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  • Author or Editor: Katja F. Duesterdieck-Zellmer x
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A 14-month-old female alpaca presented with a 3-week history of acute left hind limb lameness and swelling of the left tarsal region.


Radiography revealed intermittent dorsal rotation of the talus with tibiotarsal, talocalcaneal, and proximal intertarsal joint subluxation.


In an attempt to stabilize the talus, screws were placed in the distomedial aspect of the talus and the plantaromedial aspect of the central tarsal bone, and a stainless-steel wire was placed around the screws in a figure-eight pattern. The screw head of the proximal screw broke within 4 weeks after surgery, but subluxation did not recur, and the lameness resolved. Seven months later, the same condition was diagnosed in the opposite hind limb and was treated similarly. Implants remained intact on this side, but the animal started to show signs of pain and inability to flex the tarsal joint, prompting removal of the distal screw. Subsequently, the animal became sound and produced 2 healthy crias, but was euthanatized 4 years after the second surgery because of coccidiosis.


Dorsal rotation of the talus with tibiotarsal, talocalcaneal, and proximal intertarsal joint subluxation is a sporadic condition in New World camelids. This report provides the first account of successful treatment by surgical stabilization of the medial aspect of the proximal intertarsal joint.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To determine whether Botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT-A) ameliorates the effects of interleukin 1 (IL-1) on equine articular cartilage, or exerts negative effects on normal equine articular cartilage homeostasis in vitro.


Articular cartilage explants from 6 healthy femoropatellar joints of 3 adult horses.


Explants were allocated to the IL-1 challenged or unchallenged group, then exposed to 1 of 6 concentrations of BoNT-A (0, 1, 10, 50, 100, or 500 pg/mL) for 96 hours. To assess BoNT-A’s effects on inflammation, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) was measured in media via ELISA. Matrix degradation was determined as the percentage of sulfated glycosaminoglycans (sGAG) released from explants via dimethylmethylene blue assay. Aggrecan synthesis was estimated using CS846 ELISA and collagen type II degradation was estimated using C2C ELISA on media. Chondrocyte apoptosis was assessed via in-situ TUNEL assay. Generalized linear mixed models were fitted to determine treatment effects using α = 0.05.


The challenge with IL-1 resulted in increased concentrations of PGE2 and CS846 in media and increased release of sGAG from explants. BoNT-A did not significantly impact PGE2 or CS846 concentration in media, percentage of sGAG released, or chondrocyte apoptosis in IL-1 challenged or unchallenged cartilage explants. The concentration of C2C in media was below the quantifiable limit of the ELISA in all samples.


BoNT-A did not show chondroprotective effects or have negative effects on cartilage homeostasis in vitro at the concentrations tested. While chondroprotective effects were not observed, BoNT-A may be safe for intraarticular use. In vivo testing is warranted before clinical use.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine concentration-dependent effects of tiludronate on cartilage explants incubated with or without recombinant equine interleukin-1β (rEq IL-1).

Sample—Articular cartilage explants from the femorotibial joints of 3 young adult horses.

Procedures—Cartilage explants were incubated with 1 of 6 concentrations (0, 0.19, 1.9, 19, 190, or 1,900 mg/L) of tiludronate and with or without rEq IL-1 (0.01 ng/mL) for 96 hours. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) concentrations in culture medium and explant digests were analyzed via PGE2 enzyme immunoassay. Sulfated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG) concentrations in culture medium were quantified via 1,9-dimethylmethylene blue assay. Chondrocyte apoptosis in paraffin embedded explant sections was measured via terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end–labeling assay. Relative gene expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-8 was determined via the comparative cycle threshold method.

Results—rEq IL-1 increased PGE2 concentration, sGAG release from explants, chondrocyte apoptosis, and MMP gene expression. Lower tiludronate concentrations reduced rEq IL-1–induced sGAG release and chondrocyte apoptosis, whereas the higher tiludronate concentrations increased sGAG release and chondrocyte apoptosis. At the highest tiludronate concentration evaluated, IL-8 gene expression was increased independent of whether rEq IL-1 was present.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Tiludronate had biphasic concentration-dependent effects on cartilage explants that were independent of PGE2 secretion or MMP gene expression. Low tiludronate concentrations had some chondroprotective effects, whereas high tiludronate concentrations were detrimental to equine articular cartilage. Administration of tiludronate intra-articularly to horses may be detrimental, dependent on the dose used. In vivo studies are needed before intra-articular tiludronate administration to horses can be recommended.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To measure penetration efficiencies of low-level laser light energy through equine skin and to determine the fraction of laser energy absorbed by equine digital flexor tendons (superficial [SDFT] and deep [DDFT]).

SAMPLE Samples of skin, SDFTs, and DDFTs from 1 metacarpal area of each of 19 equine cadavers.

PROCEDURES A therapeutic laser with wavelength capabilities of 800 and 970 nm was used. The percentage of energy penetration for each wavelength was determined through skin before and after clipping and then shaving of hair, through shaved skin over SDFTs, and through shaved skin, SDFTs, and DDFTs (positioned in anatomically correct orientation). Influence of hair color; skin preparation, color, and thickness; and wavelength on energy penetration were assessed.

RESULTS For haired skin, energy penetration was greatest for light-colored hair and least for dark-colored hair. Clipping or shaving of skin improved energy penetration. Light-colored skin allowed greatest energy penetration, followed by medium-colored skin and dark-colored skin. Greatest penetration of light-colored skin occurred with the 800-nm wavelength, whereas greatest penetration of medium- and dark-colored skin occurred with the 970-nm wavelength. As skin thickness increased, energy penetration of samples decreased. Only 1% to 20% and 0.1% to 4% of energy were absorbed by SDFTs and DDFTs, respectively, depending on skin color, skin thickness, and applied wavelength.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that most laser energy directed through equine skin was absorbed or scattered by the skin. To achieve delivery of energy doses known to positively affect cells in vitro to equine SDFTs and DDFTs, skin preparation, color, and thickness and applied wavelength must be considered.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research