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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine survival rate and athletic ability after nonsurgical or surgical treatment of cleft palate in horses.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—55 horses with cleft palate.

Procedures—13 of the 55 horses died or were euthanized without treatment and were not included in all analyses. Medical records were reviewed for signalment, history, method of diagnosis, soft or hard palate involvement, type of surgical procedure performed, postoperative complications, and survival to hospital discharge. Information on athletic ability was acquired from race records and follow-up conversations with owners, trainers, or referring veterinarians.

Results—The predominant reason for initial evaluation was milk or feed in the nostrils (60%). The diagnosis was confirmed by means of videoendoscopy of the upper portion of the airway in all cases. Most cases involved the soft palate only (92.7%). Twenty-six of the 55 (47.3%) horses underwent surgical repair, and 12 of these had dehiscence at the caudal edge of the soft palate. Among potential racehorses, 14 of 33 had surgery. Of these, 12 of 14 survived to discharge and 2 horses raced. Among potential racehorses, 10 of 33 were discharged without surgery and 2 of these raced. Among nonracehorses, 12 of 22 underwent surgery and 11 survived to discharge. All horses that were discharged and for which follow-up information was available survived to 2 years of age or older without ill thrift despite dehiscence at the caudal edge of the soft palate and continued mild nasal discharge.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Horses with cleft palate had a higher survival rate than previously reported.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To determine whether fracture fragment dimensions, suspensory ligament damage, and racing status at the time of injury were associated with outcome in Standardbred horses with apical fracture of the proximal sesamoid bone.

Design

Retrospective study.

Animals

43 Standardbred racehorses.

Procedure

Medical records, racing records, and radiographs were reviewed, and ultrasonographic findings were scored. Measurements of the fractured portion of the proximal sesamoid bone were made.

Results

Seventy-four percent (32/43) of horses were pacers, and 26% (11/43) were trotters. Statistical differences between trotters and pacers regarding ability to start, number of starts, or amount of money earned after injury were not detected. Females earned significantly more money per start after injury than males. Eighty-six percent (37/43) of fractures involved hind limbs and 14% (6/43) involved forelimbs. Horses with forelimb injuries earned less money per start. Severity of suspensory ligament damage did not affect postinjury racing performance. A higher proportion of horses that had raced before injury returned to racing after surgery than horses that had not raced before injury, although a significant difference between these groups was not detected. Eighty-eight percent of horses that raced before injury raced after injury. Fifty-six percent of horses that did not race before injury raced after injury. Fracture fragment dimensions did not affect outcome.

Clinical Implications

Dimensions of the apical fracture fragment of the proximal sesamoid bone in Standardbred horses and degree of suspensory ligament damage did not affect outcome. Prognosis for return to racing soundness is good in horses that had raced before injury and fair in horses that had not raced before injury. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;214:1653-1656)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association