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Abstract

Objective—To develop a protocol to induce and maintain gastric ulceration in horses and to determine whether gastric ulceration affects physiologic indices of performance during high-speed treadmill exercise.

Animals—20 healthy Thoroughbreds.

Procedures—Each horse was acclimatized to treadmill exercise during a 2-week period. Subsequently, baseline data were collected (day 0) and each horse began an incrementally increasing exercise training program (days 1 through 56). Beginning on day 14, horses were administered omeprazole (4 mg/kg, PO, q 24 h until day 56) or no drug (10 horses/group) and underwent alternating 24-hour periods of feeding and feed withholding for 10 days to induce gastric ulceration. Extent of gastric ulceration was assessed weekly thereafter via gastroscopy. Physiologic indices of performance were measured at days 0 and 56. Gastric ulceration and exercise performance indices were compared within and between groups.

Results—In untreated horses, gastric ulcers were induced and maintained through day 56. Gastric ulcer formation was prevented in omeprazole-treated horses. There were significant interactions between time (pre- and post-training data) and treatment (nonulcer and ulcer groups) for mass-specific maximal O2 consumption ( O 2max/Mb) and mass-specific maximal CO2 production ( CO 2max/Mb). Post hoc analysis revealed a difference between groups for O 2max/Mb at day 56. Within-group differences for O 2max/Mb and CO 2max/Mb were detected for omeprazole-treated horses, but not for the horses with ulcers.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In horses, gastric ulcers were induced and maintained by use of alternating periods of feeding and feed withholding in association with treadmill exercise (simulated racetrack training). Gastric ulcers adversely affected physiologic indices of performance in horses.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effects of morphine administration for 6 days on gastrointestinal tract function in healthy adult horses.

Animals—5 horses.

Procedures—Horses were randomly allocated into 2 groups in a crossover study. Horses in the treatment group received morphine sulfate at a dosage of 0.5 mg/kg, IV, every 12 hours for 6 days. Horses in the control group received saline (0.9% NaCl) solution at a dosage of 10 mL, IV, every 12 hours for 6 days. Variables assessed included defecation frequency, weight of feces produced, intestinal transit time (evaluated by use of barium-filled spheres and radiographic detection in feces), fecal moisture content, borborygmus score, and signs of CNS excitement and colic.

Results—Administration of morphine resulted in gastrointestinal tract dysfunction for 6 hours after each injection. During those 6 hours, mean ± SD defecation frequency decreased from 3.1 ± 1 bowel movements in control horses to 0.9 ± 0.5 bowel movements in treated horses, weight of feces decreased from 4.1 ± 0.7 kg to 1.1 ± 0.7 kg, fecal moisture content decreased from 76 ± 2.7% to 73.5 ± 2.9%, and borborygmus score decreased from 13.2 ± 2.9 to 6.3 ± 3.9. Mean gastrointestinal transit time was also increased, compared with transit times in control horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Morphine administered at 0.5 mg/kg twice daily decreased propulsive motility and moisture content in the gastrointestinal tract lumen. These effects may predispose treated horses to development of ileus and constipation.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective

To determine the role of nitric oxide and an apamin-sensitive nonadrenergic-noncholinergic inhibitory transmitter in in vitro contractile activity of the third compartment in llamas.

Sample Population

Isolated strips of third compartment of the stomach from 5 llamas.

Procedure

Strips were mounted in tissue baths containing oxygenated Kreb's buffer solution and connected to a polygraph chart recorder to measure contractile activity. Atropine, guanethidine, and indomethacin were added to tissue baths to inhibit muscarinic receptors, adrenoreceptors, and prostaglandin synthesis. Responses to electrical field stimulation following addition of the nitric oxide antagonist Νω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) and apamin were evaluated.

Results

Electrical field stimulation (EFS) resulted in a reduction in the amplitude and frequency of contractile activity, followed by rebound contraction when EFS was stopped. Addition of L-NAME resulted in a significant reduction in inhibition of contractile activity. Addition of apamin also resulted in a significant reduction in inhibitory contractile activity at most stimulation frequencies. The combination of L-NAME and apamin resulted in a significant reduction in inhibition at all frequencies.

Conclusion

Nitric oxide and a transmitter acting via an apamin-sensitive mechanism appear to be involved in inhibition of contractile activity of the third compartment in llamas.

Clinical Relevance

Results suggest that nitric oxide plays an important role in mediating contractile activity of the third compartment in llamas. Use of nitric oxide synthase inhibitors may have a role in the therapeutic management of llamas with lesions of the third compartment. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:1166— 1169)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objectives

To determine the in vitro effect of various prostaglandins (PG) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) on contractile activity of the large-colon taenia of horses.

Animals

14 healthy horses.

Procedure

The taenia was collected from the ventral colon, cut into strips (2 × 10 mm), and mounted in a tissue bath system (20-ml capacity) that contained oxygenated Krebs buffer solution warmed to 37.5 ± 0.5 C. After equilibration, incremental doses of PGE2, PGF, PGI2, flunixin meglumine, carprofen, ketoprofen, and phenylbutazone were added to the baths, and contractile activity was recorded. Magnitude of the response was calculated by comparing contractile activity before and after administration of the PG or NSAID to the tissue baths.

Results

PGE2 and PGF caused a significant increase in contractile activity, whereas PGL2 induced an inhibitory response. Activity of NSAID on contraction was predominantly inhibitory. At low concentrations, ketoprofen induced an excitatory effect, which then became inhibitory at high concentrations. Compared with the other NSAID, carprofen significantly reduced contractile activity at lower concentrations.

Conclusions

PGE2 and PGF appear to enhance contractility of large-colon taenia of horses, whereas PGL2 was inhibitory in the in vitro model. Administration of NSAID also inhibited contractility, with carprofen having the most potent effect.

Clinical Relevance

Administration of NSAID in combination with liberation of endogenous PG may predispose horses to development of intestinal stasis and subsequent impaction. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:1004-1009)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Objective

To characterize, in mares, changes in peritoneal fluid that occurred within the first 7 days after routine foaling.

Design

Prospective observational trial.

Animals

15 mares.

Procedure

Abdominocentesis was performed within 10 days before foaling and again 12 hours, 3 days, and 7 days after each horse foaled. Data recorded for each sample included total nucleated cell count, differential cell count, specific gravity, fibrinogen concentration, and total protein concentration. Smears of each sample were examined by a single clinical pathologist.

Results

There were not any significant differences over time in specific gravity, total protein concentration, fibrinogen concentration, total nucleated cell count, or number of small mononuclear cells. Mean numbers of neutrophils and large mononuclear cells in samples collected after foaling were significantly higher than mean numbers in samples collected before foaling. For 11 of 14 horses, all samples were characterized cytologically as transudates without cytologic abnormalities.

Clinical Implications

Results of analysis of peritoneal fluid from peripartum mares suggest that nucleated cell count, protein concentration, and specific gravity of peritoneal fluid from mares that have recently foaled should be normal. Thus, peritoneal fluid abnormalities detected in mares within a week after foaling should usually be attributed to a systemic or gastrointestinal problem and not to the foaling process itself. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;209:1280–1282)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Laparoscopy was performed on 6 horses (2 mares, 2 geldings, 2 stallions) to determine the normal laparoscopic anatomy of the equine abdomen. After withholding feed for 36 hours, horses were examined from the left and right paralumbar fossae, and the visceral anatomic structures were recorded by videotape and photography. One mare developed emphysema located subcutaneously at the primary laparoscopic portal; otherwise, there were no complications. The anatomic structures of diagnostic importance that were observed in the left half of the abdomen were the hepatic duct; left lateral and quadrate lobes of the liver; stomach; spleen; left kidney with the associated nephrosplenic ligament; segments of jejunum, descending colon, and ascending colon; left side of the male and female reproductive tracts; urinary bladder; vaginal ring; and mesorchium. Important structures observed in the right side of the abdomen were portions of the common hepatic duct; left lateral, quadrate, and right lobes of the liver; caudate process of the liver; stomach; duodenum; right dorsal colon, epiploic foramen; omental bursa; right kidney; base of the cecum; segments of jejunum, descending colon, and ascending colon; urinary bladder; right half of the male and female reproductive tracts; and rectum.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Surface oximetry was used to evaluate viability of the ascending colon in 60 horses with naturally occurring colonic volvulus or displacement. Tissue surface oxygen tension (Ps o 2 ) was measured on the serosal surface of the pelvic flexure after anatomic correction of the colonic obstruction. Horses with Ps o 2 > 20 mm of Hg were predicted to have viable colon; whereas, horses with Ps o 2 ≤ 20 mm of Hg were predicted to have nonviable colon. Results of surface oximetry were compared with final outcome. For surface oximetry, sensitivity (ability to accurately identify colon that was nonviable) was 53%, but specificity (ability to accurately identify bowel that was viable) was 100%. Negative predictive value (probability that a horse with Ps o 2 > 20 mm of Hg truly had viable bowel) was 87%, and positive predictive value (probability that a horse with Ps o 2 ≤ 20 mm of Hg truly had nonviable bowel) was 100%. The overall accuracy was 88%. Of the 45 horses that had a colonic Ps o 2 > 20 mm of Hg and survived, 7 had been given, on the basis of subjective assessment of visual criteria, a good prognosis, 28 had been given a guarded prognosis, and 10 had been given a poor prognosis. Of the horses that had a colonic Ps o 2 > 20 mm of Hg but died after surgery because of further colonic infarction, confirmed at necropsy, 4 had been given a poor prognosis, and 3 had been given a guarded prognosis. Of the 8 horses that had a colonic Ps o 2 ≤ 20 mm of Hg and died after surgery, 7 had been given a poor prognosis, and 1 had been given a guarded prognosis. We concluded that surface oximetry, a relatively noninvasive technique, provided a better prediction of survival in horses with colonic volvulus or displacement than did visual inspection alone.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Packed cell volume, total plasma protein, serum sodium, potassium, and ionized Ca2+ concentrations, and blood pH were determined at the time of admission and following surgery in 147 horses with acute abdominal crisis. Horses were allotted to 3 categories on the basis of the surgical lesion: (1) nonstrangulating obstruction of the ascending or descending colon (category A, n = 76), (2) strangulating and nonstrangulating infarction of the cecum or ascending colon (category B, n = 37), and (3) strangulating and nonstrangulating infarction of the small intestine (category C, n = 25). Horses with low serum ionized Ca2+ concentration following surgery were given 23% calcium gluconate (100 to 300 ml) IV to effect, and ionized Ca2+ concentration was determined following treatment.

The serum ionized Ca2+ concentrations of horses in categories A, B, and C before and after surgery were lower than our normal laboratory reference range. Prior to surgery, serum ionized Ca2+ concentration measured from horses in category B and C was lower than that in horses in category A. There was no difference in ionized Ca2+ concentration in serum samples obtained before surgery in horses from category B and C, and in serum samples obtained following surgery. There was a decrease in ionized Ca2+ concentration during surgery in horses in category A. There was no change between preoperative and postoperative ionized Ca2+ concentration in the samples obtained from horses in category B and C. After calcium gluconate administration, all horses with low serum ionized Ca2+ after surgery had concentrations within our normal range.

Measurement of serum ionized Ca2+ in horses with an acute abdominal crisis is recommended. If concentrations are low, calcium gluconate diluted in fluids and administered iv to effect appears to provide an effective method of treatment.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

The normal microvascular permeability of the ascending colon in horses and the microvascular permeability of that segment after ischemia and reperfusion were investigated. Microvascular permeability was estimated by the ratio of lymphatic protein to plasma protein concentration (Cl/Cp) at high lymph flow rates in 8 adult horses in 2 equal groups: normal and ischemic (2-hour period). Lymphatic flow rates and lymph and plasma protein concentrations were determined. Intestinal biopsy specimens were obtained at the end of each experiment. Flow independent values were selected and compared by one-way anova, and the mean and sem of these values were determined. The mean Cl/Cp ratios for the flow independent part of each data set were as follows: normal = 0.36 ± 0.08; ischemic = 0.70 ± 0.08. These groups were significantly different (P ≤ 0.0001). Microscopic evaluation revealed mild congestion and edema in the normal group. The ischemic group had mild to moderate mucosal degeneration, with moderate to severe congestion and edema. We concluded that ischemia of the ascending colon, when followed by reperfusion, results in a significant increase in microvascular permeability.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

The microvascular anatomic features of the small intestine was described by correlating results of microangiography, light microscopy, gross studies, and scanning electron microscopy of vascular replicas in 14 horses. After heparinization, the horses were euthanatized, a length of jejunum was transected, and blood was flushed free of the circulation, using isotonic NaCl solution. In six horses, the circulatory system was perfused with a modified radiopaque medium and evaluated radiographically. These sections were then evaluated by standard histologic methods. Sections from 8 horses were perfused with 1 of 2 types of plastics and studied grossly or by scanning electron microscopy.

The margined arterial arcade gives rise to vessels that enter the jejunum at the mesenteric angle. These vessels penetrated either directly, by branching and entering on both sides of the mesenteric angle, or supplying only 1 side of the mesenteric angle. All these vessels continued in the submucosa branching extensively, forming a submucosal plexus. This submucosal plexus supplied the tunica muscularis, tunica serosa, and the mucosa. Vessels within the 2 muscle layers ran parallel to the muscle fibers and, consequently, perpendicular to each other. The arterial supply to the mucosa penetrated the muscularis mucosae and branched to supply 2 mucosal capillary networks. An eccentrically placed arteriole penetrated the base of the villus and spiralled to the tip where it "fountained" into a mesh-like capillary network, which descended peripherally in the villus to drain via 1 to 3, but most commonly 2 venules. Venules from adjacent villi united and drained via the submucosal veins. The second capillary network supplied the glands of the intestinal crypts. The capillary network around adjacent glands anastomosed just below the luminal surface. There were connections between this network and the base of the villus capillary network. Drainage of the glandular capillary network was through these connections and through the villus venules. There was no evidence of arterovenous anastomoses.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research