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  • Author or Editor: Jennifer O. Stephen x
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Objective—To describe clinical signs and clinicopathologic findings in donkeys with hypothermia.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—10 hypothermic donkeys.

Procedure—Information on signalment, history, physical examination findings, results of diagnostic tests, treatments, and necropsy findings was extracted from medical records of all donkeys with hypothermia between 1988 and 1998 and compared with information from medical records of all normothermic donkeys and hypothermic horses admitted to the hospital during the same period.

Results—Donkeys were more likely to be hypothermic than horses. The mean age of hypothermic donkeys was 6 years (range, 7 months to 11 years), compared with 4.2 years (range, < 1 month to 15 years) for normothermic donkeys; this difference was not significant. Ten of 12 horses with hypothermia were neonates; there were no hypothermic neonatal donkeys. At admission, 7 of 8 hypothermic donkeys were in good body condition and all hypothermic donkeys were weak. Six hypothermic donkeys were able to maintain sternal recumbency, 1 remained in lateral recumbency, and 3 were able to stand. Of the 10 hypothermic donkeys, 2 survived, 1 died, and 7 were euthanatized. Histologically, the thyroid glands from 4 of 5 hypothermic donkeys appeared abnormal and were similar to those of foals with hypothyroidism. During the months that hypothermic donkeys were admitted, there was not a significant difference in environmental temperatures on days of admission between hypothermic and normothermic donkeys.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Hypothermia is a problem in donkeys during cold winter months, and may not be secondary to other diseases or related to diet or management. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:725–729)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To identify the types of injuries sustained by horses that competed in steeplechase races and determine the prevalence of and risk factors for those injuries.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—2,680 horses that competed in various types of steeplechase races from 1996 through 2000.

Procedure—Data regarding races; environment; equipment problems; the number of horses that entered, started, and finished races; the number of riders that fell; and the number of horses that were slowed or stopped by the rider, ran off the course, fell, and sustained injuries or physical abnormalities during races were collected on a standard form by the official veterinarian who attended each meet. Data from all meets were not recorded; however, in recorded meets, data from every race were reported.

Results—Data for 197 hurdle, 65 timber, 76 flat, and 8 mixed races were recorded. Nine (3.4/1,000 horses that started in races) horses died or were euthanatized, and 7 of those were associated with catastrophic musculoskeletal injury. Seven fractures were recorded. Four fractures involved forelimbs, 1 involved a hind limb, and 2 involved the cervical portion of the vertebral column. All horses with fractures were euthanatized. Deep or hard course conditions were associated with an increased risk of breakdown injuries.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Successful development and implementation of strategies to prevent injuries and death in horses in steeplechase races depend on a clear understanding of the types and prevalence of injuries involved and risk factors associated with those injuries. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1788–1790)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association