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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

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To compare pursestring, Witzel (seromuscular inversion), and seromuscular incision jejunostomy tube placement techniques in vitro.

SAMPLE Jejunal specimens from 10 dogs.

PROCEDURES Jejunal segments (50 cm) were harvested immediately prior to euthanasia from 10 mixed-breed dogs Specimens were harvested with the orad and aborad ends clamped and stored in saline (0.9% NaCl) solution–soaked towels during instrumentation. Three jejunostomy tubes were placed via 3 techniques (pursestring, Witzel, and seromuscular incision), and 2 double lumen central venous catheters were placed at each intestinal end for luminal filling and leak testing. Intestinal luminal area was measured ultrasonographically with specimens suspended in a warm undyed saline solution bath with the intestinal lumen filled with dyed saline solution (intraluminal pressure, 6 mm Hg). Leak testing was performed by means of infusion of dyed saline solution (4 mL/min) until each jejunostomy site failed. Intestinal luminal area and leakage pressure were compared between the 3 tube placement techniques.

RESULTS The Witzel and seromuscular incision techniques decreased the intestinal luminal area measured at the tube insertion site, albeit nonsignificantly. For the seromuscular incision technique, a significant decrease in intestinal luminal area at the intraluminal site of measurement was found. For 2/30 specimens (1/10 pursestring and 1/10 seromuscular incision), failure occurred at pressures within the range of previously reported peak peristaltic pressure for dogs. Failure occurred at supraphysiologic peristaltic pressures for the remaining 28 specimens, including all 10 specimens for the Witzel technique.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE In this in vitro study, all specimens for the Witzel technique withstood physiologic peristaltic pressures during leak testing. Both tunneling techniques (Witzel and seromuscular incision) created a decrease in intestinal luminal area. Further investigation, including in vivo testing, is indicated to evaluate the clinical relevance of these findings.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effects of yearling sale purchase price, exercise history, lameness, and athletic performance (speed) on purchase price of 2-year-old in-training Thoroughbreds and to compare the distance exercised within 60 days prior to 2-year-old in-training sales between horses with high yearling sale purchase prices versus those with low yearling sale purchase prices and between horses with lameness during training and those without lameness during training.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—51 Thoroughbreds.

Procedures—Thoroughbreds purchased at a yearling sale were trained prior to resale at 2-year-old in-training sales. Amount of exercise and lameness status during training and speed of horses at 2-year-old in-training sales were determined. Data were analyzed via the Wilcoxon rank sum test and ANOVA.

Results—Median purchase price of horses at 2-year-old in-training sales was $37,000. The 2-year-old in-training sale purchase price was associated with yearling sale purchase price and distance galloped within 60 days prior to and speed recorded at 2-year-old in-training sales.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Horses with high yearling sale purchase prices typically had high 2-year-old in-training sale purchase prices, had low distances galloped within 60 days prior to 2-year-old in-training sales, and were classified as fast at 2-year-old in-training sales. Lameness alone was not associated with 2-year-old in-training sales purchase price. However, lameness was associated with a low distance galloped before 2-year-old in-training sales, particularly for horses with a high yearling sale purchase price; this finding suggested that yearling sale purchase price can affect training management decisions for horses with lameness.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effects of various presale radiographic findings for Thoroughbreds sold at a yearling sale on 2-year-old racing performance of those horses.

Animals—397 Thoroughbreds.

Design—Cohort study.

Procedures—Thoroughbreds offered for sale at a Thoroughbred sales facility in Kentucky were selected via a randomization procedure. Effects of various presale radiographic findings on the following measures of 2-year-old racing performance were determined: having started a race and having placed (ie, finished in first, second, or third place) in a race at least once, total amount of money earned, and amount of money earned per start.

Results—Of the 397 horses, 192 (48%) started in at least 1 race during the 2-year-old racing year. The odds of failure to start a race as a 2-year-old were 1.78 times as great for horses with forelimb proximal sesamoid bone osteophytes or enthesophytes as for horses without this finding (95% confidence interval, 1.01 to 3.16). The odds of failure to start a race as a 2-year-old were 2.02 times as great for horses with hind limb proximal phalanx osteochondral fragments as for horses without this finding (95% confidence interval, 0.95 to 4.31), although this result was not significant. Radiographic findings did not have an effect on total amount of money earned, amount of money earned per start, or whether horses placed in a race.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Presale radiographic detection of forelimb proximal sesamoid bone osteophytes or enthesophytes or hind limb proximal phalanx osteochondral fragments in yearlings were associated with failure to start a race during the 2-year-old racing year in study horses.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To estimate the seroprevalence of antibodies against H3N8 canine influenza virus (CIV) in a population of US dogs with influenza-like illness (ILI) and to identify factors associated with seropositivity.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—1,268 pet and shelter dogs with ILI in 42 states.

Procedures—Serum samples collected from dogs from 2005 through June 2009 were tested for H3N8 CIV antibodies with a hemagglutination inhibition assay. Intrinsic factors (age, breed, and sex), extrinsic factors (dogs housed in a shelter facility, boarding kennel, or other setting), and geographic region (southwest, west, Midwest, southeast, and northeast) were compared between seropositive and seronegative dogs to identify variables associated with seropositivity.

Results—Most (750/1,268 [59%]) dogs in the study were from Colorado, Florida, or New York. The overall seroprevalence of antibodies against H3N8 CIV was 49% (618/1,268 dogs; 95% confidence interval, 46% to 51%). The annual prevalence of H3N8 CIV seropositivity increased from 2005 (44%) to 2006 (53%) and 2007 (62%), then decreased in 2008 (38%) and 2009 (15%). The likelihood of H3N8 CIV seropositivity was associated with geographic region (southeast during 2005, west and northeast during 2006 and 2007, and northeast during 2008) and exposure setting (dogs housed in a shelter facility or boarding kennel during 2005 and 2006).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of this study suggested there is a need for continued surveillance for H3N8 CIV infection in dogs in the United States and that personnel in communal dog-housing facilities should formulate, implement, and evaluate biosecurity protocols to reduce the risk of CIV transmission among dogs.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare calving-to-conception intervals among cows classified as nonlame, moderately lame, or lame during the prebreeding postpartum period and to examine the relationship between severity of lameness and time to conception in cows that were classified as lame.

Design—Longitudinal study.

Animals—499 Holstein cows.

Procedure—Cows in the prebreeding postpartum period were classified as nonlame, moderately lame, or lame by use of a 6-point locomotion scoring system. Time to conception (days) was compared among cows. A low, medium, or high cumulative locomotion score was assigned to lame cows, and time to conception among those cows was compared. Cows classified as lame were examined on a tilt table for diagnosis and treatment of lameness.

Results—154 (31%), 214 (43%), and 131 (26%) cows were classified as nonlame, moderately lame, and lame, respectively. Most cows classified as lame had laminitis (54%) or disorders of the claw (33%). Median time to conception was 36 to 50 days longer in lame cows than in nonlame cows. Among lame cows, the median time to conception was 66 days longer in cows with high cumulative locomotion scores than in cows with low scores.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Nonlame cows became pregnant more quickly than lame cows. Lame cows with low cumulative locomotion scores during the prebreeding postpartum period became pregnant sooner than lame cows with high scores. Early diagnosis and intervention may mitigate the effects of lameness and improve reproductive performance in lame dairy cows. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:1284–1291)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare milk yield among cows classified as nonlame, moderately lame, and lame and to examine the relationship between severity of lameness and milk yield in cows classified as lame during the first 100 days after parturition.

Design—Longitudinal study.

Animals—465 Holstein cows.

Procedure—Cows were examined weekly during the first 100 days after parturition and assigned a lameness score by use of a 6-point locomotion scoring system (ie, 0 to 5). Milk yield was compared among cows classified as nonlame, moderately lame, and lame. Among cows classified as lame (locomotion score ≥ 4), milk yield was compared for cows with low, medium, and high cumulative locomotion scores. Cows classified as lame were further examined on a tilt table for diagnosis and treatment of lameness.

Results—84 (18%), 212 (46%), and 169 (36%) cows were classified as nonlame, moderately lame, and lame, respectively. Among cows in their second or later lactations, milk yield in lame cows was significantly lower than that in moderately lame and nonlame cows. In addition, among cows classified as lame, milk yield was significantly lower in cows with high locomotion scores during the first 100 days after parturition, compared with cows with low scores. Most (58%) cows classified as lame had laminitis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate a linear relationship between increasing degree of lameness and decreasing milk yield among cows in their second or later lactations. The locomotion scoring system used in this study may be a useful management tool that veterinarians and dairy farmers could adopt for early detection of lameness in dairy cows. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:1292–1296)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To assess the efficacy of prophylactic hoof health examination and trimming during midlactation at reducing the incidence of lameness during late lactation in dairy cows.

Design—Randomized field trial.

Animals—333 Holstein cows.

Procedures—Cows without apparent lameness were randomly allocated into 1 of 2 groups approximately 204 days after calving. Cows allocated to the treatment group (n = 161) were examined on a tilt table for diagnosis and underwent hoof-trimming procedures, if needed, for treatment of hoof disorders or lesions. Cows in the control group (n = 172) were not examined. Cows were assigned a locomotion score weekly for 28 weeks after allocation to a group. The number of cows classified as lame during late lactation (approx 205 to 400 days after calving) was compared between groups to assess the efficacy of prophylactic examination and trimming.

Results—Incidence of lameness during late lactation was 24% in cows in the control group and 18% in cows in the treatment group.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The 25% decrease in number of new cases of lameness in cows undergoing prophylactic hoof health examination and trimming during midlactation may be relevant for the well-being of dairy cows and should not represent a major economic burden to producers.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate WBC concentration, plasma fibrinogen concentration, and an agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID) test for early identification of Rhodococcus equi-infected foals.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—162 foals from a farm with enzootic R equi infection.

Procedure—Blood samples were obtained from each foal at 4-week intervals for measurement of WBC and plasma fibrinogen concentrations and at 2-week intervals for detection of anti-R equi antibody by an AGID assay. Diagnostic performance of WBC and fibrinogen concentrations was assessed by use of receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. For each assay, sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values were calculated at various cutoff points; bacteriologic culture of R equi from a tracheobronchial aspirate was used as the reference standard test.

Results—Diagnostic performance of WBC concentration was significantly higher than that of fibrinogen concentration. Sensitivity and specificity of measurement of WBC concentration at a cutoff of 13,000 cells/µL were 95.2 and 61.2%, respectively; at a cutoff of 15,000 cells/µL, sensitivity was 78.6% and specificity was 90.8%. When a positive test result was used as the cutoff, sensitivity of the AGID assay was 62.5% and specificity was 53.8%.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Monitoring WBC concentration is a useful approach for early detection of infected foals on farms with a high prevalence of R equi pneumonia. In contrast, serologic surveillance by use of an AGID assay is of little benefit for that purpose. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:775–781)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association