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  • Author or Editor: Christopher B. O'Sullivan x
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Objective—To determine clinical characteristics of and outcome in Thoroughbred racehorses with tibial or humeral stress fractures.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—99 Thoroughbreds with tibial or humeral stress fractures.

Procedure—Information obtained from the medical records included history, signalment, and clinical, radiographic, and scintigraphic findings. Outcome was determined by interviewing trainers, performing follow- up examinations, and analyzing race records.

Results—Seventy-four tibial stress fractures were identified in 61 Thoroughbreds, and 48 humeral stress fractures were identified in 39 Thoroughbreds (1 horse was included in both groups). Tibial stress fractures occurred most commonly in 2-year-old or unraced horses. Fractures were located in 1 of 3 sites in the tibia (most commonly, the caudolateral cortex of the mid-diaphysis) and 1 of 4 sites in the humerus (most commonly, the caudodistal cortex). Forty-four of 58 (76%) tibial stress fractures and 18 of 32 (56%) humeral stress fractures were identified radiographically. Humeral stress fractures involving the caudodistal cortex were not detected radiographically. Treatment consisted of rest and exercise restriction, and 49 of 61 (80%) horses with tibial stress fractures and 30 of 39 (77%) horses with humeral stress fractures returned to racing. Humeral stress fractures recurred in 6 horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that in Thoroughbred racehorses, tibial stress fractures occurred most commonly in unraced 2 year olds, whereas humeral fractures occurred most commonly in older horses that had raced previously. The prognosis for racing following treatment was good. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:491–498)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To determine the effect of a mobile UV-C disinfection device on the environmental bacterial bioburden in veterinary facilities.


40 swab samples of surfaces from the operating theaters of 3 veterinary hospitals and 1 necropsy laboratory.


Various surfaces were swabbed, and collected material was eluted from the swabs in PBSS. Then, an aliquot of the sample fluid was processed with a bacteria-specific rapid metabolic assay to quantify bacterial bioburden. Each site was then treated with UV-C light with an automated disinfection device for approximately 45 minutes. The same surfaces were swabbed following UV-C treatment, and bioburden was quantified. The bioburden at additional time points, including after a second UV-C treatment, was determined for the small animal operating theater.


All surfaces at all sites had a persistent viable bacterial population following manual cleaning. Disinfection with UV-C achieved a mean bioburden reduction of 94% (SD, 5.2%; range, 91% to 95%) for all surfaces, compared with manual disinfection alone. Repeated UV-C treatment of the small animal operating theater reduced mean bioburden by 99% (SD, 0.8%), including no detectable bacteria on 4 of 10 surfaces.


Disinfection with UV-C light may be a beneficial adjunct method for terminal disinfection of veterinary operating theaters to reduce environmental bioburden.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To investigate the effect of laser shock peening on the fatigue life and surface characteristics of 3.5-mm-diameter cortical bone screws.

Sample Population—32 stainless steel, 3.5-mm-diameter cortical bone screws.

Procedure—Screws were randomly assigned to an untreated control group or 2 power-density treatment groups, 6 gigawatts (GW)/cm2 and 8.5 GW/cm2, for laser shock peening. Number of cycles to failure and findings on scanning electron microscopy-assisted morphometric evaluation, including the mode of failure, surface debris, surface damage, and thread deformation, were compared between control and treated screws.

Results—The 6 GW/cm2 treated screws had a significant (11%) improvement in fatigue life, compared with untreated control screws. The 8.5 GW/cm2 treated screws had a significant (20%) decrease in fatigue life, compared with control screws. A mild but significant increase in thread deformation was evident in all treated screws, compared with control screws. The 8.5 GW/cm2 treated screws had significantly more surface irregularities (elevations and pits), compared with control or 6 GW/cm2 treated screws.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A modest positive increase in fatigue strength was produced by this design of laser shock peening on the midshaft of cortical bone screws. High laser shock peening power densities were detrimental, decreasing screw fatigue strength probably resulting from structural damage. Greater fatigue life of cortical bone screws can be generated with laser shock peening and could reduce screw breakage as a cause of implant failure; however, future studies will be necessary to address biocompatibility, alternative cleaning techniques, alterations in screw strength and pullout characteristics, and effects on susceptibility to corrosion. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:972–976)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research