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Objective—To determine the incidence and anatomic location of and potential risk factors for catastrophic musculoskeletal injuries (CMIs) in racing Quarter Horses.

Design—Retrospective matched case-control study.

Animals—67 racing Quarter Horse racehorses euthanized because of CMIs and 134 matched controls.

Procedures—Data for Quarter Horses that sustained CMIs and the total number of race starts for each year were obtained from 2 Midwestern racing jurisdictions from 2000 through 2011. Information for each horse with a CMI and for 2 randomly selected control horses that ran in the same race but did not incur a CMI were obtained from race records, past performance reports, and video analysis.

Results—There were 61,797 race starts and 82 CMIs from 2000 through 2011 at the 2 racetracks studied, for an overall CMI incidence of 1.33 CMIs/1,000 starts. Sixty-seven horses with CMIs for which complete data were available and 134 matched control horses were included in the study. There was no difference in the incidence of CMIs between the 2 racetracks or over the years studied. The right forelimb was injured in 38 of the 67 (56.7%) horses. Injures to the carpus (24/67 [35.8%]) and metacarpophalangeal joint (fetlock joint; 23/67 [34.3%]) occurred most frequently. Case-control data indicated that the horses with a CMI had fewer starts, were more likely to have stumbled at the break, had a more erratic stride, were fatigued, and trailed in the race, compared with matched controls from the same races. Irrespective of race distance, most of the horses (47/67 [70.1%]) were injured after or within 10 yards before the finish line.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The results of the present study may aid in the identification of racing Quarter Horses at risk for CMIs. The cluster of injuries near the finish line provides a specific focus for future research into methods of injury prevention in this population of racehorses.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To determine whether prophylactic administration of valacyclovir hydrochloride versus initiation of treatment at the onset of fever would differentially protect horses from viral replication and clinical disease attributable to equine herpesvirus type-1 (EHV-1) infection.

ANIMALS 18 aged mares.

PROCEDURES Horses were randomly assigned to receive an oral placebo (control), treatment at detection of fever, or prophylactic treatment (initiated 1 day prior to viral challenge) and then inoculated intranasally with a neuropathogenic strain of EHV-1. Placebo or valacyclovir was administered orally for 7 or 14 days after EHV-1 inoculation or detection of fever (3 horses/group). Effects of treatment on viral replication and clinical disease were evaluated. Plasma acyclovir concentrations and viremia were assessed to determine inhibitory concentrations of valacyclovir.

RESULTS Valacyclovir administration decreased shedding of virus and viremia, compared with findings for control horses. Rectal temperatures and clinical disease scores in horses that received valacyclovir prophylactically for 2 weeks were lower than those in control horses. The severity of but not the risk for ataxia was decreased by valacyclovir administration. Viremia was decreased when steady-state trough plasma acyclovir concentrations were > 0.8 μg/mL, supporting the time-dependent activity of acyclovir.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Valacyclovir treatment significantly decreased viral replication and signs of disease in EHV-1–infected horses; effects were greatest when treatment was initiated before viral inoculation, but treatment was also effective when initiated as late as 2 days after inoculation. During an outbreak of equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy, antiviral treatment may be initiated in horses at various stages of infection, including horses that have not yet developed signs of viral disease.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine whether antemortem core needle biopsy and fine-needle aspiration of enlarged peripheral lymph nodes could be used to distinguish between inflammation and lymphosarcoma in cattle.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—25 cattle with enlarged peripheral lymph nodes.

Procedures—Antemortem biopsies of the selected lymph nodes were performed with an 18-gauge, 12-cm core needle biopsy instrument. Fine-needle aspirates were performed with a 20-gauge, 4-cm needle. Specimens were analyzed by pathologists who were unaware of clinical findings and final necropsy findings, and specimens were categorized as reactive, neoplastic, or nondiagnostic for comparison with necropsy results.

Results—Sensitivity and specificity of core needle biopsy ranged from 38% to 67% and from 80% to 25%, respectively. Sensitivity of fine-needle aspiration ranged from 41% to 53%, and specificity was 100%. Predictive values for positive test results ranged from 77% to 89% for core needle biopsy and were 100% for fine-needle aspiration. Predictive values for negative test results were low for both core needle biopsy and fine-needle aspiration.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that core needle biopsy and fineneedle aspiration can aid in the antemortem diagnosis of bovine enzootic lymphosarcoma. Results of fine-needle aspiration of enlarged peripheral lymph nodes were more specific and more predictive for a positive test result than were results of core needle biopsy.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association