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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

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether race history, including the number of races and total race distance, was associated with risk of superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) injury in Thoroughbred racehorses in Japan.

Design—Matched case-control study.

Animals—515 Thoroughbred racehorses (case horses) that sustained an SDFT injury during training or racing in Japan during 2002 and 951 horses (control horses) without SDFT injury that were matched with case horses on the basis of age and month of the latest race.

Procedure—Variables related to race history were compared between case and control horses by means of conditional logistic regression.

Results—The odds of SDFT injury increased as mean race distance and mean body weight at race time increased. Compared with females that had never competed in steeplechase races, males regardless of steeplechase race history and females that had competed in steeplechase races had higher odds of SDFT injury.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that longer mean distance per race, heavier mean body weight at race time, steeplechase experience, and sex (male) increased the risk of SDFT injury in Thoroughbred racehorses. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:90–93)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objectives—To determine whether quantitative analysis of sonographic brightness could be used to detect healing of an induced injury of the superficial digital flexor tendon in horses and whether rate of healing was influenced by equine recombinant growth hormone.

Animals—8 clinically normal Standardbreds.

Procedures—A localized injury was created in the left and right superficial digital flexor tendons of each horse by injection of 2,000 units of collagenase. After injury, 4 horses received equine recombinant growth hormone, a possible promoter of tendon healing. Sonographic images (7.5 MHz) of the flexor tendons and ligaments of the metacarpal region were recorded on videotape prior to injury and weekly for 7 weeks after injury. Images were digitized, and sonographic brightness of tendons and ligaments was calculated.

Results—Collagenase-induced injury was sonographically similar to naturally occurring injury. After injury, sonographic brightness of the tendon decreased; after 3 weeks, brightness progressively increased, although by 7 weeks brightness had not returned to preinjury value. Equine recombinant growth hormone had no significant effect on the rate of tendon healing, as evaluated sonographically or at necropsy.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—As healing developed, alterations in sonographic brightness of injured tendons coincided with real changes in tendon structure. Quantitative sonographic brightness could be used to accurately monitor healing of equine tendon and ligament injuries and investigate the efficacy of various treatment regimens. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1320–1327)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate effects of toe grabs, exercise intensity, and distance traveled as risk factors for subclinical to mild suspensory apparatus injury (SMSAI) in Thoroughbred racehorses and to compare incidence of severe musculoskeletal injury (MSI) in horses with and without SMSAI.

Design—Nested case-control study.

Animals—219 Thoroughbred racehorses racing or in race training.

Procedure—Racehorses were examined weekly for 90 days to determine incidence of suspensory ligament injury and monitor horseshoe characteristics. Every horse's exercise speeds and distances were recorded daily. Conditional logistic regression was used to compare exposure variables between incident case (n = 25) and selected control (125) horses. Survival analysis was used to compare time to MSI for horses with (n = 41) and without (76) SMSAI.

Results—The best-fitting logistic model for the data included age (< 5 vs ≥ 5 years old), toe grab height the week of injury (none vs very low, low, regular, or Quarter Horse height), and weekly distance the week preceding injury (miles). Although the 95% confidence intervals for all odds ratios included 1, the odds for SMSAI appeared to increase with the presence of a toe grab, higher weekly distance, and age ≥ 5 years. Horses that had SMSAI were significantly more likely to have a severe MSI or severe suspensory apparatus injury than were horses that did not.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that pre-existing SMSAI is associated with development of severe MSI and severe suspensory apparatus injury. Modifying training intensity and toe grab height for horses with SMSAI may decrease the incidence of severe MSI. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001; 218:1136–1144)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To measure and compare tibial plateau angles (TPA) of dogs with cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL) injuries and dogs without CrCL injuries.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—87 dogs.

Procedure—Stifle joints were measured from lateral radiographic views to determine TPA in 3 groups: group-1 dogs had CrCL injuries, group-1a dogs, a subgroup of group 1, had 1 unaffected stifle joint, and group-2 dogs had no CrCL injuries. Age, sex, breed, body weight, limb injured, and TPA were recorded for each dog.

Results—56 stifle joints were measured in group-1 dogs; mean TPA was 23.76°, and mean age and weight were 5.7 years and 37.91 kg (83.4 lb), respectively. Fourteen stifle joints were measured in group-1a dogs; mean TPA was 24.71°, and mean age and weight were 5.6 years and 38.06 kg (83.8 lb), respectively. Sixty stifle joints were measured in group-2 dogs; mean TPA was 18.10°, and mean age and weight of these dogs were 4.83 years and 35.85 kg (79 lb), respectively. The most common breeds included Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, and Rottweiler. The TPA of dogs in group 1 and group 1a were significantly greater than the TPA of dogs in group 2.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dogs with CrCL injuries have a significantly greater TPA than dogs without CrCL injury. With further investigation, a normal TPA can be determined. In the future, TPA measurements may be used to screen dogs suspected of being susceptible to CrCL injury. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:363–366)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

SUMMARY

In dogs, gastric dilatation-volvulus (gdv) is characterized by cardiogenic shock, with resulting hypoperfusion. Treatment goals include reperfusion of transiently ischemic tissues, which indicates that reperfusion injury may be a factor in the physiopathogenesis of gdv. Recently, we obtained data that indicate that reperfusion injury may be involved in experimentally induced gdv. Using this gdv model, we evaluated mortality in 24 dogs of 4 equal groups, treated with deferoxamine (an iron chelator), dimethylsulfoxide (a free radical scavenger), a combination of the 2 drugs, or isotonic saline solution. All 6 dogs that were given deferoxamine survived; however, 3 dogs of the dimethylsulfoxide-treated group, 2 dogs of the combination-treated group, and 4 dogs of the saline-treated group died. Results of the study indicate that mortality associated with experimentally induced gdv is reduced by appropriate and timely pharmacologic intervention to prevent or attenuate reperfusion injury, and that deferoxamine may be more effective than dimethylsulfoxide.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate a Markov-chain model for the development of forelimb injuries in Thoroughbreds and to use the model to determine effects of reducing sprint distance on incidence of metacarpal condylar fracture (CDY) and severe suspensory apparatus injury (SSAI).

Sample Population—Weekly exercise and injury data for 122 Thoroughbreds during racing or training.

Procedure—Weekly data were used to construct a Markov-chain model with 5 states (uninjured [UNINJ], palpable suspensory apparatus injury [PSAI], SSAI, CDY, and lost to follow-up [LOST]). Transition probabilities between UNINJ and PSAI were estimated as a function of weekly sprint distance by use of linear regression analysis. The model was used to predict distributions of annual CDY and SSAI incidences in southern California racehorses and was validated by using CDY incidence reported by racetrack practitioners. The model was modified by reducing the number of sprint distances that were > 6 furlongs (> 1.20 km) by 20%, and CDY and SSAI incidences were compared with those generated by the baseline model.

Results—The model accurately fit development of injuries in the sample population but overestimated development of injuries in the southern California racehorse population. Development of and recovery from PSAI were correlated with distance run at high speeds. Reducing by 20% the number of sprints run at distances > 6 furlongs significantly reduced modeled annual CDY and SSAI incidence by 9%.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Reducing the number of sprints at distances > 6 furlongs, particularly among horses with PSAI, reduces risk of CDY and SSAI. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:328–337)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

NYPD working dogs that assisted in disaster relief efforts at the WTC disaster site following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack; establish types and rates of related acute injuries and illnesses; identify environmental toxin exposures; and

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate horseshoe characteristics and high-speed exercise history as risk factors for catastrophic musculoskeletal injury in Thoroughbred racehorses.

Animals—377 horses (37,529 race starts).

Procedure—Shoe characteristics included material, toe grab height, heel traction device, pads, and rim shoes. Racing variables were obtained from a computerized database. Forty-three horses that had a musculoskeletal injury and then failed to race or train for 6 months (cases) and 334 noninjured horses from the same race in which a horse was injured (controls) were compared regarding risk factors.

Results—Overall, 98% of race starts were associated with aluminum shoes, 85% with toe grabs, 32% with pads, and 12% with rims on forelimb horseshoes. Among 43 horses with musculoskeletal injury, sex (geldings), an extended interval since last race, and reduced exercise during the 30 or 60 days preceding injury were risk factors for catastrophic injury. Odds of injury in racehorses with toe grabs on front shoes were 1.5 times the odds of injury in horses without toe grabs, but this association was not significant (95% confidence interval, 0.5 to 4.1).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that horses that return to racing after an extended period of reduced exercise are at high risk of catastrophic musculoskeletal injury. Results regarding the use of toe grabs as a possible risk factor for catastrophic injury were inconclusive because the probability of declaring (in error) that use of toe grabs was associated with an increased risk of musculoskeletal injury (eg, odds ratio > 1.0) was 38%. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1314–1320)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Objective—

To describe and compare data from Thoroughbreds that sustained musculoskeletal injuries while racing with data from matched control horses.

Design—

Matched case-control study.

Animals—

216 Thoroughbreds that sustained a musculoskeletal injury while racing and 532 horses from the same races that were not injured.

Procedure—

Data regarding racing history, race-entrant characteristics, racing events determined by analysis of videotapes of races, and results of prerace physical inspections were determined for all horses. Injured horses were compared with control horses by using conditional logistic regression.

Results—

Results of prerace inspection by regulatory veterinarians were significantly associated with injury. Odds of musculoskeletal injury, injury of the suspensory apparatus of the forellmb, and injury of the tendon of the superficial digital flexor muscle of the forelimb were 5.5 to 13.5 times greater among horses assessed to be at increased risk of injury by regulatory veterinarians on the basis of results of prerace inspection than for horses not considered to be at increased risk of injury. Odds of an abnormal finding in the suspensory ligament during prerace inspection were 3.4 times greater among horses that injured the suspensory apparatus than among control horses, and odds of an abnormal finding in the tendon of the superficial digital flexor muscle during prerace inspection were 15 times greater among horses that njured the tendon than among control horses.

Clinical Implications—

Regulatory veterinarians can identify horses during prerace physical inspection that have an increased risk of injury during races. Prerace physical inspections could be used to reduce the risk of injury to Thoroughbreds during races. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:454–463)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association