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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


To determine the relationship between prediction errors of a regression model of racing finish times and earnings or finish position; the relationship between standardized finish times, determined by use of this model, and earnings or finish position; and whether this model was valid when applied to data for horses that underwent surgical treatment.



Sample Populatian—

Records of 6,700 healthy Thoroughbreds racing in Louisiana and of 31 Thoroughbreds with idiopathic left laryngeal hemiplegia that underwent surgical treatment.


Predicted and standardized finish times were calculated by use of the regression model for healthy horses, and the relationships between prediction error (actual – predicted finish time) and standardized finish times, and earnings and finish position, were examined. Then, the regression model was applied to data for horses with hemiplegia to determine whether the model was valid when used to calculate predicted and standardized finish times for lifetime performance data.


Prediction error and standardized finish times were negatively correlated with earnings and positively correlated with finish position and, thus, appeared to be reliable measures of racing performance. The regression model was found to be valid when applied to lifetime performance records of horses with laryngeal hemiplegia.

Clinical Implications—

Prediction error and standardized finish times are measures of racing performance that can be used to compare performances among Thoroughbred racehorses across a variety of circumstances that would otherwise confound comparison. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;210:1641–1645)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine clinical and diagnostic imaging findings in young horses with osteochondral fragments involving the dorsomedial aspect of the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—6 horses.

Procedures—Medical records were reviewed. Follow-up information was obtained through telephone conversations with owners or trainers or by examining race records.

Results—Horses were between 1 and 4 years old. Three had bilateral osteochondral fragments in the forelimbs (n = 2 horses) or hind limbs (1). Radiographically, all but 1 fragment seemed to originate from the dorsomedial aspect of the distal end of the first phalanx. Fragment size ranged from 6 × 9mm to 11 × 21 mm. Three horses had lameness referable to the region of the affected joint; the other 3 horses did not have clinical signs referable to affected PIP joints. Two horses were euthanized shortly after diagnosis at the owners' request because of concerns that the horses would be unsuited for their intended athletic use. Two of the 3 horses in which fragments were incidental findings were able to race successfully, although 1 received intra-articular corticosteroid treatments; the third was retired because of unrelated orthopedic problems.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that osteochondral fragments involving the dorsomedial aspect of the PIP joint may be an incidental finding in young horses. Given the absence of clinical signs in 5 of 9 affected joints and the fact that 3 of 6 horses were affected bilaterally, a developmental origin of the fragments was suspected.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To compare racing performance before and after prosthetic laryngoplasty for treatment of laryngeal neuropathy in inexperienced and experienced Thoroughbred racehorses.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—52 Thoroughbred racehorses treated with prosthetic laryngoplasty for laryngeal neuropathy.

Procedure—Lifetime race records were analyzed by use of a verified regression model. Individual race records and hospital records were also reviewed.

Results—Experienced horses had a decline in performance, as measured by performance index, earnings percentage, and mean prediction error, during the 6-month period before prosthetic laryngoplasty. Performance improved after surgery, relative to performance in 1 to 4 races immediately before surgery, but did not attain previous baseline values for performance index and earnings percentage, although racing speed was restored to baseline values. Factors associated with failure to attain baseline levels of performance included other racing-related injuries and disorders, major complications of surgery, and age. Individually, however, many horses had long and successful careers after surgery. Performance of inexperienced horses after surgery was at least equal to that of experienced horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In addition to warning clients of the complications associated with prosthetic laryngoplasty, it may be prudent to provide a guarded prognosis for full restoration of racing performance in older horses, unless they are especially talented and are free of other racing-related problems. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:1689–1696)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


A study was done to determine whether intra-articular pressure is increased in equine metacarpophalangeal joints with increasing degrees of synovial distention, and to correlate elastance of the soft tissue forming the dorsal pouch of the metacarpophalangeal joint to maximal range of motion in flexion. Sixty-seven metacarpophalangeal joints in 36 horses were categorized by palpation and visual inspection of the palmar pouch into 1 of 4 increasing grades of distention. Intra-articular pressures were then measured, using 2 pressure transducers attached to 22-gauge needles, from the dorsal and palmar pouches simultaneously while horses stood squarely under mild sedation. Intra-articular pressure ranged from −13 to +78 mm of Hg. Mean (± sem) palmar pouch pressure was subatmospheric (−2.53 ± 2.78 mm of Hg) in joints in which the palmar pouch was not discernible (grade 0), and was markedly increased (+37.13 ± 2.775 mm of Hg) in joints in which the palmar pouch was distended laterally beyond the lateral branch of the suspensory ligament (grade 3). Grade of distention was positively correlated with intra-articular pressure (r = 0.758; P < 0.001). Significant compartmentation (P < 0.002) was observed between the dorsal and palmar pouches in all horses. In 25 of the aforementioned horses (42 joints), which were active or retired Thoroughbred racehorses with variable degree of metacarpophalangeal joint injury/disease, a third needle was inserted into the dorsal pouch, and 0.5-ml increments of saline solution were added every 10 seconds to perform a pressure/volume (elastance) study of the dorsal pouch. The elastance study for each joint ended when leakage into the palmar pouch was detected by the pressure transducer placed in that region. A flexed lateral radiographic view was taken of each metacarpophalangeal joint in maximal flexion. The maximal angle of flexion was measured from the radiograph, and this angle was subtracted from 180° to acquire the range of motion in flexion. Range of motion in flexion has strong negative correlation (r = −0.68; P < 0.0001) with elastance (stiffness) of the dorsal pouch, and moderate negative correlation with the initial baseline pressure in the palmar (r = −0.47; P < 0.0015) and dorsal pouches (r = −0.48; P < 0.0001). To adjust for the possible correlations resulting from repeated measures on limbs within horses, a normal linear mixed model was used to assess the effect of limb (right vs left), range of motion in flexion, and volume of saline solution added on the dependent variable (Δ mm of Hg) in the elastance study. There was no significant limb effect, but a highly significant effect regarding volume of saline solution added (P < 0.00001) and range of motion in flexion (P < 0.00001). Loss of range of motion in flexion of this joint is associated with shortening or loss of the initial low elastance (flat) phase of the elastance profile. Measuring the elastance of the dorsal pouch or measuring maximal range of motion in flexion provides an objective measure of the degree of metacarpophalangeal joint stiffness secondary to joint disease.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research