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OBJECTIVE To describe the use of CT in the diagnosis of and presurgical planning for equids with keratomas treated by hoof wall resection and determine postoperative complications and outcome.

DESIGN Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS 29 horses and 3 mules with keratomas treated by partial or complete hoof wall resection following CT imaging of the distal portion of the affected extremity from 2005 through 2016.

PROCEDURES For each equid, physical examination and lameness evaluation were performed, followed by imaging of the distal portion of the affected extremity. A tentative diagnosis of keratoma was made given results of clinical, radiographic, and CT examination, with the definitive diagnosis made on histologic examination. After CT imaging, each equid was treated with hoof wall resection.

RESULTS CT allowed accurate identification of the size and location of 35 keratomas in 33 feet. Thirty equids underwent partial and 2 underwent complete hoof wall resection for keratoma removal. Complications developed in 4 of 31 (13%) equids and included excessive granulation tissue formation at the surgical site (n = 1), excessive granulation tissue formation and worsening lameness (1), incomplete keratoma removal with suspected regrowth (1), and incomplete healing of the surgical site with distal interphalangeal joint sepsis secondary to repeated debridement of abnormal tissue (1). Twenty-eight of 31 (90%) equids returned to their previous activity level.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Preoperative CT examination of the feet was useful in the diagnosis of and surgical planning for keratomas in equids. A low complication rate was achieved with the described techniques.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate use of a diode laser to induce tendinopathy in the superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) of horses.

Animals—4 equine cadavers and 5 adult horses.

Procedures—Cadaveric SDFT samples were exposed to a diode laser at various energy settings to determine an appropriate energy for use in in vivo experiments; lesion size was assessed histologically. In vivo experiments involved laser energy induction of lesions in the SDFT (2 preliminary horses [0, 25, 75, and 87.5 J] and 3 study horses [0 and 125 J]) and assessment of lesions. Study duration was 21 days, and lesions were assessed clinically and via ultrasonography, MRI, and histologic evaluation.

Results—Lesion induction in cadaveric tissues resulted in a spherical cavitated core with surrounding tissue coagulation. Lesion size had a linear relationship (R 2 = 0.9) with the energy administered. Size of in vivo lesions in preliminary horses indicated that larger lesions were required. In study horses, lesions induced with 125 J were ultrasonographically and histologically larger than were control lesions. At proximal and distal locations, pooled (preliminary and study horses) ultrasonographically assessed lesions were discrete and variable in size (mean ± SEM lesion percentage for control lesions, 8.5 ± 3%; for laser lesions, 12.2 ± 1.7%). Ultrasonography and MRI measurements were associated (R 2 > 0.84) with cross-sectional area measurements.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In vivo diode laser–induced lesions did not reflect cadaveric lesions in repeatable size. Further research is required before diode lasers can reliably be used for inducing tendinopathy.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research



A 6-year-old Quarter Horse gelding used for barrel racing was evaluated for acute onset of non–weight-bearing lameness of the left hind limb following strenuous exercise.


Nuclear scintigraphic imaging revealed focal increased radiopharmaceutical uptake centrally within the left talus. Subsequent standard radiographic and ultrasonographic examinations of the tarsus failed to identify the cause of the increased radiopharmaceutical uptake; however, the lameness was definitively localized to the tarsocrural joint by intra-articular anesthesia. Subsequent MRI sequences of the left tarsus revealed an incomplete fracture of the talus that extended distally from the trochlear groove and evidence of maladaptive stress remodeling of the trochlear groove of the talus and distal intermediate ridge of the tibia.


The horse was treated conservatively, with management consisting of stall confinement, physical rehabilitation, therapeutic laser therapy, and intra-articular autologous conditioned serum administration. The lameness resolved, and the horse was competing at its previous level within 15 months after lameness onset.


Although rare, incomplete fracture of the talus should be considered as a differential diagnosis for horses that develop acute hind limb lameness following strenuous exercise, especially when that exercise involves abrupt changes in direction while the horse is traveling at maximal speed. Acquisition of additional oblique projections during radiographic evaluation of the tarsus might be useful for identification of such fractures, but definitive diagnosis may require advanced diagnostic imaging modalities such as CT and MRI. Horses with incomplete fractures of the talus can be successfully treated with conservative management.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To describe clinical, imaging, gross, and histopathological abnormalities associated with osteochondral necrosis of the femoral condyles in foals and identify features suggestive of a common pathogenesis.


8 Thoroughbred foals euthanized with a presumptive diagnosis of necrosis of the femoral condyles.


Postmortem CT was performed on all distal femoral epiphyseal samples. The articular epiphyseal cartilage complex (AECC) of affected distal femurs was examined grossly and histologically, focusing on lesions of interest identified on CT images.


7 foals were between 9 and 23 days old at the time of euthanasia; 1 foal was 85 days old. Concurrent illness (neonatal maladjustment syndrome, neonatal isoerythrolysis, or infection such as enteritis and omphalitis) was diagnosed in 7 foals. The characteristic antemortem radiographic and postmortem CT finding was a crescent-shaped osteochondral flap displaced from the affected medial femoral condyle. Synovial fluid cytology from affected joints was either within normal limits or consistent with mild inflammation. Histologically, all lesions were characterized by osteochondral necrosis and detachment of the AECC. In 6 foals, polymorphonuclear cells were found within growth cartilage canals, representing septic cartilage canals.


Osteochondral necrosis was interpreted to be secondary to bacterial colonization of the distal femoral AECC, evidenced by septic cartilage canals identified in 6 of 8 foals. This uncommon condition was previously thought to arise from an ischemic event, but the disease process was not well understood. An improved understanding of the pathogenesis of osteochondral necrosis is the first step in formulating more successful preventative and treatment strategies.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association