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Summary

A computer-based search was conducted of medical and necropsy records of horses admitted to the teaching hospital from Jan 1, 1979, to Dec 31, 1987, to obtain the records of all horses admitted to the hospital for colic and subsequently found to have gastric rupture. Fifty cases of gastric rupture were found. The records were reviewed to obtain data regarding peritoneal fluid analysis. Cell counts of these samples were often erroneous because debris and clumps of bacteria were counted when most WBC were lysed.

A cross-sectional study of gastric rupture cases versus all other colic cases regarding season of admission revealed that there was no association between season and the occurrence of gastric rupture. There was also no increased risk associated with age, gender, breed, and the occurrence of gastric rupture.

One hundred colic cases, matched with the gastric rupture cases by year of admission, were randomly selected via a table of random numbers. A questionnaire regarding age, breed, gender, use of the horse, housing, diet, water source, deworming schedule, and medical history was completed from the medical records and phone conversations with the horse owners. The results indicated that horses on a diet of grass hay or grass/alfalfa hay only or those that drank water from a bucket, stream, or pond were at increased risk for having gastric rupture. In contrast, horses fed grain had a reduced risk.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Seven horses with metallic foreign bodies in the mouth or pharynx were examined at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital from 1983 to 1989. The horses had variable clinical signs, such as purulent nasal discharge, swelling of the throatlatch area, and dyspnea. Most of the horses had clinical signs for more than 2 weeks, and had no or only temporary improvement with conservative medical treatment (antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). The definitive diagnostic test in all of the cases was radiography, which also aided in the plan for surgical removal of the foreign body. Once the foreign body was removed from each of the horses, their clinical signs resolved. Most of the foreign bodies were small pieces of wire, the sources of which could not be determined, but that may have been incorporated in baled hay.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

A study was designed to identify epidemiologic factors associated with the development and spread of salmonellae in horses in a veterinary teaching hospital, through a case-control study and a longitudinal follow-up prospective study. In the casecontrol study, 44 horses shedding salmonellae in feces were compared with 99 control horses not shedding salmonellae in feces; regarding breed, sex, age and initial diagnosis, none of the odds ratios for study factors was significant. The factors found to be associated with fecal shedding of salmonellae in the prospective study included diarrhea at the time of admission to the hospital, fever while hospitalized, and a change in diet while hospitalized. Horses identified to be shedding salmonellae in feces were not limited to those with clinical signs of salmonellosis; however, spread of salmonellae from a shedder without clinical signs of disease to other hospitalized horses was not identified. The most common serovars of Salmonella isolated were oranienburg and newport.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine current practices regarding use of antimicrobials in equine patients undergoing surgery because of colic at veterinary teaching hospitals.

Design—Survey.

Sample Population—Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons performing equine surgery at veterinary teaching hospitals in the United States.

Procedure—A Web-based questionnaire was developed, and 85 surgeons were asked to participate. The first part of the survey requested demographic information and information about total number of colic surgeries performed at the hospital, number of colic surgeries performed by the respondent, and whether the hospital had written guidelines for antimicrobial drug use. The second part pertained to nosocomial infections. The third part provided several case scenarios and asked respondents whether they would use antimicrobial drugs in these instances.

Results—Thirty-four (40%) surgeons responded to the questionnaire. Respondents indicated that most equine patients undergoing surgery because of colic at veterinary teaching hospitals in the United States received antimicrobial drugs. Drugs that were used were similar for the various hospitals that were represented, and for the most part, the drugs that were used were fairly uniform irrespective of the type of colic, whereas the duration of treatment varied with the type of colic and the surgical findings. The combination of potassium penicillin and gentamicin was the most commonly used treatment.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of this study document the implementation of recommendations by several authors in veterinary texts that antimicrobial drugs be administered perioperatively in equine patients with colic that are undergoing surgery. However, the need for long-term antimicrobial drug treatment in equine patients with colic is unknown. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:1359–1365)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate antimicrobial susceptibility of commensal Escherichia coli strains isolated from the feces of horses and investigate relationships with hospitalization and antimicrobial drug (AMD) administration.

Design—Observational study.

Animals—68 hospitalized horses that had been treated with AMDs for at least 3 days (HOSP–AMD group), 63 hospitalized horses that had not received AMDs for at least 4 days (HOSP–NOAMD group), and 85 healthy horses that had not been hospitalized or treated with AMDs (community group).

Procedures—Fecal samples were submitted for bacterial culture, and up to 3 E coli colonies were recovered from each sample. Antimicrobial susceptibility of 724 isolates was evaluated. Prevalence of resistance was compared among groups by use of log-linear modeling.

Results—For 12 of the 15 AMDs evaluated, prevalence of antimicrobial resistance differed significantly among groups, with prevalence being highest among isolates from the HOSP–AMD group and lowest among isolates from the community group. Isolates recovered from the HOSP–AMD and HOSP–NOAMD groups were also significantly more likely to be resistant to multiple AMDs. Resistance to sulfamethoxazole and resistance to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole were most common, followed by resistance to gentamicin and resistance to tetracycline. Use of a potentiated sulfonamide, aminoglycosides, cephalosporins, or metronidazole was positively associated with resistance to 1 or more AMDs, but use of penicillins was not associated with increased risk of resistance to AMDs.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that both hospitalization and AMD administration were associated with prevalence of antimicrobial resistance among E coli strains isolated from the feces of horses.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To determine the clinical manifestations, morbidity, mortality, and treatment methods for rattlesnake venom poisoning in horses.

Design

Retrospective analysis of medical records.

Animals

27 horses with acute venom poisoning attributable to prairie rattlesnakes, and 5 with chronic problems subsequent to a rattlesnake bite.

Results

Most horses were bitten on or near the muzzle while on pasture, resulting in head swelling, dyspnea, and epistaxis. Additional manifestations of acute poisoning included fever, tachycardia, tachypnea, cardiac arrhythmia, hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, hemorrhage, thrombosis of venipuncture sites, colic, diarrhea, and prehensile and masticatory dysfunction. Chronic problems included cardiac disease, pneumonia, laminitis, pharyngeal paralysis, and wound complications. The most common chronic problem was cardiac disease. The most commonly used treatments were antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, tetanus prophylaxis, and airway support. Mortality in the 27 acutely affected horses was 18.5%; the overall mortality was 25%.

Clinical Implications

Horses bitten by prairie rattlesnakes may develop multiple, often severe, acute or chronic manifestations of poisoning involving various organ systems. Thorough clinical evaluation, effective treatment, supportive care, and close observation are indicated in horses with rattlesnake venom poisoning. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;208:1866-1871)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the adsorptive capability of di-tri-octahedral smectite (DTOS) on Clostridium perfringens alpha, beta, and beta-2 exotoxins and equine colostral antibodies.

Sample Population—3 C perfringens exotoxins and 9 colostral samples.

Procedures—Alpha, beta, and beta-2 exotoxins were individually co-incubated with serial dilutions of DTOS or bismuth subsalicylate, and the amount of toxin remaining after incubation was determined via toxin-specific ELISAs. Colostral samples from healthy mares were individually co-incubated with serial dilutions of DTOS, and colostral IgG concentrations were determined via single radial immunodiffusion assay.

Results—Di-tri-octahedral smectite decreased the amount of each C perfringens exotoxin in co-incubated samples in a dose-dependent manner and was more effective than bismuth subsalicylate at reducing exotoxins in vitro. Decreases in the concentration of IgG were detected in samples of colostrum that were combined with DTOS at 1:4 through 1:16 dilutions, whereas no significant decrease was evident with DTOS at the 1:32 dilution.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Di-tri-octahedral smectite effectively adsorbed C perfringens exotoxins in vitro and had a dose-dependent effect on the availability of equine colostral antibodies. Results suggested that DTOS may be an appropriate adjunctive treatment in the management of neonatal clostridiosis in horses. In vivo studies are necessary to fully assess the clinical efficacy of DTOS treatment.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To use real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology to develop a highly sensitive and specific diagnostic assay for the detection of Salmonella spp in fecal specimens.

Sample Population—299 fecal specimens from cattle, horses, and dogs.

Procedure—Enrichment of fecal specimens was followed by genomic DNA extraction by use of commercially available isolation kits. Real-time PCR assay was performed to target a Salmonella spp-specific DNA segment. Results of real-time PCR assay were compared with bacterial culture results to determine relative sensitivity and specificity.

Results—Use of the spaQ primer-probe set resulted in a relative sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 98.2%, compared with bacterial culture results when tested on 299 clinical fecal specimens.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—A rapid, sensitive, and specific assay for the detection of Salmonella spp from enriched clinical fecal specimens was developed. This technique would be highly valuable in clinical settings to help avoid or mitigate the complications arising from an outbreak of salmonellosis in a herd or among patients of a veterinary hospital. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1265–1268)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To assess the use of CSF testing with an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) for diagnosis of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) caused by Sarcocystis neurona.

Sample Population—Test results of 428 serum and 355 CSF samples from 182 naturally exposed, experimentally infected, or vaccinated horses.

Procedure—EPM was diagnosed on the basis of histologic examination of the CNS. Probability distributions were fitted to serum IFAT results in the EPM+ and EPM-horses, and correlation between serum and CSF results was modeled. Pairs of serum-CSF titers were generated by simulation, and titer-specific likelihood ratios and post-test probabilities of EPM at various pretest probability values were estimated. Post-test probabilities were compared for use of a serum-CSF test combination, a serum test only, and a CSF test only.

Results—Post-test probabilities of EPM increased as IFAT serum and CSF titers increased. Post-test probability differences for use of a serum-CSF combination and a serum test only were ≤ 19% in 95% of simulations. The largest increases occurred when serum titers were from 40 to 160 and pre-test probabilities were from 5% to 60%. In all simulations, the difference between pre- and post-test probabilities was greater for a CSF test only, compared with a serum test only.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—CSF testing after a serum test has limited usefulness in the diagnosis of EPM. A CSF test alone might be used when CSF is required for other procedures. Ruling out other causes of neurologic disease reduces the necessity of additional EPM testing.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To estimate the national incidence of, operation-level risk factors for, and annual economic impact of colic among horses in the United States during 1998 and 1999.

Design—Epidemiologic survey.

Animals—21,820 horses on 1,026 horse operations in 28 states.

Procedures—Horses were monitored for colic for 1 year, and results were recorded in a log that was collected quarterly. Operation-level data were collected via 4 on-site personal interviews. Associations between colic and independent variables adjusted for size of operation were determined.

Results—Annual national incidence of colic in the US horse population was estimated to be 4.2 colic events/100 horses per year. Case fatality rate was 11%, and 1.4% of colic events resulted in surgery. Annual cost of colic in the Unites States was estimated to be $115,300,000.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The national impact of equine colic is substantial because of the high case fatality rate. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001; 219:67–71)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association