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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.

Animals—6 horses.

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.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To compare racing performance before and after prosthetic laryngoplasty for treatment of laryngeal neuropathy in inexperienced and experienced Thoroughbred racehorses.

Design—Retrospective study.

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)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association