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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe type and distribution of tarsal collateral ligament (CL) injuries and to assess the long-term outcome in horses treated conservatively.

ANIMALS

78 horses (median age, 7 years [IQR, 4 to 9.75 years]) of different breeds and disciplines.

PROCEDURES

Retrospective analysis (2000 through 2020) of horses with tarsal CL lesions diagnosed on ultrasound. The resting time, ability to return to work, and performance level after the injury were compared between horses having a single ligament (group S) or multiple ligaments (group M) affected and according to the case severity.

RESULTS

Most of the horses (57/78) presented a single CL injury, while 21 had multiple CLs affected simultaneously, for a total of 108 CLs injured and 111 lesions. In both groups, the short lateral CL (SLCL) was the most commonly affected (44/108), followed by the long medial CL (LMCL; 27/108). Enthesopathies (72.1%) were more frequent than desmopathies alone (27.9%) and involved mostly the proximal insertion of the SLCL and the distal attachment of the LMCL. Conservative treatment (n = 62) consisted mainly of stall rest. The median resting time (120 days [IQR, 60 to 180 days]) did not significantly differ between the 2 groups (group S vs M) or according to the severity. Most horses (50/62) were able to return to work within 6 months. Horses that did not return (12/62) were more likely to have severe lesions (P = .01). Thirty-eight horses were able to perform at a level equal to or higher than before the injury.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

This study highlights the importance of thorough ultrasound assessment of tarsal CL injuries and demonstrates that conservative management is a viable option to allow these horses to return to previous performance level.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To measure the trunk vertical displacement (VD) in horses trotting on a water treadmill (WT) at different water depths (WDs) and speeds.

ANIMALS

6 sound Standardbred horses (median age 12 years [IQR:10.5-12]).

METHODS

The horses were trotted on a WT at 2 speeds (3.5 m/s and 5 m/s) and during 4 conditions: dry treadmill (DT), WD at mid-cannon (WD-CAN), mid-radius (WD-RAD), and shoulder (WD-SHOUL). The dorsoventral movement was obtained with accelerometers placed over the withers, thoracolumbar junction (T18), tuber sacrale (TS), and sacrum (S5). The VD was defined with the median value of the upward (Up) and downward (Down) amplitudes of the vertical excursion during each stride. The difference of VD at each sensor location was compared between the DT and the 3 WDs, and between the 2 trotting speeds for the same condition.

RESULTS

The VD amplitudes were significantly increased at any sensor location when trotting in water at WD-CAN and WD-RAD compared to DT (P < .05 for all), with the highest increase at WD-RAD and T18. When the speed increased from 3.5 to 5 m/s, the VD amplitudes were significantly decreased at T18 at each water level (P = .03), and at WD-RAD only for the withers and TS (P = .03).

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Both water depth and speed affect the trunk VD in horses at trot on a WT with an opposite effect. The VD increases when increasing the WD up to mid-radius, while the VD decreases when increasing the trotting speed, with the main effects observed at the thoracolumbar junction.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research