Objective—To assess a technique for laparoscopic collection of serial full-thickness small intestinal biopsy specimens in horses.
Animals—13 healthy adult horses.
Procedures—In the ex vivo portion of the study, sections of duodenum and jejunum obtained from 6 horses immediately after euthanasia were divided into 3 segments. Each segment was randomly assigned to the control group, the double-layer hand-sewn closure group, or the endoscopic linear stapler (ELS) group. Bursting strength and bursting wall tension were measured and compared among groups; luminal diameter reduction at the biopsy site was compared between the biopsy groups. In the in vivo portion of the study, serial full-thickness small intestinal biopsy specimens were laparoscopically collected with an ELS from the descending duodenum and distal portion of the jejunum at monthly intervals in 7 sedated, standing horses. Biopsy specimens were evaluated for suitability for histologic examination.
Results—Mean bursting strength and bursting wall tension were significantly lower in the ELS group than in the hand-sewn and control groups in both the duodenal and jejunal segments. Use of the hand-sewn closure technique at the biopsy site reduced luminal diameter significantly more than use of the stapling technique. In the in vivo part of the study, all 52 biopsy specimens collected during 26 laparoscopic procedures were suitable for histologic examination and no clinically important perioperative complications developed.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Laparoscopic collection of serial full-thickness small intestinal biopsy specimens with a 45-mm ELS may be an effective and safe technique for use in healthy adult experimental horses.
Objective—To assess the safety and efficacy of alcohol-facilitated ankylosis of the distal intertarsal (DIT) and tarsometatarsal (TMT) joints in horses with osteoarthritis (bone spavin).
Design—Prospective clinical trial.
Animals—21 horses with DIT or TMT joint-associated hind limb lameness and 5 nonlame horses.
Procedures—11 horses (group 1) underwent lameness, force-plate, and radiographic examinations; following intra-articular analgesia, lameness and force-plate examinations were repeated. Nonlame horses were used for force-plate data acquisition only. Following localization of lameness to the DIT and TMT joints, contrast arthrographic evaluation was performed; when communication with the tibiotarsal joint was not evident or suspected, 70% ethyl alcohol (3 mL) was injected. Group 1 horses underwent lameness, force-plate, and radiographic examinations every 3 months for 1 year. Ten other horses (group 2) underwent lameness and radiographic examinations followed by joint injection with alcohol; follow-up information was obtained from owners or via clinical examination.
Results—Significant postinjection reduction in lameness (after 3 days to 3 months) was evident for all treated horses. Twelve months after injection, 10 of 11 group 1 horses were not lame; lameness grade was 0.5 in 1 horse. Follow-up information was available for 9 of 10 group 2 horses; 7 were not lame, and 2 remained mildly lame (1 had a concurrent problem in the injected limb, and the other had DIT joint collapse that precluded needle entry).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Intra-articular alcohol injection in horses with bone spavin resulted in a rapid (usually within 3 months) reduction in lameness and joint space collapse.