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Objective—To determine the accuracy and precision of dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) for measuring bone mineral density in horses in situ.

Sample Population—12 randomly selected forelimbs from 12 horses.

Procedure—Metacarpi were scanned in 2 planes and DEXA measurements obtained for 6 regions of interest (ROI). Each ROI was isolated and bone density measured by Archimedes' principle. Linear regression analysis was used to determine the correlation between the 2 measurements at each ROI. An additional metacarpus was measured 10 times to determine the coefficient of variation for both techniques.

Results—Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry and bone density were significantly associated at multiple ROI. The addition of age, weight, and soft tissue or bone thickness improved these associations. Repeated measurements had a low coefficient of variation.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry can be used to accurately and precisely measure the bone density in the equine metacarpus. Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry appears suitable for serial in vivo measurement of bone density of the equine metacarpus. Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry may be used for studies to evaluate the effects of diet or drugs on bone density or density changes from bone remodeling that develop prior to stress fractures. ( Am J Vet Res 2001; 62:752–756)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine whether administration of glucocorticoids provides additional benefits to environmental management of horses with recurrent airway obstruction (RAO).

Animals—28 horses with RAO.

Procedure—Horses were classified as having mild, moderate, or severe RAO. Within each category, horses were randomly assigned to receive inhaled fluticasone propionate, inhaled control substance, or oral administration of prednisone. During the 4- week study, horses were maintained outdoors and fed a pelleted feed. Clinical scores, pulmonary function, results of cytologic examination of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), and adrenal gland function were determined before and 2 and 4 weeks after initiation of treatment.

Results—Clinical score and pulmonary function of all RAO-affected horses improved during the treatment period. After 4 weeks, clinical scores and pulmonary function of horses treated with a glucocorticoid were not different from those for the control treatment. In horses with severe RAO, treatment with fluticasone for 2 weeks resulted in significantly greater improvement in pulmonary function, compared with pulmonary function after treatment with prednisone or the control substance. Treatment with a glucocorticoid for 4 weeks and a low-dust environment did not have any effect on cellular content of BALF. Treatment with prednisone for 2 weeks resulted in a significant decrease in serum cortisol concentration, compared with concentrations after administration of fluticasone or the control substance.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Environmental management is the most important factor in the treatment of horses with RAO. Early treatment with inhaled fluticasone can help accelerate recovery of horses with severe RAO. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1665–1674)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research