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  • Author or Editor: Julie B. Engiles x
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OBJECTIVE To characterize the fecal microbiota of horses and to investigate alterations in that microbiota on the basis of sample collection site (rectum vs stall floor), sample location within the fecal ball (center vs surface), and duration of environmental exposure (collection time).

ANIMALS 6 healthy adult mixed-breed mares.

PROCEDURES From each horse, feces were collected from the rectum and placed on a straw-bedded stall floor. A fecal ball was selected for analysis immediately after removal from the rectum and at 0 (immediately), 2, 6, 12, and 24 hours after placement on the stall floor. Approximately 250 mg of feces was extracted from the surface and center of each fecal ball, and genomic DNA was extracted, purified, amplified for the V1-V2 hypervariable region of the 16S rDNA gene, and analyzed with a bioinformatics pipeline.

RESULTS The fecal microbiota was unique for each horse. Bacterial community composition varied significantly between center and surface fecal samples but was not affected by collection time. Bacterial community composition varied rapidly for surface fecal samples. Individual bacterial taxa were significantly associated with both sample location and collection time but remained fairly stable for up to 6 hours for center fecal samples.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that, for horses, fecal samples for microbiota analysis should be extracted from the center of fecal balls collected within 6 hours after defecation. Samples obtained up to 24 hours after defecation can be analyzed with the realization that some bacterial populations may deviate from those immediately after defecation.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To compare the application and healing of the zip skin closure system (ZSCS) with sutured closure by use of a split-scar model of ventral midline incisions in horses in a prospective, randomized experimental study.


8 adult horses.


All horses underwent an exploratory ventral midline celiotomy with a standardized 30-cm skin incision. Each horse was randomized to have either the cranial 15 cm closed with suture and caudal 15 cm with the ZSCS or vice versa (split-scar model). Skin closure time was recorded and compared. Photography and skin biopsies were taken preoperatively and 14 days postoperatively. Cosmetic appearance was assessed by use of a proposed equine celiotomy incision score. Healing at 14 days was assessed by histopathology.


Skin closure times were faster with the ZSCS compared to sutured incisions. At 14 days postoperatively, the cosmetic appearance (equine celiotomy incision scores) for ZSCS incisions were better than sutured closure and histologic healing scores were not different between methods of closure. Subcuticular sutures were associated with deep dermal inflammation and necrosis independent of epidermal closure methods.


While limitations to the utility of the ZSCS are recognized, the potential benefits of expedient closure, good cosmetic outcome, and satisfactory healing make this method viable for closure of linear wounds or incisions in horses.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research