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  • Author or Editor: Cathrine T. Fjordbakk x
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Objective—To assess the efficacy of a commercially available topical vapocoolant spray in reducing responses to arthrocentesis of the middle carpal (MC) and metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints and jugular vein catheterization in unsedated horses.

Animals—8 healthy research horses.

Procedures—Arthrocentesis of both MC and MCP joints and bilateral jugular vein catheterization were performed in each horse. Immediately prior to skin penetration, 1 randomly selected MC joint, MCP joint, and jugular vein were sprayed with a vapocoolant liquid (intervention product), and the contralateral MC joint, MCP joint, and jugular vein were sprayed with water (placebo). An observer blinded to the type of spray treatment used evaluated the horses' responses to needle or catheter placement procedures by use of a 6-point categorical scale and a 100-mm visual analog scale.

Results—Responses evaluated via the visual analog scale were significantly reduced after application of the intervention product, compared with responses after application of the placebo, for the MC and MCP joints; no difference in responses to jugular vein catheterization was detected between the 2 treatments.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Vapocoolant spray was safe and effective in reducing horses' responses to arthrocentesis. The use of such products prior to joint injections may reduce procedural nociception and pain anticipation in unsedated horses and may improve the safety of personnel performing such procedures.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine clinical and diagnostic imaging findings in young horses with osteochondral fragments involving the dorsomedial aspect of the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—6 horses.

Procedures—Medical records were reviewed. Follow-up information was obtained through telephone conversations with owners or trainers or by examining race records.

Results—Horses were between 1 and 4 years old. Three had bilateral osteochondral fragments in the forelimbs (n = 2 horses) or hind limbs (1). Radiographically, all but 1 fragment seemed to originate from the dorsomedial aspect of the distal end of the first phalanx. Fragment size ranged from 6 × 9mm to 11 × 21 mm. Three horses had lameness referable to the region of the affected joint; the other 3 horses did not have clinical signs referable to affected PIP joints. Two horses were euthanized shortly after diagnosis at the owners' request because of concerns that the horses would be unsuited for their intended athletic use. Two of the 3 horses in which fragments were incidental findings were able to race successfully, although 1 received intra-articular corticosteroid treatments; the third was retired because of unrelated orthopedic problems.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that osteochondral fragments involving the dorsomedial aspect of the PIP joint may be an incidental finding in young horses. Given the absence of clinical signs in 5 of 9 affected joints and the fact that 3 of 6 horses were affected bilaterally, a developmental origin of the fragments was suspected.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association