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Case Description—3 horses were evaluated because of lameness and swelling of the stifle joint subsequent to trauma.

Clinical Findings—All horses had characteristic clinical signs of stifle joint pain and effusion. A medial patellar fracture and lateral collateral ligament avulsion fracture were visible ultrasonographically in each. Radiography, including standard as well as flexed lateromedial, cranioproximal-craniodistal oblique (skyline patellar), and laterally stressed caudocranial views, revealed similar findings.

Treatment and Outcome—Arthroscopic surgery to remove the patellar fracture was attempted in 1 horse with severe desmitis of the lateral collateral ligament; it remained lame afterward. The other 2 horses, with less severe collateral ligament damage, were managed conservatively and returned to athletic use, despite the lack of surgical intervention to repair the patellar fractures.

Clinical Relevance—Special radiographic views were necessary for diagnosis of medial patellar fracture and lateral collateral ligament avulsion fracture in the 3 horses. Ultrasonographic findings pertaining to the collateral ligament may be prognostically important in such situations. The severity of a fracture involving ligament avulsion may be the limiting factor in horses with this combined injury, and this factor should be considered prior to attempting surgical correction of patellar fractures.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To compare the rate of gastric emptying of a semisolid meal by use of the carbon 13-labeled octanoic acid breath test (13C-OBT) and gastric emptying ultrasonography (GEU) in dogs.

Animals—10 healthy dogs.

Procedure—Food was withheld from dogs for 12 hours before ingestion of a test meal (bread, egg, and skimmed milk) containing 13C-octanoic acid. The gastric antrum was visualized by use of a 6.5-MHz microconvex transducer, and the area of the ellipse defined by the craniocaudal and ventrodorsal diameters of the stomach was measured. Samples of expired air and antral images were obtained 30 minutes before ingestion of the test meal and then every 15 minutes for 4 hours and every 30 minutes for a further 2 hours. The half-dose recovery time with the 13C-OBT (t½[BT]) and the gastric half emtying time withGEU (t50%[GEU]) was calculated.

Results—Mean ± SD values for the t½(BT) and t50%(GEU) were 3.44 ± 0.48 hours and 1.89 ± 0.78 hours, respectively. A significant correlation was detected between the t½(BT) and t50%(GEU), although there was a large (1.55 hours) mean difference between these indices.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that there was a correlation between the rate of solid-phase gastric emptying assessed by use of GEU and the 13C-OBT in dogs. Gastric emptying ultrasonography may be a useful, noninvasive method for assessment of the rate of solid-phase gastric emptying in dogs. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1557–1562)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research