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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

Summary

Intramural vascular patterns of the jejunum and colon were evaluated during ischemic strangulation obstruction (iso, 70 minutes) and subsequent reperfusion (60 minutes) in 7 adult anesthetized horses. Microvasculature of experimental and control segments was described by comparison of results from microangiography, light microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy of vascular replicas. Experimental and control segments with isolated vascular arcades were removed either immediately after the experimental period or after 60 minutes of reperfusion. Blood was flushed from the vascular system by use of isotonic NaCl, and the segments were divided. Half of each segment was perfused with a modified radiopaque medium for microangiographic evaluation, and half was perfused with dilute methylmethacrylate to create a vascular replica to be studied by scanning electron microscopy. Microangiographic section also were evaluated for histologic changes.

Microvasculature of jejunal control segments and all colon segments was similar to described normal microvasculature of the equine jejunum and ascending colon. In jejunal iso segments, intramural perfusion was redistributed away from the mucosa. In the villi, the central arteriole was short and convoluted and the subepithelial capillaries were not filled. The submucosal vessels and crypt capillaries were congested, compared with those of controls, and the serosal vessels were not filled in the ischemic segments. Histologic grade II-III mucosal lesion was seen in jejunal iso segments. Reperfused jejunal segments had a transmural hyperemic response, and previously unfilled capillaries were observed in all intestinal layers. After reperfusion, the mucosal lesion progressed to grade III-IV and a cellular infiltrate and edema formation were observed in the serosa.

The intramural vasculature of the ischemic and reperfused colon remain unchanged. Minimal histologic damage was observed in the colon after 70 minutes of iso or after 60 minutes of reperfusion.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Effects of intraluminal distention (25 cm of H2O, 120 minutes) and subsequent decompression (60 minutes) on intramural vascular patterns of the small intestine was evaluated in 7 anesthetized horses. Intraluminal distention (25 cm of H2O, 120 mintutes) was created in 2 jejunal segments in each horse. Experimental and control segments were removed either immediately after the experimental period or after 60 minutes of decompression. The vascular system of experimental and control jejunal segments was lavaged with NaCl, then was injected with a blue-colored radiopaque medium for microangiography or with a diluted methyl methacrylate for scanning electron microscopy of microcorrosion vascular casts. After angiographic evaluation, tissue sections were prepared for light microscopic evaluation to assess vascular filling and tissue morphology. The distended segments had short villi, which were separated by expanded crypts, and had mesothelial cell loss, neutrophil infiltration, and edema in the seromuscular layer. The number of perfused vessels was significantly (P < 0.05) decreased in the seromuscular layer and, to a lesser extent, in the mucosal layer of the distended segments, compared with controls. After decompression, the morphologic lesions progressed in mucosal and serosal layers and the number of observed vessels increased in all intramural layers; however, vascular density did not return to the predistention state. These results identify altered intramural vascular patterns in the equine jejunum during luminal distention and subsequent decompression.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the safety and short-term efficacy of intrabursal administration of botulinum toxin type B (BTXB) to alleviate lameness in horses with degenerative injury to the podotrochlear apparatus (PA).

Animals—10 Quarter Horses with degenerative injury to the PA.

Procedures—Degenerative injury to the PA was confirmed with diagnostic analgesia and imaging. Then, BTXB (3.8 to 4.5 U/kg) was injected into the podotrochlear (navicular) bursa of each horse. Three horses were used in a safety evaluation. Subsequently, video recordings of lameness evaluations were obtained for 7 client-owned horses 5 days before (baseline) and 7 and 14 days after BTXB treatment and used to determine the effect of BTXB injection on lameness; 1 horse was removed from the study 8 days after BTXB treatment. Three investigators who were unaware of the treated forelimbs or time points separately reviewed the recordings and graded the lameness of both forelimbs of the horses.

Results—Improvement in lameness of the treated forelimbs was detected at 1 or both time points after BTXB administration in all horses. However, all horses had some degree of lameness at the end of the study. Two horses developed transient increases in lameness 48 to 72 hours after treatment; lameness resolved uneventfully.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Intrabursal injection of BTXB temporarily alleviated chronic lameness in horses with degenerative injury to the PA, without causing serious short-term adverse effects. Further investigation into the potential use of BTXB in horses affected by degenerative injury to the PA is warranted.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research