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Objective

To determine the prevalence of wound infection following celiotomy in horses and to determine risk factors associated with the development of such infections.

Design

Prospective study.

Animals

210 horses that had 235 celiotomies.

Procedure

All horses that had celiotomies between March 1990 and March 1992 were considered for this study. Only horses that survived ≥ 10 days after surgery were included in analysis of risk factors for postoperative wound infection.

Results

Of the 210 horses, 161 (76.7%) were discharged; of the horses discharged, 147 horses had a single celiotomy and 14 had multiple celiotomies. Twenty-six (12.4%) horses were euthanatized during surgery and were, therefore, excluded from further analysis. Twenty-three horses died during the postoperative period. Of these 23 horses, 15 that died within 10 days of surgery also were excluded from further analysis. Thus, 169 horses were included in the analysis of risk factors for developing incisional infection.

Evidence of incisional infection was observed in 43 of 169 (25.4%) horses. Increased concentration of fibrinogen in peritoneal fluid obtained prior to surgery, performing an enterotomy, and use of polyglactin 910 to close the linea alba were all significantly (P ≤ 0.05) associated with increased risk of postoperative wound infection.

Whether incisional herniation developed was recorded for 76 horses. The proportion of horses with hernias among those with postoperative wound infection was 19.1 %, compared with 3.6 % of horses without evidence of postoperative wound infection, indicating a significant association between postoperative wound infection and development of incisional hernias.

Clinical Implications

Increased concentration of fibrinogen in peritoneal fluid prior to surgery, performing an enterotomy, and use of polyglactin 910 to close the linea alba is significantly associated with increased risk for wound infection following celiotomy in horses. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;210:78–81)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To determine the incidence of and risk factors for developing diarrhea in horses after celiotomy for colic.

Design

Retrospective cohort study.

Animals

357 adult horses that had celiotomy for colic at the teaching hospital between Jan 1, 1990 and Sep 1, 1994.

Procedure

Medical records of horses that had celiotomy for colic were reviewed to abstract information regarding development of diarrhea, signalment, history, and treatment.

Results

In horses that had celiotomy for colic, the incidence of diarrhea was 53.2% (190/357). Using multiple logistic regression, horses with a disorder of the large intestine were approximately twice as likely to develop diarrhea after celiotomy as horses that had surgery for other types of intestinal lesions (P < 0.001). Even after accounting for the effects of large intestinal surgery, horses that also had an enterotomy were approximately 1,5 times as likely to develop diarrhea (P = 0.042). Diarrhea in horses associated with duration > 2 days, isolation of Salmonella spp from feces, or leukopenia was categorized as being severe. Incidence of severe diarrhea was 27.5% (98/357). Using multiple logistic regression, horses that had surgery of the large intestine were approximately 2.5 times as likely to develop severe diarrhea after celiotomy as horses that had surgery for other types of intestinal lesions (P = 0.006). In horses that had celiotomy for colic, those that were fed grass hay were approximately half as likely to develop severe diarrhea as were horses that were not fed grass hay (P = 0.018).

Clinical Implications

Although the risk factors identified for the development of diarrhea are not alterable, knowledge of them will enable clinicians to better advise clients and to better prepare for medical management of horses after surgery. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;209:810–813)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To determine the outcome of horses with suprascapular nerve injury treated with stall rest alone.

Design

Retrospective case series.

Animals

8 horses.

Procedure

Information on signalment, history, limbs affected, severity of lameness, degree of muscle atrophy, gait abnormalities, and results of radiography and electromyography was obtained from medical records. All horses were treated with stall rest. Follow-up information on severity of lameness, gait abnormalities, degree of muscle atrophy, time between injury and resolution of gait abnormalities, and outcome was obtained during reexamination at the hospital or through telephone conversations with owners.

Results

In 4 horses, the injury was a réduit of trauma; in the other 4, the injury was suspected to be a result of trauma. All horses had pronounced instability of the shoulder joint during the weight-bearing phase. Follow-up information was available for 7 horses. Shoulder joint instability resolved in all 7 horses within 3 to 12 months (mean, 7.4 months) after the original injury. Two horses had complete return of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscle mass 15 and 18 months after the injury. Two horses used as broodmares before the injury and 4 of 5 horses used for riding or in race training before the injury were able to return to preinjury activities.

Clinical Implications

Horses with suprascapular nerve injury treated with stall rest alone have a good prognosis for recovery of normal gait and return to performance; however, the recovery period may be prolonged. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;214:1657-1659).

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Communications between the femoropatellar, medial femorotibial, and lateral femorotibial joints were studied, using fresh equine cadaver specimens. A total of 90 specimens from 45 horses were used. Horses were randomly assigned to 3 groups with 15 horses/group. Each group was assigned an injection site (femoropatellar joint, medial femorotibial joint, or lateral femorotibial joint), and red latex was injected into the respective location of each joint in each group. Immediately after injection, the joints were flexed and extended 100 times. The stifles were frozen in slight flexion, then cut into 1-cm sagittal sections. The communications between the femoropatellar and medial and lateral femorotibial joints were determined.

None of the specimens in this study had communication between all 3 joint compartments. When the femoropatellar joint was injected, 18 of 30 joints (60%) communicated with the medial femorotibial joint, and 1 of 30 (3%) communicated with the lateral femorotibial joint. Injection of the medial femorotibial joint revealed 24 of 30 (80%) joints that communicated with the femoropatellar joint, and 1 of 30 (3%) that communicated with the lateral femorotibial joint. Injection of the lateral femorotibial joint resulted in communication with the femoropatellar joint in 1 of 30 (3%) joints. Communication did not exist between the medial and lateral femorotibial joints.

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

Abstract

Objective—To determine clinical history, structures involved, treatment, and outcome of lacerations of the heel bulb and proximal phalangeal region (pastern) in horses.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—101 horses.

Procedures—Medical records of horses with lacerations of the heel bulb and pastern were reviewed, and follow-up information was obtained.

Results—75 horses were Quarter Horses. Most horses were not treated with antimicrobial drugs prior to referral. Mean ± SD time from injury to referral was 24 ± 45 hours (range, 1 to 168 hours). Lacerations were most frequently caused by contact with wire or metal objects. In 17 horses, lacerations involved synovial structures; the distal interphalangeal joint was most commonly affected. One horse was euthanatized after initial examination. Wound treatment consisted of cleansing, lavage, debridement, lavage of affected synovial structures, suturing of fresh wounds, and application of a foot bandage or cast. Fifty-six horses were treated with systemically administered antimicrobial drugs. Follow-up information was collected for 61 horses. Fifty-one horses returned to their intended use and had no further complications; 10 horses had complications associated with the wound, and of those horses, 5 were euthanatized and 1 horse died from an unrelated cause. Horses with lacerations that involved synovial structures had worse outcomes than horses with lacerations that did not involve synovial structures.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Horses that sustain heel bulb lacerations can successfully return to their intended use. Involvement of the distal interphalangeal joint is associated with poor prognosis. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:418–423)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine history, clinical and radiographic abnormalities, and outcome in horses with signs of navicular area pain unresponsive to corrective shoeing and systemic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug administration that were treated with an injection of corticosteroids, sodium hyaluronate, and amikacin into the navicular bursa.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—25 horses.

Procedure—Data collected from the medical records included signalment, history, horse use, severity and duration of lameness, shoeing regimen, results of diagnostic anesthesia, radiographic abnormalities, and outcome.

Results—17 horses had bilateral forelimb lameness, 7 had unilateral forelimb lameness, and 1 had unilateral hind limb lameness. Mean duration of lameness was 9.2 months. All horses had been treated with corrective shoeing and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for at least 6 months; 18 had previously been treated by injection of corticosteroids and sodium hyaluronate into the distal interphalangeal joint. Fourteen horses had mismatched front feet, and 21 horses had signs of pain in response to application of pressure over the central aspect of the frog. Palmar digital nerve anesthesia resulted in substantial improvement in or resolution of the lameness in all horses. Twenty horses (80%) were sound and returned to intended activities 2 weeks after navicular bursa treatment; mean duration of soundness was 4.6 months. Two horses that received numerous navicular bursa injections had a rupture of the deep digital flexor tendon at the level of the pastern region.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that navicular bursa treatment may provide temporary improvement in horses with signs of chronic navicular area pain that fail to respond to other treatments. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1469–1474)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association