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Abstract

Case Description—A 7-year-old sexually intact male Thoroughbred racehorse was evaluated because of exercise intolerance, respiratory tract noise, and coughing when eating.

Clinical Findings—A persistent dorsal displacement of the soft palate was identified during endoscopic examination of the upper portions of the respiratory tract. Radiography of the pharyngeal and laryngeal regions revealed a hypoplastic epiglottis that was ventral to, and not in contact with, the soft palate. The horse was anesthetized, and an oral endoscopic examination revealed a subepiglottic frenulum that had resulted in the dorsal displacement of the soft palate.

Treatment and Outcome—The frenulum was transected transendoscopically by use of a diode laser. Twenty-four hours following surgery, repeat endoscopic and radiographic examinations revealed that the epiglottis had returned to its correct anatomic position in relation to the soft palate. Four weeks after surgery, endoscopy of the upper portions of the airway revealed recurrence of the dorsal displacement of the soft palate.

Clinical Relevance—A subepiglottic frenulum should be considered as a cause of persistent dorsal displacement of the soft palate in horses. An endoscopic examination of the oropharyngeal region should be performed in horses prior to undertaking any surgical interventions to treat persistent dorsal displacement of the soft palate.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To quantitatively compare 3 commonly used treatments for navicular syndrome (NS) in horses: heel-elevation shoeing alone, heel-elevation shoeing and phenylbutazone administration, heel-elevation shoeing and injection of the distal interphalangeal joint (DIPJ) with triamcinolone acetonide (TA), and all 3 treatments in combination.

Animals—12 horses with NS.

Procedure—A force plate was used to measure baseline peak vertical ground reaction force (PVGRF) of the forelimbs. Each horse's forelimbs were shod with 3° heel-elevation horseshoes; PVGRF was measured 24 hours and 14 days after shoeing. Fourteen days after shoeing (following data collection), phenylbutazone (4.4 mg/kg, IV, q 12 h) was administered (5 treatments). Two hours after the fifth treatment, PVGRF was measured; TA (6 mg) was injected into the DIPJ of the forelimb that generated the lower baseline PVGRF. Fourteen days later, PVGRF was measured. Phenylbutazone was administered as before, and PVGRF was measured. Percentage body weight of force (%BWF) was calculated from PVGRF measurements and used for comparisons.

Results—14 days after shoeing, mean %BWF in both forelimbs significantly increased from baseline; additional administration of phenylbutazone significantly increased %BWF applied from the more lame forelimb. Compared with shoeing alone, there was no significant change in %BWF after injection of the DIPJ with TA in shod horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Heel-elevation shoeing alone and in combination with phenylbutazone administration quantitatively decreased lameness in horses with NS. Although not significant, additional DIPJ injection with TA resulted in further quantitative decrease in lameness, compared with that achieved via shoeing alone. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1247–1251)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To assess gait abnormalities associated with selective anesthesia of the suprascapular nerve (SSN) achieved by use of perineural catheterization and thereby determine the function of that nerve as it relates to gait in horses.

Animals—3 adult horses with no preexisting clinically apparent lameness at a walk.

Procedure—Each horse was anesthetized; the right SSN was exposed surgically for placement of a perineural catheter to permit delivery of 1 mL of 2% mepivacaine hydrochloride. Six hours after recovery from anesthesia, each horse was videotaped while walking (50-step data acquisition period) before and after administration of mepivacaine. Videotapes were reviewed and the proportion of abnormal steps before and after selective SSN anesthesia was assessed. A step was considered abnormal if a marked amount of scapulohumeral joint instability (ie, lateral luxation of the proximal portion of the humerus) was observed during the weight-bearing phase of the stride.

Results—Clinically apparent gait dysfunction was detected in all 3 horses following perineural administration of the local anesthetic agent. Anesthesia of the SSN resulted in scapulohumeral joint instability as evidenced by consistent lateral excursion of the shoulder region during the weight-bearing phase of gait at a walk. The proportion of abnormal steps before and after SSN anesthesia was significantly different in all 3 horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These data support the role of the SSN in shoulder joint stability in horses and define SSN dysfunction as 1 mechanism by which the syndrome and gait dysfunction clinically referred to as sweeny may develop.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Case Description—A 10-year-old Longhorn cow pregnant with a valuable fetus was evaluated because of progressive inspiratory dyspnea of 6 weeks' duration.

Clinical Findings—Physical examination findings were consistent with upper respiratory tract obstruction. A large pedunculated soft tissue mass was evident in the mid-dorsal aspect of the pharynx during palpation and endoscopic examination. Results of microscopic examination of transendoscopic fine-needle aspirates and a biopsy specimen were suggestive of a bacterial granuloma.

Treatment and Outcome—Transtracheal intubation was performed, and the mass was excised with a chain écraseur. Results of histologic examination were consistent with a diagnosis of actinobacillosis. The owner reported that the cow was doing well without any recurrence of respiratory distress 8 months after surgery.

Clinical Relevance—Findings suggested that pharyngeal granuloma resulting from actinobacillosis should be included in the differential diagnoses when examining mature cattle with upper respiratory tract obstruction and that a chain écraseur may be useful for excising soft tissue pharyngeal masses in cattle.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare effects of the locking-loop suture pattern (LLP) and 3-loop pulley (3LP) suture pattern for tenorrhaphy on the intrinsic vasculature of the superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) of horses in vitro after surgery.

Sample Population—16 forelimbs obtained from 8 mature horses.

Procedure—Tenotomy and subsequent tenorrhaphy was performed in anesthetized horses. Following systemic administration of heparin, horses were euthanatized and the limbs were removed and placed under tension to load the flexor tendons. The intrinsic vasculature was then perfused with a mixture of barium sulfate and water. Four-millimeter sections of the SDFT were prepared for microangiographic analysis. Mean vessel density was calculated for each section by use of a grid consisting of 1.5-mm2 vascular assessment squares (VAS). Comparisons were made among the control, LLP, and 3LP groups.

Results—Mean ± SD vessel density was 3.11 ± 0.38, 1.47 ± 0.47, and 2.01 ± 0.63 perfused vessels/1.5 mm2 for control, LLP, and 3LP groups, respectively. Significant differences in vascular density were detected between the control and 3LP groups, control and LLP groups, and LLP and 3LP groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Use of the LLP and 3LP pattern has deleterious effects in vitro on the intrinsic vasculature of the SDFT. However, the 3LP pattern was less disruptive to the intrinsic vasculature, compared with the effects for the LLP. Use of the 3LP tenorrhaphy suture pattern in clinical situations may result in less damage to the intrinsic vasculature of the SDFT of horses during convalescence. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:279–282)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research