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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effect of prolonged water exposure on tissue mass and solutes of outer and inner layers of the stratum medium, sole, frog, and the stratum medium (SMZA) zona alba layer of horses' hooves.

Specimen Population—10 hooves from 10 horses without foot abnormalities.

Procedure—Hoof wall tissue specimens were obtained and immersed for 10 days in distilled deionized water. Serial changes in mass were recorded during the immersion period. Subsequently, osmolarity and Na+, K+, Cl, and protein concentrations of the immersion solution were quantified.

Results—Fully cornified outer hoof wall, sole, and frog epidermal structures increased in mass, whereas the SMZA lost mass when immersed in water. All hoof structures had a variable loss of crystalloids during immersion, but none of the specimens lost proteins. The frog epidermis was distinct in that total solute lost during immersion could not be ascribed to Na+, K+, and Cl.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Data support a 2-compartment model for the fully cornified outer stratum medium, frog, and sole that permits the exchange of crystalloids, but not proteins, across the cell membrane and infers that topical agents containing proteins cannot benefit the hoof. The unique osmotic behavior of the SMZA relative to other hoof structures suggests the hypothesis that it is composed of transitional epithelial cells. The solutes lost from frog epithelium are interpreted to reflect its unique lipid composition. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1140–1144)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether a unique dihydropyridine (BAY TG 1000) would be beneficial in preventing laminitis in horses.

Animals—16 clinically normal adult horses.

Procedure—8 pairs of horses were used in a controlled double-blind study, using sex- and agematched horses randomly assigned to treatment or control groups. Horses were subjected to carbohydrate overload to induce laminitis. Treated horses were administered BAY TG 1000 (30 mg/kg, PO, q 24 h) for 3 days. Hoof wall surface temperature (HWST) and lameness were recorded at 4-hour intervals. The HWST was adjusted on the basis of time of onset of lameness and evaluated, using a repeated-measures ANOVA. Lameness 8 hours after onset and clinical status 72 hours after onset of lameness were evaluated, using Mann-Whitney procedures.

Results—Analysis revealed that BAY TG 1000 did not decrease the incidence of lameness but significantly ameliorated prodromal hypothermia, lessened the severity of lameness 8 hours after onset of lameness, and improved the clinical status of horses 72 hours after onset of lameness.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Results support the conclusion that BAY TG 1000 was protective when used in prevention of laminitis. The drug decreased severity and improved clinical status (recovery) of induced lameness, which was interpreted to mean that the drug's actions were on mechanisms important but secondary to primary causal mechanisms of laminitis. Therefore, drugs that enhance digital perfusion via alteration of rheologic activity may have potential use in the prevention and management of laminitis in horses. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:443–447)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the clinical efficacy of topically administered glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) for inducing digital submural vasodilation in clinically normal horses.

Animals—7 adult horses without foot abnormalities.

Procedures—A concurrent-control crossover design was used to determine whether topical application of GTN ointment for prevention or treatment of laminitis would result in a detectable increase in digital perfusion. Heat-acclimated horses instumented for detection of wall surface temperature (HWST), mean systemic pressure, and heart rate were used. Horses were exposed to cold to induce digital vasoconstriction and treated with GTN in an attempt to induce digital vasodilation.

Results—Application of GTN failed to induce an increase in digital submural perfusion but did induce a mild decrease in mean systemic pressure.

Conclusionss and Clinical Relevance—Topical application of 60 mg of GTN as a 2% ointment on the skin over the major vasculature in the region of the proximal interphalangeal joint (pastern) of horses was not effective in significantly increasing digital perfusion. A decrease in mean systemic pressure following treatment was observed, implying that the drug was absorbed. Use of GTN may result in a decrease in digital submural perfusion secondary to induction of peripheral constriction or a decrease in digital perfusion pressure. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:648–652)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the short-term effects of 4 therapeutic shoeing systems on lameness and voluntary limb-load distribution in horses with chronic laminitis.

Animals—10 horses with chronic laminitis.

Procedures—A clinical trial was conducted that used a concurrent control, crossover design to evaluate the relative effectiveness of a standard flat shoe, fullered egg-bar shoe, heart-bar shoe, and modified equine digital support system to alleviate chronic lameness in horses. Therapeutic success was assessed during a 7-day period by use of subjective (Obel grade and clinical score) and objective (forceplate data) evaluations.

Results—Comparison of pretreatment and intertreatment control data indicated that disease status of the horses did not change during the course of the study. None of the therapeutic shoeing treatments used resulted in a significant change in severity of lameness.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results were interpreted to imply that substantial clinical improvement should not be expected during the first 7 days after therapeutic shoeing for the specific shoes tested in this study. On the basis of our results, we hypothesize that when used as the lone indicator of therapeutic success, severity of lameness may not be a valid indicator. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1629–1633)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether solar load distribution pattern on a solid nondeformable ground surface is the product of contact erosion and is the mirror image of load distribution on a deformable surface in horses.

Animals—30 clinically normal horses.

Procedures—Solar load distribution was compared among 25 clinically normal horses during quasistatic loading on a solid nondeformable surface and on a highly deformable surface. Changes in solar load distribution patterns were evaluated in 5 previously pasture- maintained horses housed on a flat nondeformable surface. Changes in solar load distribution created by traditional trimming and shoeing were recorded.

Results—Unshod untrimmed horses had a 4-point (12/25, 48%) or a 3-point (13/25, 52%) wall load distribution pattern on a flat solid surface. Load distribution on a deformable ground surface was principally solar and located transversely across the central region of the foot. Ground surface contact areas on solid (24.2 ± 8.62 cm2) and deformable (69.4 ± 22.55 cm2) surfaces were significantly different. Maintaining unshod horses on a flat nondeformable surface resulted in a loss of the 3- and 4-point loading pattern and an increase in ground surface contact area (17.9 ± 2.77 to 39.9 ± 12.77 cm2). Trimming increased ground surface contact area (24.2 ± 8.60 to 45.7 ± 14.89 cm2).

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—In horses, the solar surface is the primary weight-loading surface, and deformability of ground surface may have a role in foot expansion during loading. Increased surface area induced by loading on deformable surfaces, trimming, and shoeing protects the foot. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:895–900)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the use of hoof wall surface temperature (HWST) as an indirect indicator of digital perfusion and to describe HWST patterns during the prodromal and acute phases of carbohydrate-induced laminitis in horses.

Animals—30 adult horses without foot abnormalities.

Procedures—Three experiments were performed. In the first, HWST was measured in 2 groups of horses acclimatized to hot (n = 6), or cold (6) environments and exposed to cold (15 C) ambient temperature. In the second experiment, HWST were measured in both forefeet of 6 horses before and after application of a tourniquet to 1 forefoot to induce vascular occlusion. In the third experiment, HWST were recorded in 12 horses before and during the prodromal and acute phases of carbohydrate-induced laminitis.

Results—Mean HWST of hot-acclimatized cold-challenged horses was significantly less than that of cold-acclimatized cold-challenged horses at all times. Transient episodes of high HWST were observed during prolonged cold-induced vasoconstriction. Hoof wall surface temperature significantly decreased during arterial occlusion and increased during reperfusion. Digital hypothermia was observed during the prodromal phase of carbohydrate-induced laminitis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Determination of HWST is a valid technique to evaluate digital perfusion under appropriate controlled conditions in horses. Digital hypothermia detected during the prodromal phase of laminitis is consistent with decreased digital vascular perfusion or metabolic activity. If administered to horses during the prodromal phase, agents that enhance digital perfusion may prevent development of laminitis. (Am J Vet Res 2001; 62:1167–1172)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether the bending modulus and yield strength of the outer stratum medium (SM) differed from those of the SM zona alba (SMZA) and to what degree they differed. In addition, a comparison was made among our values and values reported elsewhere.

Sample Population—10 normal equine feet.

Procedure—A 3-point bending technique was used to determine the bending modulus and yield strength of the outer SM and SMZA. Efforts were made to minimize biological and technical factors that could influence the bending modulus.

Results—Bending modulus of the outer SM was (mean ± SD) 187.6 ± 41.3 MPa, whereas mean value for the SMZA was 98.2 ± 36.8 MPa. Mean yield strength was 19.4 ± 2.6 MPa for the outer SM and 5.6 ± 1.7 MPa for the SMZA. Values for bending modulus and yield strength differed significantly between the outer SM and SMZA. Significant differences were not detected when the outer SM was loaded in bending from the outer or inner surface.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Potentially, the SMZA could serve as a mechanical buffer zone between the rigid hoof wall and bone and laminar tissues. This buffer zone potentially assists the feet of horses in transmitting a load through the tissues and prevents the most susceptible tissues from becoming damaged. More consistency among tissue selection, preparation, and testing protocols must be attained before an accurate 3-dimensional finite-element model of an equine foot can be constructed. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:745–751)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To describe submural histopathologic changes attributable to peracute laminitis in horses.

Animals—20 adult horses.

Procedure—A concurrent-control design was used to compare laminar lesions in 10 horses subjected to carbohydrate-induced laminitis with laminar characteristics of 10 sex- and aged-matched control horses with normal feet. Horses in the treatment group were administered an overload of carbohydrate. Tissues were obtained by biopsy 4 to 8 hours after onset of lameness or 72 hours after administration of the carbohydrate overload when lameness did not develop. Sections were stained with H&E, Masson's trichrome, and periodic acid-Schiff stains. Histopathologic changes were analyzed to detect differences between groups and to correlate epidermal changes with severity and duration of lameness.

Results—Analysis indicated that dermal and epidermal lesions were evident despite lack of visible separation of the epidermal basement membrane, can be found in horses without detectable lameness, and were nonspecific and progressive following onset of lameness. Furthermore, severity and location of lesions were associated with severity and duration of lameness.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—These observations are consistent with the concept that separation of the laminar epithelial basement membrane is a delayed step in the pathogenesis of acute laminitis, digital vascular hypoperfusion is an underlying cause for laminitis, and the potential for repeated episodes of subclinical laminitis may underlie the development of structural and mechanical changes consistent with chronic laminitis despite lack of clinical signs of acute laminitis. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:829–834)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objectives—To compare limb-load distribution between horses with and without acute or chronic laminitis.

Animals—10 horses with carbohydrate-induced acute laminitis, 20 horses with naturally occurring chronic laminitis, and 20 horses without foot abnormalities (controls).

Procedures—Limb-load distribution was determined, using a custom-designed system that allowed simultaneous quantification of the mean percentage of body weight voluntarily placed on each limb (ie, mean limb load) and the SD of the mean load over a 5- minute period (ie, load distribution profile [LDP]). Load distribution profile was used as an index of frequency of load redistribution.

Results—Mean loads on fore- and hind limbs in control horses were 58 and 42%, respectively, and loads were equally and normally distributed between left and right limbs. In addition, forelimb LDP was greater, compared with hind limbs, and was affected by head and neck movement. In comparison, limb-load distribution in horses with chronic laminitis was characterized by an increase in the preferential loading of a forelimb, a decrease in total forelimb load, and an increase in LDP that was correlated with severity of lameness. In horses with carbohydrate-induced acute laminitis, mean limb loads after onset of lameness were not different from those prior to lameness; however, LDP was significantly decreased after onset of lameness.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Quantification of limb-load distribution may be an applicable screening method for detecting acute laminitis, grading severity of lameness, and monitoring rehabilitation of horses with chronic laminitis. (Am J Vet Res 2001; 62:1393–1398)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether systemic immunologic hyperreactivity exists in horses with chronic laminitis, compared with responses for nonlaminitic horses.

Animals—7 nonlaminitic horses and 7 CL horses.

Procedure—In experiment 1, intradermal testing (IDT) was performed on 7 nonlaminitic and 7 CL horses to evaluate the response to a combination of 70 allergens at 15 and 30 minutes and 4 and 24 hours after injection. Three nonlaminitic and 3 CL horses used in experiment 1 were used in experiment 2 to determine whether histologic differences existed between the 2 groups. The H&E-stained tissue sections were evaluated on the basis of 3 criteria. For all analyses, 2-sample t-tests were used to determine significant differences between the groups.

Results—In experiment 1, CL horses had significantly higher total responses to IDT than nonlaminitic horses at the first 3 time periods. Also, CL horses had significantly fewer total scores of 0 than nonlaminitic horses at all time periods, except at 24 hours. In experiment 2, we did not detect significant differences between groups for any criterion.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results support the hypothesis that CL horses develop hyperreactivity to various antigenic stimuli, compared with responses for nonlaminitic horses. Therefore, the possibility that antigenic challenge may result in exacerbation of clinical signs of laminitis should be discussed with horse owners. Chronic laminitis should also be a consideration when a horse becomes lame following antigenic challenges. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:279–283)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research