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Summary

A prospective study was conducted to describe the causes of and farm management factors associated with disease and death in a population of foals in Texas. Data from 2,468 foals at 167 farms were provided by veterinarians for all 12 months during 1991. Among 2,468 foals, 116 deaths were reported (4.7%). Pneumonia was the most commonly reported cause of death, followed by septicemia. When considered as a group, musculoskeletal disorders (traumatic, infectious, or deforming problems) represented the most common cause of all reported deaths. Daily risk of death was greatest during the first 7 days of life, and decreased with age. Risk and frequency of causes of death varied by age. Crude incident morbidity during the year was 27.4% (677/2,468). Respiratory disease was the most common cause of incident disease in the study population, followed by diarrhea. Risk of disease was greatest among ≤ 7 days old, and decreased with age. Crude rate of incident of diarrhea was significantly lower among farms where foals were born on pasture, compared with that at farms where foals were born in stalls. The practice of assessing passive immunity was significantly associated with decreased morbidity from septicemia and pneumonia.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

All horses diagnosed by a commission veterinarian of the Kentucky Racing Commission as having sustained a musculoskeletal injury, defined as an obvious change in soundness immediately before, during, or after a race held between Jan 1, 1992 and May 31, 1993 were included in a study to determine the prevalence of and factors associated with racing injuries involving the musculoskeletal system of horses competing at 4 Thoroughbred racetracks in Kentucky. During the 17-month study, there were 35,484 racing starts among 7,649 horses in 3,824 official Kentucky Racing Commission races. During this period, 132 musculoskeletal racing injuries were diagnosed among 117 horses. Twenty-eight injured horses were male, 46 were geldings, and 43 were female. The prevalence of horses with racing injuries per racing start was 0.33% (117/35,484). The injuries of 51 horses were classified as catastrophic, and 66 as noncatastrophic. The prevalence of horses with catastrophic injuries per racing start was 0.14% (51/35,484).

The proportion of horses with injuries of the left forelimb, sesamoid, and third metacarpal bone in the catastrophic group was significantly (P < 0.05) greater than those of horses in the noncatastrophic group. The proportion of horses with injuries of the superficial digital flexor tendon among those in the catastrophic group was significantly less than that of horses in the noncatastrophic group.

The distance of the race was significantly shorter and the number of turns less among horses with catastrophic injuries than among horses with noncatastrophic injuries. The proportions of horses injured at the last turn in the race (stretch turn) and the straight stretch of track before the last turn (back- stretch) among the catastrophic group were significantly greater than those among horses in the noncatastrophic group. Injuries detected after the race among horses in the catastrophic group were significantly less common than those among horses in the noncatastrophic group. The proportion of horses removed from the racetrack by an ambulance was significantly greater among horses in the noncatastrophic group, compared with that of horses in the catastrophic group.

The proportions of horses with racing injuries positioned in the fourth (last) quartile of the group of horses competing in the race (field) and in the third and fourth quartiles (last half) of the field at a point one quarter of a mile after the start (first quarter fraction) were significantly greater than was expected by chance alone. The proportion of horses with catastrophic injuries positioned in the last half of the field at the first quarter fraction was significantly greater than was expected by chance alone.

The forelimbs were involved in 90.2% of racing injuries. The suspensory apparatus of the forelimbs (sesamoid and interosseous ligament) was the area most frequently involved (44.7%), and 85.8% of all racing injuries were located from the carpus to the metacarpophalangeal joint.

Ninety-six horses’ injuries involved only 1 forelimb (81.8%). The proportion of horses (n = 96) with injuries that developed at or near the finish line was significantly greater for the right forelimb than for the left forelimb. Injuries of the left forelimb that developed in the stretch turn were significantly more common, compared with those of the right forelimb.

The proportion of horses with injuries involving the sesamoid was significantly greater for the left forelimb than for the right forelimb. The proportion of horses with injuries to the diaphysis of the third metacarpal bone was significantly greater among horses with injuries that developed in the backstretch and the turn ahead of the finish (clubhouse turn) than that for horses injured at other locations on the track. Injuries of the sesamoids were significantly more common in the stretch turn than at other locations on the track. Injuries of the third metacarpal condyle were significantly more likely to be detected after the race than during the race.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Four hundred sixty-nine serum samples were obtained from horses admitted to the internal medicine service of the Texas Veterinary Medical Center between Jan 1 and Dec 31, 1990. Serum samples were tested by elisa for antibody to Borrelia burgdorferi. Of these 469 samples, 1 (0.2%) was repeatedly seropositive for the organism by elisa. Confirmatory testing by protein immunoblot was negative. The observed seroprevalence was 0%; the upper bound of the 95% confidence interval was 0.6%. These findings indicate the evidence of infection with B burgdorferi is presently uncommon in horses in central Texas.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To identify courses in which first-year veterinary students struggled academically and to survey veterinarians as to their opinions on existing prerequisite courses and proposed alternatives.

DESIGN Electronic surveys.

SAMPLE Associate deans for academic affairs at colleges of veterinary medicine and practicing veterinarians in North America and the Caribbean.

PROCEDURES Surveys were sent to associate deans of academic affairs seeking information on courses in which first-year veterinary students most commonly struggled academically. The 6 courses most commonly listed as prerequisites for admission to veterinary college were identified, and practitioners were asked to rank the relative importance of those courses for preparing students for veterinary college and to rank the importance of 7 potential alternative courses.

RESULTS Data were obtained from 21 associate deans and 771 practicing veterinarians. First-year veterinary students most commonly struggled academically in anatomy, physiology, and histology courses, but these courses were rarely included as prerequisites for admission. Practicing veterinarians agreed that anatomy and physiology should be considered as possible alternatives to 1 or more current prerequisite courses, such as organic chemistry and physics.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE First-year veterinary students commonly encountered academic difficulties in anatomy, physiology, and histology. Because few surveyed veterinary colleges include these courses as prerequisites for admission, many students were exposed to this material for the first time as veterinary students, potentially adding to their academic difficulties and causing stress and anxiety. To help address this situation, veterinary colleges might consider replacing 1 or more current prerequisite courses (eg, organic chemistry and physics) with anatomy, physiology, and histology.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

SUMMARY

Sixteen German Shepherd Dogs from 4 litters were IgA-deficient on the basis of at least 1 of 2 serum IgA determinations, and all had small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, as documented by quantitated small intestinal bacterial culture in another study. These dogs were fed 2 diets that differed principally in their protein source (chicken vs beef, milk, and wheat). All dogs were fed each diet for 2 weeks before the study began. Next, all dogs were fed the chicken-based diet for 2 months. Then, half the dogs (group 1) were randomly assigned to continue eating the chicken-based diet, while the other half (group 2) ate a diet containing beef, milk, and wheat proteins. The small intestine was biopsied at the beginning of the study and after dogs had eaten the assigned diet for 2 and 4 months. At 2 months, group-2 dogs had more colonic mucosal mast cells, but this difference did not persist at 4 months. At the end of the study (ie, 4 months), although all dogs were clinically normal, group-2 dogs had significantly (P = 0.010) decreased numbers of jejunal villus plasma cells. However, these histologic changes were not considered clinically important. There were no significant differences in blood eosinophil counts, serum trypsin-like immunoreactivity, or cobalamin, folate, or IgA concentration. Clinical differences were not detected between the 2 groups, before or after the study. Changes were seen in serum IgM and IgG concentrations. Although results of this study suggest that dietary protein may influence intestinal mucosal cell populations, there was no evidence that the protein sources in these 2 diets caused intestinal disease in these dogs under the conditions of this study.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Sixteen IgA-deficient German Shepherd Dogs with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth were randomized into 2 groups. One group was fed a chicken-based kibble diet; the other was fed the same diet, but with 1% fructo-oligosaccharides supplemented at the expense of cornstarch. After being exposed to the diets for 46 to 51 days, the group that ate the supplemented diet had significantly (P = 0.04) fewer aerobic/facultative anaerobic bacterial colony-forming units in fluid from the duodenum/proximal part of the jejunum, as well as in the duodenal mucosa. We could not detect significant differences in the species of bacteria found in the intestine of these 2 groups of dogs. We conclude that at least some dietary carbohydrates can affect small intestinal bacterial populations in dogs with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

During a 5-year period, renosplenic entrapment of the large colon was diagnosed in 57 horses referred to the Texas Veterinary Medical Center. The signalment of and clinical signs of disease in these horses were compared with such variables in 200 horses referred for other types of colic. Findings did not support a male gender predilection for this disease, as was previously reported. The case survival rate was 93% for this group of horses. Fourteen of the horses were treated nonsurgically by rolling them clockwise while they were under general anesthesia. Data supported the safety and efficacy of nonsurgical treatment.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Of 2,409 canine serum samples submitted to the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory between Jan 1, 1988 and Dec 31, 1988 and tested by immunofluorescent antibody technique for antibody to Borrelia borgdorferi, 132 (5.5%) had positive results. Clinical and epizootiologic characteristics of seropositive dogs from Texas (n = 110) were examined. Male dogs were more likely than female dogs to be seropositive for B burgdorferi. The most frequent clinical sign of disease described in seropositive dogs was lameness; neurologic, ophthalmologic, dermatologic, renal, and hepatic signs also were reported by referring veterinarians.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Five hundred twenty-one feline serum samples submitted to the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory between Nov 1, 1988, and Jan 31, 1989 were tested for antibody to feline immunodeficiency virus (fiv) by use of an elisa. The prevalence of fiv infection in this population was 11.3% (95% confidence interval: 8.6 to 14.0%). Serologic test results for FeLV were available for 156 of the 521 cats. A significant (P = 0.008) association between fiv infection and FeLV seropositivity was observed; FeLV-positive cats were nearly 4 times more likely to be seropositive for fiv than were FeLV-negative cats. The association remained statistically significant (P = 0.021) after adjusting for age and gender, using multiple-logistic regression analysis.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Sixteen German Shepherd Dogs were found, via quantitative microbial culture of intestinal fluid samples, to have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (ibo) over an 11-month period. All dogs were deficient in serum IgA. Consistent clinical signs suggestive of an alimentary tract disorder were not observed. Serum cobalamin determinations were not helpful in detecting ibo. Serum folate concentrations had variable sensitivity and specificity for detecting dogs from which we could culture ≥ 1 × 105 bacteria/ml from intestinal fluid samples in the nonfed state. Histologic and intestinal mucosal cytologic examinations were not useful in detecting ibo. Substantial within-dog and between-dog variation was found in the numbers and species of bacteria in the intestines. The difficulty in diagnosing ibo, the variability in organisms found in individual dogs on repeated sampling, the likelihood that intestinal fluid microbial cultures failed to diagnose ibo in some dogs, and the potential of ibo to be clinically inapparent were the most important findings in this study.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association