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  • Author or Editor: Christoph J. Lischer x
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Objective—To monitor the effect of focused extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) on bone and bone-tendon junction of horses without lameness by use of nuclear scintigraphy and thermography.

Animals—6 warmblood horses without lameness.

Procedure—The origin of the suspensory ligament at the metacarpus (OSL-MC) and the fourth metatarsal bone were treated at 2 time points (days 0 and 16) with 2,000 shocks applied by a focused ESWT device at an energy flux density of 0.15 mJ/mm2. One forelimb and 1 hind limb were treated, and the contralateral limbs served as controls. To document the effect of focused ESWT, nuclear scintigraphy was performed on days -1, 3, 16 (before second ESWT), and 19. Thermography was performed on days -1, 0 (1 hour after first ESWT), 1, 3, 8, 16 (twice; before and 1 hour after second ESWT), and 19. On days 3, 16 (first scans), and 19, thermography was performed before scintigraphy.

Results—Scintigraphically, significant variations in radiopharmaceutical activity at the OSL-MC were detected in treatment and control limbs. No significant differences, however, in mean temperature or radiopharmaceutical activity could be detected by use of thermography or nuclear scintigraphy, respectively, between the treatment and control limbs at any time point in response to ESWT.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—After 2 treatments of focused ESWT, no physiologic effect on the studied structures could be demonstrated by use of nuclear scintigraphy or thermography. Results of this study indicate that at currently used ESWT settings, no damage to the bone or bone-tendon junction should occur. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1836–1842)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate the effects of shock wave treatment on cutaneous nerve function, compared with the effects of local nerve block and sedation.

Animals—18 clinically sound Swiss Warmbloods.

Procedure—Horses were randomly allocated to 3 groups and received different amounts and types of shock waves (extracorporeal shock wave treatment [ESWT] or radial pressure wave treatment [RPWT]). Horses were sedated with xylazine and levomethadone. Shock waves were applied to the lateral palmar digital nerve at the level of the proximal sesamoid bones on 1 forelimb. Skin sensitivity was evaluated by means of an electrical stimulus at the coronary band before and 5 minutes after sedation and at 4, 24, and 48 hours after application of ESWT or RPWT. On the contralateral forelimb, skin sensitivity was tested before and 10 minutes after an abaxial sesamoid nerve block.

Results—No significant changes in skin sensitivity were detected, regardless of the shock wave protocol applied. Mean reaction thresholds after sedation were more than twice the baseline thresholds. After the abaxial sesamoid block, no reaction was recorded in any of the horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Application of ESWT or RPWT to the palmar digital nerve had no effect on cutaneous sensation distal to the treated region for at least 2 days after application. The analgesic effect of sedation on reaction to electrical stimuli was distinct but varied among horses. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:2095–2100)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine via histologic examination and scintigraphy the effect of focused extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) on normal bone and the bone-ligament interface in horses.

Animals—6 horses without lameness.

Procedure—Origins of the suspensory ligament at the metacarpus (35-mm probe depth) and fourth metatarsal bone (5-mm probe depth) were treated twice (days 0 and 16) with 2,000 shocks (energy flux density, 0.15 mJ/mm2). One forelimb and 1 hind limb were randomly treated, and the contralateral limbs served as nontreated controls. Bone scans were performed on days −1 (before ESWT), 3, 16, and 19. Histomorphologic studies of control and treated tissues were performed on day 30.

Results—ESWT significantly increased the number of osteoblasts but caused no damage to associated soft tissue structures and did not induce cortical microfractures. A significant correlation between osteoblast numbers and radiopharmaceutical uptake was noticed on lateral views of the hind limb on days 3 and 16 and on caudal views of the forelimb on day 3.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that ESWT has the potential to increase osteoblast numbers in horses. The correlation between increased osteoblast numbers and radio-pharmaceutical uptake 3 days and 16 days after the first ESWT suggested that stimulation of osteogenesis occurred soon after ESWT. No damage to bone or the bone-ligament interface should occur at the settings used in this study, and ESWT can therefore be administered safely in horses.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To compare concentrations of acetic, propionic, butyric, and i- and n-valerianic acids in digesta samples obtained from the rumen, cecum, proximal loop of the ascending colon (PLAC), and rectum of healthy cows and cows with cecal dilatation or dislocation (CDD).


20 cows with CDD and 20 healthy cows.


Samples were collected from all sites during surgical correction of CDD and also from the rectum 1, 2, and 3 days after surgery (group CDD). Samples from healthy (control) cows, matched on the basis of diet and milk yield, were obtained at a slaughterhouse. Concentrations of volatile fatty acids (VFA) were analyzed by use of gas chromatography. Absolute concentration of each VFA was additionally corrected for pH to allow calculation of the concentration of undissociated VFA.


Absolute concentration and concentration of the undissociated form of all analyzed VFA were significantly increased in samples collected from the cecum and PLAC of cows in group CDD, compared with concentrations for control cows. Within 3 days after surgery, significant decreases of the absolute concentration of butyric, i- and n-valerianic acids, and undissociated i- and n-valerianic acids were evident in samples obtained from the rectum of group-CDD cows. Concentrations of VFA in samples obtained from the rectum during surgery correlated with corresponding VFA concentrations in samples obtained from the PLAC.


Concentrations of VFA are increased in the cecum and PLAC of cows with CDD. However, the role of increased concentrations of VFA in the etiopathogenesis of CDD is unknown. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:1540–1545)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research