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Objective—To evaluate changes in digital vascular function in horses with carbohydrate overload (CHO)-induced laminitis and determine the effects of an endothelin (ET) receptor antagonist and nitroglycerin on laminitis-associated vascular dysfunction.

Animals—20 adult horses without abnormalities of the digit.

Procedures—Hemodynamic variables were recorded before (baseline) and hourly after all horses were administered a CHO ration via nasogastric tube. In 4 groups of 5 horses each, saline (0.9% NaCl) solution or ET receptor antagonist (10−5M in digital blood) was administered into the digital arterial circulation according to 1 of 2 schedules. During anesthesia, blood flow; arterial, venous, and capillary pressures; and total, precapillary, and postcapillary resistances were measured in an isolated perfused digit of each horse. In all groups, nitroglycerin was infused (10−5M in digital blood), and digital microvascular assessments were repeated.

Results—The CHO caused a significant decrease in right atrial pressure by 14 hours that was not affected by administration of saline solution or ET receptor antagonist. In isolated digits of anesthetized horses, CHO resulted in a significant decrease in digital blood flow associated with a significant increase in total and postcapillary resistances. Treatment with the ET receptor antagonist and nitroglycerin caused a significant decrease in total resistance. Postcapillary resistance was significantly decreased following treatment with the ET receptor antagonist but was not altered by treatment with nitroglycerin.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Treatment with an ET receptor antagonist and nitroglycerin resulted in significant improvement in vascular resistance in isolated perfused digits of anesthetized horses with CHO-induced laminitis.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To examine the secretory response (in the presence and absence of prostaglandin inhibition) in vitro and structural alterations of colonic mucosa in horses after intragastric administration of black walnut extract (BWE).

Animals—14 adult horses.

Procedure—Seven horses were administered BWE intragastrically and monitored for 11 hours. Tissue samples were obtained from the right ventral, left ventral, and right dorsal colons (RVC, LVC, and RDC, respectively) of the 7 BWE-treated and 7 control horses. Tissue samples were examined via light microscopy, and the extent of hemorrhage, edema, and granulocytic cellular infiltration (neutrophils and eosinophils) was graded. Colonic mucosal segments were incubated with or without flunixin meglumine (FLM) for 240 minutes; spontaneous electrical potential difference and short-circuit current (Isc) were recorded and used to calculate mucosal resistance.

Results—Colonic tissues from BWE-treated horses (with or without FLM exposure) had an overall greater Isc during the 240-minute incubation period, compared with tissues from control horses. The resistance pattern in RVC, LVC, and RDC samples (with or without FLM exposure) from BWE-treated horses was decreased overall, compared with control tissues (with or without FLM exposure). Histologically, colonic mucosal tissues from BWE-treated horses had more severe inflammation (involving primarily eosinophils), edema, and hemorrhage, compared with tissue from control horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In horses, BWE administration appears to cause an inflammatory response in colonic mucosal epithelium that results in mucosal barrier compromise as indicated by decreased mucosal resistance with presumed concomitant electrogenic chloride secretory response, which is not associated with prostaglandin mediation. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:443–449)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To characterize the in vitro effects of oxytocin, acepromazine, xylazine, butorphanol, detomidine, dantrolene, isoproterenol, and terbutaline on skeletal and smooth muscle from the equine esophagus.

Animals—14 adult horses without digestive tract disease.

Procedure—Circular and longitudinal strips from the skeletal and smooth muscle of the esophagus were suspended in tissue baths, connected to force-displacement transducers interfaced with a physiograph, and electrical field stimulation was applied. Cumulative concentration-response curves were generated for oxytocin, acepromazine, xylazine, detomidine, butorphanol, isoproterenol, terbutaline, and dantrolene. Mean maximum twitch amplitude for 3 contractions/min was recorded and compared with predrug-vehicle values for the skeletal muscle segments, and area under the curve (AUC) for 3 contractions/min was compared with predrug-vehicle values for the smooth muscle segments.

Results—No drugs caused a significant change in skeletal muscle response. In smooth muscle, isoproterenol, terbutaline, and oxytocin significantly reduced AUC in a concentration-dependent manner. Maximum reduction in AUC was 69% at 10–4M for isoproterenol, 63% at 10–5M for terbutaline, and 64% at 10–4M for oxytocin.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Isoproterenol, terbutaline, and oxytocin cause relaxation of the smooth muscle portion of the esophagus. The clinical relaxant effects on the proximal portion of the esophagus reported of drugs such as oxytocin, detomidine, and acepromazine may be the result of centrally mediated mechanisms. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1732–1737)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To compare effects of oxytocin, acepromazine maleate, xylazine hydrochloride-butorphanol tartrate, guaifenesin, and detomidine hydrochloride on esophageal manometric pressure in horses.

Animals—8 healthy adult horses.

Procedure—A nasogastric tube, modified with 3 polyethylene tubes that exited at the postpharyngeal area, thoracic inlet, and distal portion of the esophagus, was fitted for each horse. Amplitude, duration, and rate of propagation of pressure waveforms induced by swallows were measured at 5, 10, 20, 30, and 40 minutes after administration of oxytocin, detomidine, acepromazine, xylazine-butorphanol, guaifenesin, or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution. Number of spontaneous swallows, spontaneous events (contractions that occurred in the absence of a swallow stimulus), and high-pressure events (sustained increases in baseline pressure of > 10 mm Hg) were compared before and after drug administration.

Results—At 5 minutes after administration, detomidine increased waveform amplitude and decreased waveform duration at the thoracic inlet. At 10 minutes after administration, detomidine increased waveform duration at the thoracic inlet. Acepromazine administration increased the number of spontaneous events at the thoracic inlet and distal portion of the esophagus. Acepromazine and detomidine administration increased the number of high-pressure events at the thoracic inlet. Guaifenesin administration increased the number of spontaneous events at the thoracic inlet. Xylazine-butorphanol, detomidine, acepromazine, and guaifenesin administration decreased the number of spontaneous swallows.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Detomidine, acepromazine, and a combination of xylazine butorphanol had the greatest effect on esophageal motility when evaluated manometrically. Reduction in spontaneous swallowing and changes in normal, coordinated peristaltic activity are the most clinically relevant effects. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1738–1744)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To evaluate the effects of a cognitive-behavioral skills building program (ie, MINDSTRONG; The Ohio State University) on the mental health outcomes and healthy lifestyle beliefs and behaviors of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) students.


DVM students (n = 62) before beginning their program at a large public Midwest land-grant university.


All 171 incoming DVM students (class of 2024) were required to take the cognitive-behavioral skills building program (7 weeks in length) before starting their 2020 school year. Students were given the option to consent to the study portion of the program. Consenting participants completed a pre- and postsurvey containing demographic questions and 5 valid and reliable scales, including the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 that assesses depressive symptoms, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 that evaluates anxiety, the Brief Inventory of Perceived Stress that measures stress, and the Healthy Lifestyle Beliefs and Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors scales. Descriptive statistics described sample characteristics, paired t tests assessed changes over time in the outcomes Personal Wellness Assessment, and Cohen’s d determined effect sizes.


62 DVM students completed both surveys. Postintervention, students had significant improvements in depressive symptoms, anxiety, and healthy lifestyle beliefs and behaviors.

Clinical Relevance

Although this study used a small convenience sample of DVM students from a single university, a cognitive-behavioral skills building program demonstrated the ability to decrease rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation and improve healthy lifestyle beliefs and behaviors. Requiring DVM students to participate in such programming could provide benefit during their professional education and throughout their careers.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association