Objective—To describe clinical signs and clinicopathologic
findings in donkeys with hypothermia.
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
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
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
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