. There was a significant negative association between second parity and total injury scores.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Modifications in housing system design and management procedures are needed to reduce injuries in pregnant sows. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1334–1338)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective

To identify the cause and mechanisms of injury in gastroesophageal ulcer disease in market weight swine.

Design

Comparison of mechanisms of injury caused by HCI with those caused by short chain fatty acids (SCFA) in gastric mucosa.

Animals

Pigs weighing 30 to 40 kg.

Procedure

Gastric tissues were studied in Ussing chambers; short-circuit current (Isc) and electrical resistance (R) were recorded in response to treatment, and tissues were examined histologically.

Results

60 mM mucosal acetate abruptly (≤ 75 minutes) and irreversibly abolished Isc at pH ≤ 4.5, whereas R decreased more slowly. These data were associated with cell swelling and vesicle formation in mid-zonal layers, followed by sloughing of the outer barrier, erosion into deeper zones, and finally, ulceration. Mucosal HCI at pH > 1.5 was ineffective; however, at pH 1.5, HCI induced an abrupt decrease in R, followed by a slow decrease in Isc, an effect opposite to that caused by SCFA. Serosal addition of HCI rapidly abolished Isc suggesting a barrier to free H+ diffusion from the mucosal solution.

Conclusions

Undissociated SCFA rapidly penetrate the outer barrier and acidify underlying viable tissue. Cellular acidification inhibits Na pumping and osmoregulation, resulting in cell swelling and necrosis. In contrast, HCI induces an increase in outer barrier permeability before accessing the transporting cells, a much longer process (≥ 5 hours) requiring a lower pH. These studies suggest that microbial production of SCFA may be important in the pathogenesis of porcine gastric ulcers. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:564-573)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To identify race-start characteristics associated with catastrophic musculoskeletal (MS) injury in Thoroughbred racehorses at 2 racetracks in Florida during 1995 through 1998.

Design—Matched case-control study.

Animals—97 Thoroughbreds (case horses) that incurred a catastrophic MS injury during racing and 388 Thoroughbreds (control horses) randomly selected from noninjured participants and matched on the basis of racetrack and year.

Procedure—Incidence of MS injury was calculated for all race meets at 2 racetracks in Florida from 1995 through 1998. Race-start characteristics were compared among case and control horses, using conditional logistic regression.

Results—Overall incidence of MS injury was 1.2/1,000 race starts (97/79,416 starts). Incidence of injury was significantly higher for turf races (2.3/1,000 starts) than for dirt races (0.9/1,000 starts). Sex, number of days since last race, and racing surface were associated with risk of injury; geldings, ≥ 33 days since the last race, and turf racing surface were associated with a higher risk of injury.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Incidence of injury among Thoroughbreds in Florida was associated with sex, number of days since last race, and racing surface. Days since last race may have been an indicator of previous health and lameness problems. Racing surface may have been a risk factor for MS injury because turf races tended to be more competitive than dirt races. Horses running in turf races were more likely to participate in races with a large field, handicap races, long races, and races with high purses. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:83–86)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether there is a relationship between sow injuries and size of gestation stalls relative to sow size.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—267 pregnant sows.

Procedure—Sows were randomly selected from 4 swine farms. Sow and stall measurements were obtained, and injuries were scored on the basis of location, number, and depth. Ratios of stall length to sow length and stall width to sow height were calculated.

Results—High injury scores were associated with low ratios of stall length to sow length and stall width to sow height.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A small increase in stall dimensions could reduce injuries and improve well-being of sows considerably. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:834–836)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To estimate the relative risk of injury among horses deemed to be at increased risk of injury on the basis of prerace physical inspection findings and to examine the association of injury during races with race-related characteristics.

Design

Cohort study.

Animals

2,187 Thoroughbred horses that started 3,227 races in Kentucky.

Procedure

All race starts for which a horse was deemed to be at increased risk of injury on the basis of prerace physical inspection findings and a random sample of race starts for which horses were not deemed at increased risk of injury were included in the study. Findings of prerace physical inspection, racerelated characteristics, and outcome of the race (race results and whether the horse incurred an injury) were recorded for each race start. Race starts in which a horse incurred an injury during a race were compared with race starts in which injuries were not incurred to identify factors associated with injury during races.

Results

Abnormality of the suspensory ligament of the forelimbs detected during prerace physical inspection, racetrack, class of race (claiming race ≤ $25,000 vs other classes), and distance of race (< 7 furlongs vs other distances) were significantly associated with increased risk of injury.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Prerace physical inspection findings, particularly abnormalities of the suspensory ligament, may be used to identify horses at increased risk of injury during races. Rate of injury differed among racetracks, and horses in certain types of races (lower-priced claiming races and races of shorter distance) may be at increased risk of injury during races. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;215:654–661)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify the types of injuries sustained by horses that competed in steeplechase races and determine the prevalence of and risk factors for those injuries.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—2,680 horses that competed in various types of steeplechase races from 1996 through 2000.

Procedure—Data regarding races; environment; equipment problems; the number of horses that entered, started, and finished races; the number of riders that fell; and the number of horses that were slowed or stopped by the rider, ran off the course, fell, and sustained injuries or physical abnormalities during races were collected on a standard form by the official veterinarian who attended each meet. Data from all meets were not recorded; however, in recorded meets, data from every race were reported.

Results—Data for 197 hurdle, 65 timber, 76 flat, and 8 mixed races were recorded. Nine (3.4/1,000 horses that started in races) horses died or were euthanatized, and 7 of those were associated with catastrophic musculoskeletal injury. Seven fractures were recorded. Four fractures involved forelimbs, 1 involved a hind limb, and 2 involved the cervical portion of the vertebral column. All horses with fractures were euthanatized. Deep or hard course conditions were associated with an increased risk of breakdown injuries.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Successful development and implementation of strategies to prevent injuries and death in horses in steeplechase races depend on a clear understanding of the types and prevalence of injuries involved and risk factors associated with those injuries. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1788–1790)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To develop and compare the reliability of 2 methods of scoring pelvic limb gait in dogs recovering from thoracolumbar spinal cord injuries and to use this scoring system to determine the rate and level of functional recovery of dogs with acute thoracolumbar intervertebral disk herniations.

Animals—46 dogs with spinal cord injuries resulting from intervertebral disk herniations.

Procedure—Dogs' gaits were videotaped at different time intervals after injury. In phase 1 of the study, the stages of recovery of pelvic limb function were identified, and a numeric scoring system was devised to reflect that recovery. In phase 2, pelvic limb gait was scored by different observers, using a numeric and a visual analog scale. Intra- and interobserver coefficients of variability of both methods were compared. In phase 3, pelvic limb function was scored, using the numeric scale at various intervals after acute thoracolumbar disk herniations.

Results—The numeric scale was significantly more reliable than the visual analog scale when both intraand interobserver coefficients of variability were evaluated. Dogs that were paraplegic with no deep pain sensation recovered at different rates during the first 3 months, whereas dogs that were paraplegic with deep pain sensation typically recovered within 1 month of injury.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Pelvic limb gait of dogs recovering from thoracolumbar spinal cord injuries can be reliably quantified, using a numeric scale. This scale will facilitate the performance of clinical trials aimed at improving the outcome of acute spinal cord injuries. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1624–1628)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research