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Abstract

Case Description—A 12-year-old Thoroughbred was examined because of signs of depression, neck stiffness, and poor performance.

Clinical Findings—Physical examination revealed that the horse was dull, appeared depressed, was reluctant to raise its neck and head above a horizontal plane, and had a temperature of 38.5°C (101.3°F). No radiographic or scintigraphic abnormalities of the neck were found; however, high plasma fibrinogen concentration and relative lymphopenia were identified and the horse was seropositive for antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi. Analysis of CSF revealed neutrophilic inflammation, and results of a PCR assay of CSF for B burgdorferi DNA were positive. Immunologic testing revealed severe B-cell lymphopenia and a low serum IgM concentration consistent with common variable immunodeficiency.

Treatment and Outcome—The horse responded well to do×ycycline treatment (10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb], PO, q 12 h for 60 days) and returned to normal exercise. However, 60 days after treatment was discontinued, the horse again developed a stiff neck and rapidly progressive neurologic deficits, including severe ataxia and vestibular deficits. The horse's condition deteriorated rapidly despite IV oxytetracycline treatment, and the horse was euthanatized. Postmortem examination revealed leptomeningitis, lymphohistiocytic leptomeningeal vasculitis, cranial neuritis, and peripheral radiculoneuritis with Wallerian degeneration; findings were consistent with a diagnosis of neuroborreliosis.

Clinical Relevance—Nervous system infection with B burgdorferi should be considered in horses with evidence of meningitis and high or equivocal serum anti-B burgdorferi antibody titers. Evaluation of immune function is recommended in adult horses evaluated because of primary bacterial meningitis.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Case Description—A 1-day-old Standardbred foal with a history of extreme respiratory distress after birth consistent with upper airway obstruction was evaluated. A temporary tracheostomy tube was placed by the referring veterinarian.

Clinical Findings—On initial examination, there was evidence of hypoxic-ischemic syndrome, secondary to perinatal asphyxia. Endoscopy revealed obstruction of both nares at the level of the choanae; a diagnosis of bilateral choanal atresia was made.

Treatment and Outcome—The foal was anesthetized and underwent transendoscopic laser fenestration of the buccopharyngeal membranes. Three weeks after surgery, cicatricial narrowing of the choanae was apparent and further transendoscopic ablation was performed. Recurrent stenosis necessitated revision surgeries involving a combination of laser ablation with topical administration of mitomycin and, subsequently, a combination of radial incisions into the stenotic tissue and repeated bougienage with a cuffed endotracheal tube. The degree of stenosis decreased, and at 1 year of age, the horse was an appropriate size for its age, had choanae that were almost maximally open (> 85%), and had entered training. Mild stenosis was still evident when the horse was reexamined the following year, although there was no evidence of exercise intolerance or respiratory compromise.

Clinical Relevance—Bilateral choanal atresia in a foal can be successfully treated via transendoscopic fenestration of the buccopharyngeal membranes, enabling the horse to subsequently participate in athletic activities. Secondary problems resulting from initial asphyxia and recurrent stenosis at the surgical site can be overcome but may require prolonged and extensive treatment.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association