Objective—To determine clinical and diagnostic imaging findings in young horses with osteochondral fragments involving the dorsomedial aspect of the proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joint.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Procedures—Medical records were reviewed. Follow-up information was obtained through telephone conversations with owners or trainers or by examining race records.
Results—Horses were between 1 and 4 years old. Three had bilateral osteochondral fragments in the forelimbs (n = 2 horses) or hind limbs (1). Radiographically, all but 1 fragment seemed to originate from the dorsomedial aspect of the distal end of the first phalanx. Fragment size ranged from 6 × 9mm to 11 × 21 mm. Three horses had lameness referable to the region of the affected joint; the other 3 horses did not have clinical signs referable to affected PIP joints. Two horses were euthanized shortly after diagnosis at the owners' request because of concerns that the horses would be unsuited for their intended athletic use. Two of the 3 horses in which fragments were incidental findings were able to race successfully, although 1 received intra-articular corticosteroid treatments; the third was retired because of unrelated orthopedic problems.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that osteochondral fragments involving the dorsomedial aspect of the PIP joint may be an incidental finding in young horses. Given the absence of clinical signs in 5 of 9 affected joints and the fact that 3 of 6 horses were affected bilaterally, a developmental origin of the fragments was suspected.
Objective—To compare racing performance before
and after prosthetic laryngoplasty for treatment of
laryngeal neuropathy in inexperienced and experienced
Animals—52 Thoroughbred racehorses treated with
prosthetic laryngoplasty for laryngeal neuropathy.
Procedure—Lifetime race records were analyzed by
use of a verified regression model. Individual race
records and hospital records were also reviewed.
Results—Experienced horses had a decline in performance,
as measured by performance index, earnings
percentage, and mean prediction error, during the 6-month period before prosthetic laryngoplasty.
Performance improved after surgery, relative to performance
in 1 to 4 races immediately before surgery,
but did not attain previous baseline values for performance
index and earnings percentage, although racing
speed was restored to baseline values. Factors
associated with failure to attain baseline levels of performance
included other racing-related injuries and
disorders, major complications of surgery, and age.
Individually, however, many horses had long and successful
careers after surgery. Performance of inexperienced
horses after surgery was at least equal to that
of experienced horses.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In addition to
warning clients of the complications associated with
prosthetic laryngoplasty, it may be prudent to provide
a guarded prognosis for full restoration of racing performance
in older horses, unless they are especially
talented and are free of other racing-related problems.
(J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:1689–1696)