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- Author or Editor: Tiffany L. Sarrafian x
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Objective—To determine the clinical applications, short and long-term survival, and complications of using transfixation pin casts for treatment of comminuted phalangeal fractures in adult horses.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Procedures—Medical records were reviewed to obtain information regarding signalment, fracture location, treatment methods, complications, and short-term survival (discharge from hospital). Long-term follow-up information was obtained via contact with owners or trainers.
Results—12 fractures were in a hind limb, and 8 were in a forelimb. Fourteen fractures occurred in a middle phalanx, and 6 occurred in a proximal phalanx. Eleven fractures were treated with internal fixation combined with transfixation pin casts, and 9 fractures were treated with transfixation pin casts alone. Transfixation pin casts were maintained for a mean of 52 days (median, 49 days; range, 1 to 131 days). Fourteen (70%) horses were discharged from the hospital, whereas 6 (30%) were euthanized during the treatment period. Reasons for euthanasia included secondary fracture of the third metacarpal or metatarsal bone, avascularity of the distal aspect of the limb associated with an open fracture, and displacement of the fracture after transfixation pin cast removal. A significantly greater number of horses was discharged from the hospital when the transfixation pin cast was maintained for > 40 days, compared with those in which the transfixation pin cast was maintained for < 40 days.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that horses should be maintained in a transfixation pin cast for a minimum of 40 days, as this was associated with an increase in short-term survival without an increased risk of catastrophic failure.
Objective—To determine major causes of death and the anatomic location of musculoskeletal injuries in Quarter Horse racehorses in California.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—314 Quarter Horse racehorses with musculoskeletal injuries that were necropsied through the California Horse Racing Board Postmortem Program from 1990 to 2007.
Procedures—Postmortem pathology reports were retrospectively reviewed. Musculoskeletal injuries were categorized by anatomic region and described. The number of Quarter Horse starts and starters for the same period of time were obtained from a commercial database for determination of fatal injury incidence.
Results—Musculoskeletal injuries accounted for 314 of the 443 (71 %) Quarter Horse racehorses that died during the 18-year study period. Fatal musculoskeletal injuries occurred at a rate of 2.0 deaths/1,000 race starts and 18.6 deaths/1,000 horses that started a race. Musculoskeletal injuries occurred predominantly during racing (84%) and in the forelimbs (81%). The most common fatal musculoskeletal injuries were metacarpophalangeal and metatarsophalangeal joint (fetlock) support injuries (40%) and carpal (24%), vertebral (10%), and scapular (8%) fractures. Proximal interphalangeal (pastern) joint luxations resulted in death of 3% of horses. Fracture configurations of some bones were consistent with those of Thoroughbred racehorses. Evidence of preexisting stress remodeling of bone was reported for some fractures.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Knowledge of common locations and types of fatal musculoskeletal injuries in racing Quarter Horses may enhance practitioners' ability to detect mild injuries early, rest horses, and help prevent catastrophic injuries.