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  • Author or Editor: Francisco A. Uzal x
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Objective—To evaluate the morphologic and physiologic changes induced by Clostridium perfringens type A α toxin in the ileum and colon of sheep.

Sample Population—16 ligated intestinal loops in 4 Merino lambs and 18 explants of ileum and colon from slaughtered lambs.

Procedure—α Toxin–induced fluid accumulation was evaluated in ligated ileal and colonic loops of sheep. Tissues were evaluated morphologically by use of gross and histologic examination. Effects of toxin on in vitro intestinal net water transport were tested in modified Ussing chambers.

Results—Ovine ileal and colonic loops incubated with C perfringens type A α toxin retained more fluid than control loops. Histologically, in the ileum of lambs inoculated with 300 LD50 of α toxin/mL, there was a mild to moderate multifocal infiltration of neutrophils in the lamina propria and submucosa. The colonic loops of lambs inoculated with 30 or 300 LD50 of α toxin/mL had excessive mucus in the lumen, a moderate amount of neutrophils mixed with mucus in the intestinal lumen, and moderate multifocal infiltration of the lamina propria and submucosa with neutrophils; the blood vessels of these layers were engorged with neutrophils. In vitro measurements of water transport also revealed inhibition of net epithelial water absorption in ileum and colon incubated with α toxin on the mucosal side.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These results indicate that α toxin induces alterations in sheep intestine. Clostridium perfringens type A organisms that produce α toxin could be responsible for diseases of intestinal origin in some ruminants. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:251–255)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To determine incidences and underlying causes of fatal intestinal inflammatory lesions (FIILs) and demographic characteristics of affected equids necropsied at any of the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory facilities between January 1, 1990, and April 16, 2013.


710 equids with FIILs, including colitis, duodenitis, enteritis, enterocolitis, enteropathy, enterotyphlitis, gastritis, gastroenteritis, ileitis, jejunitis, typhlitis, or typhlocolitis, alone or in combination.


The medical records were reviewed, and data collected included animal age, sex, geographic origin, necropsy submission date, and breed, purpose, or characteristic of use. Descriptive statistics were compiled and reported as numbers and percentages.


Colitis (323/710 [45.5%]), enteritis (146/710 [20.6%]), and typhlocolitis (138/710 [19.4%]) were the most common FIILs, and the underlying cause of most FIILs was categorized as either undetermined (465/710 [65.5%]) or bacterial (167/710 [23.5%]). The most common bacteria responsible for FIILs were Clostridium spp and Salmonella spp.


Results indicated that the underlying cause for most FIILs could not be identified; however, when it was identified, it was most commonly bacterial and typically Clostridium spp or Salmonella spp, which could be useful information for practitioners when evaluating and managing horses and other equids with intestinal distress. In addition, results underscored the need for improved diagnostic procedures and strategies to determine underlying causes of FIILs in equids. Knowledge of the most common FIILs and their underlying causes may help in diagnosing and mitigating intestinal disease in equids.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine major causes of death and the anatomic location of musculoskeletal injuries in Quarter Horse racehorses in California.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—314 Quarter Horse racehorses with musculoskeletal injuries that were necropsied through the California Horse Racing Board Postmortem Program from 1990 to 2007.

Procedures—Postmortem pathology reports were retrospectively reviewed. Musculoskeletal injuries were categorized by anatomic region and described. The number of Quarter Horse starts and starters for the same period of time were obtained from a commercial database for determination of fatal injury incidence.

Results—Musculoskeletal injuries accounted for 314 of the 443 (71 %) Quarter Horse racehorses that died during the 18-year study period. Fatal musculoskeletal injuries occurred at a rate of 2.0 deaths/1,000 race starts and 18.6 deaths/1,000 horses that started a race. Musculoskeletal injuries occurred predominantly during racing (84%) and in the forelimbs (81%). The most common fatal musculoskeletal injuries were metacarpophalangeal and metatarsophalangeal joint (fetlock) support injuries (40%) and carpal (24%), vertebral (10%), and scapular (8%) fractures. Proximal interphalangeal (pastern) joint luxations resulted in death of 3% of horses. Fracture configurations of some bones were consistent with those of Thoroughbred racehorses. Evidence of preexisting stress remodeling of bone was reported for some fractures.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Knowledge of common locations and types of fatal musculoskeletal injuries in racing Quarter Horses may enhance practitioners' ability to detect mild injuries early, rest horses, and help prevent catastrophic injuries.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the distribution for limbs and bones in horses with fractures of the proximal sesamoid bones and relationships with findings on palmarodorsal radiographic images.

Sample Population—Proximal sesamoid bones obtained from both forelimbs of cadavers of 328 racing Thoroughbreds.

Procedure—Osteophytes; large vascular channels; and fracture location, orientation, configuration, and margin distinctness were categorized by use of high-detail contact palmarodorsal radiographs. Distributions of findings were determined. Relationships between radiographic findings and fracture characteristics were examined by use of χ2 and logistic regression techniques.

Results—Fractures were detected in 136 (41.5%) horses. Biaxial fractures were evident in 109 (80%) horses with a fracture. Osteophytes and large vascular channels were evident in 266 (81%) and 325 (99%) horses, respectively. Medial bones typically had complete transverse or split transverse simple fractures, indistinct fracture margins, > 1 vascular channel that was > 1 mm in width, and osteophytes in abaxial wing and basilar middle or basilar abaxial locations. Lateral bones typically had an oblique fracture and distinct fracture margins. Odds of proximal sesamoid bone fracture were approximately 2 to 5 times higher in bones without radiographic evidence of osteophytes or large vascular channels, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Biaxial fractures of proximal sesamoid bones were common in cadavers of racing Thoroughbreds. Differences between medial and lateral bones for characteristics associated with fracture may relate to differences in fracture pathogeneses for these bones. Osteophytes and vascular channels were common findings; however, fractures were less likely to occur in bones with these features.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research