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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To identify the prevalence of fragmentation of the proximal tubercle of the talus (FPTT) in a hospital population of horses, characterize the anatomic features of the affected area and fragments, and describe clinical findings, diagnosis, treatment, and outcome for horses with FPTT.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—9 horses with FPTT.

Procedures—2,543 radiographic views of the tarsal region of 1,526 horses that were evaluated between June 2004 and December 2010 were reviewed. Medical case records for horses with detectable FPTT were retrieved, and signalment, history, clinical signs, diagnostic methods, treatment, and outcome were recorded for assessment.

Results—9 horses (median age, 5 years; age range, 1 to 12 years) with FPTT were identified. Seven horses were warmbloods. Diagnosis was made on the basis of radiographic findings, occasionally along with results of ultrasonography and CT. The only horse that was lame in the affected limb had a history of a prior traumatic event and resultant lateral tibial malleolus fracture. One horse underwent arthroscopy, but fragments were not found and were presumed to be extra-articular. Outcome was available for 7 horses; mean ± SD duration of stable radiographic and clinical examination findings was 3 ± 1 years (range, 1 to 4 years).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—FPTT appeared to occur more frequently in warmbloods and was not usually associated with lameness. Affected horses remained clinically and radiographically stable over time. These data have provided some information regarding the importance of FPTT for practitioners who perform radiographic screenings during prepurchase examinations.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



The objective of this study was to compare the skull morphology of the Straight Egyptian Arabian (SEAR) to the Thoroughbred (TB), using computed tomography (CT) in the context of surgical procedures commonly performed on the equine head.


Measurements relating to surgical considerations of the equine head were taken from 29 clinically normal adult horses (15 SEAR, 14 TB).


A clinical prospective study. Standing skull CTs were performed. Fourteen gross and 10 CT measurements were taken.


Several variables showed a significant difference between groups, in all cases greater in TB. Head length (P < .001) and facial crest length (P < .001) were significantly shorter in SEAR than TB. The head length was shorter relative to body height in SEAR (P < .001). The lateral length of a virtual maxillary bone flap was shorter in SEAR (P < .001). SEAR had smaller craniofacial angles than TB (P = .018).


SEAR skull morphology differs significantly from TB, making surgical approaches potentially more challenging. Compared with TB, the shorter facial crest in the SEAR group could contribute to poor surgical access to the maxillary sinus in SEAR due to shorter maxillary flap lengths. Significant differences in the craniofacial angles between SEAR and TB suggest similarities between SEAR and brachycephalic dog breeds, warranting further investigation.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association