Objective—To determine clinical and radiographic
findings, treatment, and outcome for llamas with
Procedure—Medical records of llamas admitted
between 1993 and 1998 because of long-bone fractures
were reviewed. Data collected included age,
sex, type of fracture, method of fracture repair, and
postoperative complications. The Fisher exact test
was used to compare age and sex of the llamas with
long-bone fractures with those of the hospital population
of llamas. All owners were contacted by telephone
to determine perceived postoperative problems
and whether the llamas were able to perform as
Results—Mean age was 160.8 days (range, 23 to 365
days). There was 1 male and 5 females. Fractures
were more likely to occur in young llamas (≤ 1 year
old) than in adults. Five of the fractures were attributed
to traumatic episodes. Long bones affected
included the tibia (n = 2), radius (2), femur (1), and
humerus (1). Internal fixation with lag screws, plating,
or both was performed on fractures of all llamas
except 1; that llama was treated by use of confinement
to a stall. None of the llamas had intraoperative
complications, but postoperative complications were
reported in 2 llamas. All fractures healed eventually,
and clients were pleased with outcomes.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Long-bone
fractures in llamas are uncommon. Several types of
long bone fractures can be successfully repaired by
use of internal fixation, resulting in few complications
and minimal convalescent time. (J Am Vet Med Assoc
Case Description—3 horses were examined and treated because of sudden onset of signs of abdominal pain.
Clinical Findings—All horses had a retrosternal (Morgagni) hernia involving the right side of the diaphragm. In each horse, the large colon was incarcerated in a right muscular defect in the diaphragm with a large hernial sac.
Treatment and Outcome—Definitive surgical repair of the hernia was not performed during the initial celiotomy. The hernia was repaired with mesh herniorrhaphy, but without resection of the hernia sac in 2 horses. For 1 horse, conservative management was applied. In the 2 horses treated with surgical correction, no major postoperative complications developed, and all 3 horses have been free of signs of abdominal pain.
Clinical Relevance—Horses with retrosternal hernias involving the diaphragm can develop clinical signs of intermittent obstruction of the large colon and chronic colic. In horses, retrosternal diaphragmatic hernias appear to develop exclusively in the right ventral aspect of the diaphragm and could represent an embryologic defect of diaphragm formation. Affected horses can be successfully treated with mesh herniorrhaphy or, in some instances, with conservative management.
Objective—To characterize features of diagnosis, treatment, and outcome in horses with foreign bodies, exclusive of enteric, inhaled, and foot-penetrating foreign bodies.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—37 horses with foreign bodies.
Procedures—The incidence of equine foreign bodies from 1990 through 2005 was determined by review of data from veterinary schools participating in the Veterinary Medical Database (VMDB). Medical records of horses with foreign bodies at Purdue University were reviewed, and the following information was retrieved: clinical history; signalment; results of physical, radiographic, and ultrasonographic examinations; results of microbial culture of the draining tract or foreign body material; surgical findings; antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory treatments; and complications of the surgical procedure. Long-term follow-up information was obtained from owners or referring veterinarians.
Results—The incidence of foreign bodies in horses with records in the VMDB was 1730/10,000 horse admissions. A preoperative diagnosis of foreign bodies was confirmed via ultrasonography in most horses examined (15/17 horses) and with plain film radiography in a quarter of horses examined (7/24 horses). Wood foreign bodies were the most common (59%; 22/37), followed by metal (24%; 9/37), hair (8%; 3/37), nonsequestrum bone (5%; 2/37), and plant material (3%; 1/37). Postoperative complications associated with the foreign body were more likely to develop with wood foreign bodies (3/22) than with other types of foreign bodies (1/15).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Wood was the most common penetrating foreign body in the horses in our study and was the type associated with the highest incidence of complications. Ultrasonography was more effective in locating foreign bodies than was radiography (plain and contrast) and should be performed in all horses with suspected foreign bodies.
Objective—To determine the extent to which a hydroxyapatite coating promotes pin stability in the third metacarpal bone during transfixation casting in horses.
Animals—14 adult horses.
Procedures—7 horses each were assigned to either an uncoated or hydroxyapatite-coated pin group. Three transcortical pins were placed in the third metacarpal bone of each horse and incorporated into a cast for 8 weeks. Insertion and extraction torque were measured, and torque reduction was calculated. Radiography was performed at 0, 4, and 8 weeks. Lameness evaluation was performed at 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks. Bacteriologic culture of pins and pin holes was performed at pin removal.
Results—All horses used casts without major complication throughout the study. Insertion torque was higher in uncoated pins. There was no effect of group on extraction torque. Hydroxyapatite-coated pins had lower torque reduction. Five of 15 hydroxyapatite-coated pins maintained or increased stability, whereas all uncoated pins loosened. Pin hole radiolucency, lameness grades, and positive bacteriologic culture rates were not different between groups.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Hydroxyapatite coating increased pin stability within the third metacarpal bone of horses during 8 weeks of transfixation casting but did not improve pin performance on clinical assessments. Clinical use of hydroxyapatite-coated transfixation pins may result in greater pin stability; however, further research is necessary to improve the consistency of pin osteointegration and elucidate whether clinical benefits will ultimately result from this approach in horses.