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Abstract

Objective—To assess changes in systemic hydration, concentrations of electrolytes in plasma, hydration of colonic contents and feces, and gastrointestinal transit in horses treated with IV fluid therapy or enteral administration of magnesium sulfate (MgSO4), sodium sulfate (NaSO4), water, or a balanced electrolyte solution.

Animals—7 horses with fistulas in the right dorsal colon (RDC).

Procedure—In a crossover design, horses alternately received 1 of 6 treatments: no treatment (control); IV fluid therapy with lactated Ringer's solution; or enteral administration of MgSO4, Na2SO4, water, or a balanced electrolyte solution via nasogastric intubation. Physical examinations were performed and samples of blood, RDC contents, and feces were collected every 6 hours during the 48 hour-observation period. Horses were muzzled for the initial 24 hours but had access to water ad libitum. Horses had access to hay, salt, and water ad libitum for the last 24 hours.

Results—Enteral administration of a balanced electrolyte solution and Na2SO4 were the best treatments for promoting hydration of RDC contents, followed by water. Sodium sulfate was the best treatment for promoting fecal hydration, followed by MgSO4 and the balanced electrolyte solution. Sodium sulfate caused hypocalcemia and hypernatremia, and water caused hyponatremia.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Enteral administration of a balanced electrolyte solution promoted hydration of RDC contents and may be useful in horses with large colon impactions. Enteral administration of either Na2SO4 or water may promote hydration of RDC contents but can cause severe electrolyte imbalances. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:695–704)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To assess changes in systemic hydration, concentrations of plasma electrolytes, hydration and physical properties of colonic contents and feces, and gastrointestinal transit in horses with access to large amounts of grain.

Animals—6 horses with right dorsal colon (RDC) fistulas.

Procedure—In a crossover design, horses were alternately fed 1 of 3 diets: orchard grass hay ad libitum after being adapted to this diet for at least 5 days, orchard grass hay ad libitum and 4.55 kg of grain offered every 12 hours after being adapted to orchard grass hay ad libitum for at least 5 days, or orchard grass hay ad libitum and 4.55 kg of grain offered every 12 hours after being adapted to this diet for at least 5 days. Physical examinations were performed and samples of blood, colonic contents, and feces were collected every 6 hours during a 48-hour observation period.

Results—Grain ingestion had several effects, including changes in the concentrations of electrolytes in plasma; RDC contents became more homogenous, dehydrated, foamy, and less dense; RDC contents flowed spontaneously when the cannula was opened; RDC contents expanded when heated in an oven; and feces became fetid and less formed. Horses did not have any clinical signs of colic, endotoxemia, or laminitis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Changes observed in the colonic contents and feces may be explained by the large amounts of hydrolyzable carbohydrates provided by grain. Access to large amounts of grain may increase the risk of tympany and displacement of the large intestine. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:687–694)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine effects on anal pressure of horses after local injection of the external anal sphincter with Clostridium botulinum toxin type B.

Animals—11 healthy adult horses.

Procedure—Peak and resting anal sphincter pressures were measured with a custom-made rectal probe that was connected to a pressure transducer. Pressures were measured before treatment and after injection with botulinum toxin type B (BTB) or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution. Dose titration with 500, 1,000, 1,500, and 2,500 U of BTB was completed. Physical changes, behavior, and anal pressure were recorded for each horse.

Results—Injection of 1,000 U of BTB caused a significant reduction in peak anal pressure from days 2 to 84, compared with pressure in control horses. Maximal effect of the toxin was observed within the first 15 days after injection, followed by a slow return to baseline during the 168-day period. Injection of 2,500 U of BTB in the anal sphincter in 1 horse resulted in lethargy, generalized weakness, and dysphagia for 14 days. Adverse clinical effects were not observed in horses after injections with 500, 1,000, or 1,500 U of BTB.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The effect of focal intramuscular injection of BTB in horses is similar to that reported for other species. However, horses appear to be more sensitive to BTB, compared with other species, and clinical signs of botulism may develop at doses exceeding 1,500 U. Injections of BTB in the external anal sphincter of mares may be useful to reduce incisional dehiscence after repair of perineal lacerations. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:26–30)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the safety and short-term efficacy of intrabursal administration of botulinum toxin type B (BTXB) to alleviate lameness in horses with degenerative injury to the podotrochlear apparatus (PA).

Animals—10 Quarter Horses with degenerative injury to the PA.

Procedures—Degenerative injury to the PA was confirmed with diagnostic analgesia and imaging. Then, BTXB (3.8 to 4.5 U/kg) was injected into the podotrochlear (navicular) bursa of each horse. Three horses were used in a safety evaluation. Subsequently, video recordings of lameness evaluations were obtained for 7 client-owned horses 5 days before (baseline) and 7 and 14 days after BTXB treatment and used to determine the effect of BTXB injection on lameness; 1 horse was removed from the study 8 days after BTXB treatment. Three investigators who were unaware of the treated forelimbs or time points separately reviewed the recordings and graded the lameness of both forelimbs of the horses.

Results—Improvement in lameness of the treated forelimbs was detected at 1 or both time points after BTXB administration in all horses. However, all horses had some degree of lameness at the end of the study. Two horses developed transient increases in lameness 48 to 72 hours after treatment; lameness resolved uneventfully.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Intrabursal injection of BTXB temporarily alleviated chronic lameness in horses with degenerative injury to the PA, without causing serious short-term adverse effects. Further investigation into the potential use of BTXB in horses affected by degenerative injury to the PA is warranted.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research