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Abstract

Objective—To assess changes in systemic hydration, concentrations of electrolytes in plasma, hydration of colonic contents and feces, and gastrointestinal transit in horses treated with IV fluid therapy or enteral administration of magnesium sulfate (MgSO4), sodium sulfate (NaSO4), water, or a balanced electrolyte solution.

Animals—7 horses with fistulas in the right dorsal colon (RDC).

Procedure—In a crossover design, horses alternately received 1 of 6 treatments: no treatment (control); IV fluid therapy with lactated Ringer's solution; or enteral administration of MgSO4, Na2SO4, water, or a balanced electrolyte solution via nasogastric intubation. Physical examinations were performed and samples of blood, RDC contents, and feces were collected every 6 hours during the 48 hour-observation period. Horses were muzzled for the initial 24 hours but had access to water ad libitum. Horses had access to hay, salt, and water ad libitum for the last 24 hours.

Results—Enteral administration of a balanced electrolyte solution and Na2SO4 were the best treatments for promoting hydration of RDC contents, followed by water. Sodium sulfate was the best treatment for promoting fecal hydration, followed by MgSO4 and the balanced electrolyte solution. Sodium sulfate caused hypocalcemia and hypernatremia, and water caused hyponatremia.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Enteral administration of a balanced electrolyte solution promoted hydration of RDC contents and may be useful in horses with large colon impactions. Enteral administration of either Na2SO4 or water may promote hydration of RDC contents but can cause severe electrolyte imbalances. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:695–704)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To assess changes in systemic hydration, concentrations of plasma electrolytes, hydration and physical properties of colonic contents and feces, and gastrointestinal transit in horses with access to large amounts of grain.

Animals—6 horses with right dorsal colon (RDC) fistulas.

Procedure—In a crossover design, horses were alternately fed 1 of 3 diets: orchard grass hay ad libitum after being adapted to this diet for at least 5 days, orchard grass hay ad libitum and 4.55 kg of grain offered every 12 hours after being adapted to orchard grass hay ad libitum for at least 5 days, or orchard grass hay ad libitum and 4.55 kg of grain offered every 12 hours after being adapted to this diet for at least 5 days. Physical examinations were performed and samples of blood, colonic contents, and feces were collected every 6 hours during a 48-hour observation period.

Results—Grain ingestion had several effects, including changes in the concentrations of electrolytes in plasma; RDC contents became more homogenous, dehydrated, foamy, and less dense; RDC contents flowed spontaneously when the cannula was opened; RDC contents expanded when heated in an oven; and feces became fetid and less formed. Horses did not have any clinical signs of colic, endotoxemia, or laminitis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Changes observed in the colonic contents and feces may be explained by the large amounts of hydrolyzable carbohydrates provided by grain. Access to large amounts of grain may increase the risk of tympany and displacement of the large intestine. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:687–694)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To investigate the effect of ex vivo exposure to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on the expression of inflammatory genes in leukocytes from horses with gastrointestinal (Gl) disease and determine whether the pattern or magnitude of the response to LPS correlated with the type of disease and outcome.

Animals—49 horses with Gl disease and 10 healthy horses

Procedures—Leukocytes were isolated from blood samples and submitted to 3 protocols: immediate freezing, freezing after 4-hour incubation in medium, and freezing after 4-hour incubation in medium containing LPS. Expression of 14 genes associated with inflammation was assessed via PCR assay. Results were compared by disease type and outcome

Results—Horses with Gl disease had colic of unknown etiology (n = 8), Gl inflammation or strangulation (18), or nonstrangulating Gl obstruction (23). Among the 44 horses receiving treatment, 38 were discharged from the hospital and 6 died or were euthanized. Incubation of leukocytes in medium alone changed the expression of several genes. Incubation with LPS resulted in increased expression of interleukin-10 and monocyte chemotactic protein-3 in leukocytes from healthy and sick horses. Leukocytes from horses with nonstrangulating obstruction and horses that survived had less pronounced LPS-induced increases in interleukin-10 expression than did cells from healthy horses. The opposite was evident for monocyte chemotactic protein-3.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—No evidence existed for a reduced response of leukocytes from horses with gastrointestinal disease to ex vivo exposure to LPS. Leukocyte expression of inflammatory genes after ex vivo incubation with LPS appeared to be related to pathogenesis and prognosis. (Am J Vet Res 2010;71:1162—1169)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To investigate whether expression of inflammation-associated genes in leukocytes from horses with gastrointestinal tract (GIT) diseases correlated with the type of disease and outcome.

Animals—10 healthy horses and 50 horses with GIT disease.

Procedures—A blood sample was collected from each healthy horse or horse with GIT disease (during admission to the hospital). Leukocytes were isolated, diluted to a standard concentration, and frozen until RNA extraction. Expression of 14 genes associated with inflammation was quantified by use of a real-time quantitative reverse transcription PCR assay. Results were grouped by GIT disease type and disease outcome for comparison.

Results—Horses with GIT disease had colic of unknown etiology (n = 8 horses), GIT inflammation or strangulation (19), or nonstrangulating GIT obstruction (23). Among the 45 horses receiving treatment, 38 were discharged from the hospital, and 7 died or were euthanized. Compared with healthy horses, horses with colic of unknown etiology had similar gene expression. Significant differences in expression of the interleukin-8, leukocyte-selectin molecule, matrix metalloproteinase-9, platelet-selectin molecule, mitochondrial superoxide dismutase, Toll-like receptor 4, and tumor necrosis factor-A genes were detected between healthy horses and horses with GIT disease. Significant differences in expression of the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, interleukin-8, leukocyte-selectin molecule, matrix metalloproteinase-9, platelet-selectin molecule, mitochondrial superoxide dismutase, Toll-like receptor 4, and tumor necrosis factor-A genes were detected among healthy horses and horses grouped by disease outcome.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Inflammatory gene expression in leukocytes of horses with GIT disease appeared to be related to disease pathogenesis and prognosis.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

OBJECTIVE

To investigate the effects of a small sensor attached to the pastern region of a forelimb on lameness detection and quantification with a portable inertial sensor–based system (PISBS) for lameness detection and quantification in horses.

ANIMALS

20 adult horses (body weight, 410 to 650 kg) with no visible lameness at the walk.

PROCEDURES

In a crossover study design, horses were evaluated at the trot twice using the PISBS with the gyroscope alternately attached to the right forelimb pastern region (as recommended by the manufacturer) or to the left forelimb pastern region (with the sensor flipped 180° on the frontal plane relative to the standard position). Agreement between the 2 instrumentation approaches was investigated graphically and by repeated-measures ANOVA, Pearson correlation analysis, and Bland-Altman analysis.

RESULTS

No effects of instrumentation of a forelimb with the gyroscope were detected on the lame limb or limbs or on lameness severity. Attachment of the gyroscope to a forelimb had no effect on forelimb or hind limb lameness (ie, did not cause or mask lameness) as measured with the PISBS.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Instrumentation of a forelimb with a lightweight gyroscope for lameness evaluations with a PISBS had no effects on lameness measurements in horses. Results suggested that, when indicated, the gyroscope can be attached (while flipped 180° on the frontal plane relative to the standard position) to the left forelimb (rather than the right forelimb).

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare effects of oral supplementation with an experimental potassium-free sodiumabundant electrolyte mixture (EM-K) with that of oral supplementation with commercial potassium-rich mixtures (EM+K) on acid-base status and plasma ion concentrations in horses during an 80-km endurance ride.

Animals—46 healthy horses.

Procedure—Blood samples were collected before the ride; at 21-, 37-, 56-, and 80-km inspection points; and during recovery (ie, 30-minute period after the ride). Consumed electrolytes were recorded. Blood was analyzed for pH, PvCO2, and Hct, and plasma was analyzed for Na+, K+, Cl, Ca2+, Mg2+, lactate, albumin, phosphate, and total protein concentrations. Plasma concentrations of H+ and HCO3, the strong ion difference (SID), and osmolarity were calculated.

Results—34 (17 EM-K and 17 EM+K treated) horses finished the ride. Potassium intake was 33 g less and Na+ intake was 36 g greater for EM-K-treated horses, compared with EM+K-treated horses. With increasing distance, plasma osmolarity; H+, Na+, K+, Mg2+, phosphate, lactate, total protein, and albumin concentrations; and PvCO2 and Hct were increased in all horses. Plasma HCO3, Ca2+, and Cl concentrations were decreased. Plasma H+ concentration was significantly lower in EM-K-treated horses, compared with EM+K-treated horses. Plasma K+ concentrations at the 80-km inspection point and during recovery were significantly less in EM-K-treated horses, compared with EM+K-treated horses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Increases in plasma H+ and K+ concentrations in this endurance ride were moderate and unlikely to contribute to signs of muscle fatigue and hyperexcitability in horses. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:466–473)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To compare data obtained with an inertial sensor system with results of subjective lameness examinations performed by 3 experienced equine veterinarians for evaluation of lameness in horses.

Animals—106 horses.

Procedures—Horses were evaluated for lameness with a body-mounted inertial sensor system during trotting in a straight line and via subjective evaluation by 3 experienced equine practitioners who performed complete lameness examinations including lunging in a circle and limb flexion tests. Agreement among evaluators regarding results of subjective evaluations and correlations and agreements between various inertial sensor measures and results of subjective lameness evaluations were determined via calculation of Fleiss’ κ statistic, regression analysis, and calculation of 95% prediction intervals.

Results—Evaluators agreed on classification of horses into 3 mutually exclusive lameness categories (right limb lameness severity greater than left limb lameness severity, left limb lameness severity greater than right limb lameness severity, or equal right and left limb lameness severity) for 58.8% (κ = 0.37) and 54.7% (κ = 0.31) of horses for forelimb and hind limb lameness, respectively. All inertial sensor measures for forelimb and hind limb lameness were positively and significantly correlated with results of subjective evaluations. Agreement between inertial sensors measures and results of subjective evaluations was fair to moderate for forelimb lameness and slight to fair for hind limb lameness.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results of lameness evaluation of horses with an inertial sensor system and via subjective lameness examinations were significantly correlated but did not have strong agreement. Inertial sensor-based evaluation may augment but not replace subjective lameness examination of horses.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Case Description—13 equids (10 horses, 2 donkeys, and 1 pony) were examined for signs of colic (n = 7), weight loss (6), anorexia (3), and diarrhea (2). Ten equids were evaluated in the fall (September to November). Seven equids had a history of persimmon ingestion.

Clinical Findings—A diagnosis of phytobezoar caused by persimmon ingestion was made for all equids. Eight equids had gastric persimmon phytobezoars; 5 had enteric persimmon phytobezoars. Gastroscopy or gastroduodenoscopy revealed evidence of persimmon ingestion in 8 of 10 equids in which these procedures were performed.

Treatment and Outcome—2 of 13 equids were euthanatized prior to treatment. Supportive care was instituted in 11 of 13 equids, including IV administration of fluids (n = 8) and treatment with antimicrobials (5), NSAIDs (5), and gastric acid suppressants (4). Persimmon phytobezoar–specific treatments included dietary modification to a pelleted feed (n = 8); oral or nasogastric administration of cola or diet cola (4), cellulase (2), or mineral oil (2); surgery (4); and intrapersimmon phytobezoar injections with acetylcysteine (1). Medical treatment in 5 of 7 equids resulted in resolution of gastric persimmon phytobezoars. Seven of 8 equids with gastric persimmon phytobezoars and 1 of 5 equids with enteric persimmon phytobezoars survived > 1 year after hospital discharge.

Clinical Relevance—Historical knowledge of persimmon ingestion in equids with gastrointestinal disease warrants gastroduodenoscopy for evaluation of the presence of persimmon phytobezoars. In equids with gastric persimmon phytobezoars, medical management (including administration of cola or diet cola and dietary modification to a pelleted feed) may allow for persimmon phytobezoar dissolution.

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To evaluate head, pelvic, and limb movement to detect lameness in galloping horses.

ANIMALS 12 Thoroughbreds.

PROCEDURES Movement data were collected with inertial sensors mounted on the head, pelvis, and limbs of horses trotting and galloping in a straight line before and after induction of forelimb and hind limb lameness by use of sole pressure. Successful induction of lameness was determined by measurement of asymmetric vertical head and pelvic movement during trotting. Differences in gallop strides before and after induction of lameness were evaluated with paired-sample statistical analysis and neural network training and testing. Variables included maximum, minimum, range, and time indices of vertical head and pelvic acceleration, head rotation in the sagittal plane, pelvic rotation in the frontal plane, limb contact intervals, stride durations, and limb lead preference. Difference between median standardized gallop strides for each limb lead before and after induction of lameness was calculated as the sum of squared differences at each time index and assessed with a 2-way ANOVA.

RESULTS Head and pelvic acceleration and rotation, limb timing, stride duration measurements, and limb lead preference during galloping were not significantly different before and after induction of lameness in the forelimb or hind limb. Differences between limb leads before induction of lameness were similar to or greater than differences within limb leads before and after lameness induction.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Galloping horses maintained asymmetry of head, pelvic, and limb motion between limb leads that was unrelated to lameness.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research