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  • Author or Editor: Hélène Richard x
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Objective—To evaluate the effects of continuous oral administration of phenylbutazone on serum and synovial fluid biomarkers of skeletal matrix metabolism in horses.

Animals—11 adult female horses without clinical or radiographic evidence of joint disease.

Procedures—Horses were randomly assigned to control or treatment groups. Phenylbutazone was administered orally twice daily at a dose of 4.4 mg/kg for 3 days to the treatment group and subsequently at a dose of 2.2 mg/kg for 7 days. Serum and radiocarpal synovial fluid samples were obtained at baseline and thereafter at regular intervals for 4 weeks. Biomarkers of cartilage aggrecan synthesis (chondroitin sulfate 846) and type II collagen synthesis (procollagen type II C-propeptide) and degradation (collagen type II cleavage) were assayed. Biomarkers of bone synthesis (osteocalcin) and resorption (C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen) were also measured.

Results—No significant differences were found between control and treatment groups or temporally for the biomarkers chondroitin sulfate 846, procollagen type II C-propeptide, collagen type II cleavage, and C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen in serum or synovial fluid. A significant increase in osteocalcin concentration occurred in synovial fluid during treatment in the treated group. No treatment effect was detected for serum osteocalcin concentration.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that continuous phenylbutazone administration at recommended doses altered some biomarkers in healthy equine joints after short periods of administration. Increased osteocalcin concentration may indicate an undetermined anabolic effect of phenylbutazone administration on periarticular bone or transient induction of osteogenesis in articular chondrocytes or a mesenchymal subpopulation of synoviocytes.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



Assess femorotibial features in foals with and without medial femoral condyle (MFC) subchondral radiolucencies (SR+ and SR–).


3 independent, sequential radiographic studies were performed. Study 1 retrospectively measured femorotibial morphological parameters in repository radiographs (SR– and SR+). Study 2 qualitatively compared drawings of intercondylar notch shape in postmortem radiographs (SR–). Study 3 prospectively measured femorotibial parameters in 1-month-old foals (SR–). In studies 1 and 3, 13 morphologic parameters were measured. Limb directional asymmetry was assessed in 2 age groups (< 7 or ≥ 7 months).


Study 1 (SR– group; n = 183 radiographs) showed increased femoral measurements with maturation, except the distal femoral intercondylar notch width (FINwal), which decreased. In contrast, in SR+ stifles (53 radiographs), 3 femoral parameters (MFC width [MFCwpf], MFC height, or FINwal) showed no changes. Tibial plateau width alone increased with maturation in both groups. Interobserver reliability was good to excellent. Study 2 (n = 53 radiographs) confirmed a distal FINw decrease in SR– foals. In study 1, left SR– stifles in greater than or equal to 7-month-old fillies had significantly larger femoral bicondylar width and FINw, while right SR+ stifles in fillies greater than or equal to 7 months had a significantly larger MFCw. In study 3 of 1-month-old foals (n = 94 SR– radiographs), the MFCw, femoral condyle bicondylar width, and lateral femoral condyle height were all greater on the left, whereas the intercondylar intereminence space width was larger on the right.


In SR+ stifles, the distal femur exhibited divergent maturation, indicating a wider MFC in the right stifle in older foals. As SR lesions are more common on the right, this suggests a potential association with MFC morphology.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research