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  • Author or Editor: D. Reese Hand x
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Objective—To characterize superficial digital flexor (SDF) tendon lesions in the forelimbs of cutting horses and determine recurrence rate and prognosis for this condition.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—19 cutting horses with SDF tendonitis.

Procedures—Medical records for horses evaluated for SDF tendonitis in 2007 through 2011 were reviewed. Data regarding age, sex, lameness grade, affected limb, and treatment were collected. Ultrasonographic images were reviewed, and lesion characteristics were recorded. Follow-up telephone interviews with owners or trainers were conducted to determine recurrence of SDF tendonitis, return of horse to its previous level of activity, and duration of the convalescent period.

Results—All 19 horses initially evaluated for SDF tendonitis had similar lesions in the lateral aspect of the tendon. The right forelimb was affected in 11 horses, and the left forelimb was affected in 7 horses; 1 horse was affected in both forelimbs. Mean lameness grade was 1.26 (range, 0 to 3). Of 17 horses for which follow-up information was available, 3 had recurrence of tendon lesions and 1 developed a lesion in the contralateral forelimb SDF tendon; 16 horses returned to their previous level of activity.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The location of SDF tendonitis in cutting horses appeared to be unique in that no central core lesions were detected ultrasonographically. Lesions at the periphery of the tendon may have an increased ability to heal, compared with lesions at the central core. Results suggested that cutting horses with SDF tendonitis have a better prognosis than that reported for affected racehorses.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine outcome of horses with osteomyelitis of the sustentaculum tali (ST), with or without associated tarsal sheath tenosynovitis, following surgical débridement and lavage.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—10 horses in which a diagnosis of osteomyelitis of the ST had been made on the basis of history, physical examination findings, and results of radiography.

Procedure—Information on results of diagnostic testing, surgical findings, postoperative treatment, and short-term outcome was obtained from the medical records. Long-term follow-up information was obtained through reevaluation of horses at the teaching hospital and telephone conversations with referring veterinarians, owners, and trainers.

Results—Treatment consisted of surgical débridement, intra- and postoperative lavage, and long-term antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory treatment. Eight horses had evidence of involvement of the tarsal sheath. One horse was euthanatized after surgery because of a lack of response to treatment; the other 9 were discharged from the hospital. Severity of lameness had improved, but all still had grade-1 or -2 lameness at the time of discharge. One horse was euthanatized after discharge because of contralateral hind limb laminitis, and another horse was lost to follow- up. Of the remaining 7 horses, 6 returned to their previous use, and 1 was sound but retired for breeding for unrelated reasons.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that horses with osteomyelitis of the ST, with or without concomitant tarsal sheath tenosynovitis, can have an excellent to good outcome and may return to their previous use after surgical débridement of affected tissues and lavage of the tarsal sheath. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;219:341–345)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


OBJECTIVE To determine effects of prosthetic laryngoplasty on return to racing, performance index, and career longevity in racing Quarter Horses with recurrent laryngeal neuropathy (RLN) and to evaluate performance variables for horses with RLN undergoing prosthetic laryngoplasty, compared with a control horse population.

DESIGN Multicenter, retrospective cohort study.

ANIMALS 162 racing Quarter Horses with RLN treated with prosthetic laryngoplasty (case horses) and 324 racing Quarter Horse without RLN (control horses).

PROCEDURES Medical and race records of case and control horses examined at 5 referral centers between January 2000 and December 2015 were reviewed retrospectively. Two control horses were matched with each case horse. Return to racing, earnings, number of racing starts, performance index, and career longevity were evaluated.

RESULTS The odds of returning to racing did not differ significantly between case and control horses but decreased with increasing age. Neither racing starts nor career longevity were affected by prosthetic laryngoplasty or by RLN grade. In fact, horses undergoing laryngoplasty for treatment of RLN and horses with the lowest RLN grade before surgery had higher performance indices after the surgery, compared with indices for control horses.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The faster speeds and shorter distances raced with Quarter Horses could alter how RLN impacts respiratory variables and performance in Quarter Horses, compared with other racehorse breeds. Further study is needed to understand the impacts of RLN and surgical treatments for RLN in racing Quarter Horses.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association