Objective—To determine analgesic effects of intraneural injection of ethyl alcohol or formaldehyde in the palmar digital nerves of horses.
Procedures—Ethyl alcohol was injected in the medial palmar digital nerve of 1 forelimb, and formaldehyde was injected in the contralateral nerve. The lateral palmar digital nerve in 1 forelimb was surgically exposed, but not injected, and the contralateral lateral palmar digital nerve was not treated. For each heel, severity of lameness in response to experimentally induced heel pain (lameness score and peak vertical force), thermal reaction time, and heel skin sensitivity scores were recorded. Heel pain was experimentally induced by advancing a threaded bolt through a custom-made horseshoe to apply pressure to the palmar horned aspect of the hoof. Horses were followed up for 112 days, when a subset of nerves was sampled for histologic analysis.
Results—Alcohol and formaldehyde significantly reduced all measures of heel pain, and analgesia was evident over the 112 days of the study. Pastern circumference was significantly greater for formaldehyde-treated than for alcohol-treated limbs. Histologic evaluation showed preservation of nerve fiber alignment with an intact epineurium, loss of axons, axon degeneration, fibrosis, and inflammation in alcohol-treated and formaldehyde-treated nerves.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that intraneural injection of either ethyl alcohol or formaldehyde in the palmar digital nerves of horses resulted in substantial, but partial, heel analgesia that persisted for at least 112 days. No advantage of formaldehyde over alcohol was found, and formaldehyde resulted in greater soft tissue inflammation.
Case Description—A 2-year-old Thoroughbred filly was evaluated because of hemorrhage from the vulva and suspected hematuria of 5 days' duration.
Clinical Findings—A primary coagulopathy was ruled out on the basis of results of hematologic testing. Vaginoscopy and cystoscopy revealed a large bleeding mass in the bladder that extended into the vagina, causing marked obliteration of normal urogenital structures and difficulty in urination. Histologic examination of endoscopic and surgical biopsy speci-mens revealed a poorly differentiated neoplasia likely of mesenchymal origin. Chronic suppurative cystitis caused by Streptococcus zooepidemicus was also diagnosed.
Treatment and Outcome—The tumor continued to grow despite treatment with doxorubicin and, within 45 days, was causing substantial discomfort and stranguria. Given the grave prognosis, the horse was euthanized. At necropsy, the tumor was found to have caused widespread destruction of the urinary bladder and to have invaded the broad ligament of the uterus. The mass was identified as a poorly differentiated leiomyosarcoma on the basis of results of histologic examination and immunohistochemical staining for α-actin.
Clinical Relevance—Findings suggested that leiomyosarcoma should be considered in the differential diagnosis when examining horses with urogenital bleeding.