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