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  • Author or Editor: Nora Nogradi x
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Abstract

Objective—To describe clinical and clinicopathologic findings and outcome of horses with meningitis and meningoencephalomyelitis.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—28 horses.

Procedures—Medical records of horses admitted to the hospital during a 25-year period were reviewed. Horses with a definitive diagnosis of meningitis or meningoencephalomyelitis were included in this study. Information extracted from the medical records included signalment, history, reason for admission, clinical signs, results of clinicopathologic testing and diagnostic procedures, treatment, outcome, and necropsy findings.

Results—22 horses had confirmed infectious disease (19 bacterial, 2 parasitic, and 1 fungal), 4 had suspected infectious disease on the basis of CSF cytologic examination findings, and 2 had noninfectious meningitis or meningoencephalomyelitis. Trauma of the head and vertebral column with disruption of the blood-brain barrier and local ascending or hematogenous spread were the most common routes of infection. Common neurologic signs included abnormal mental status, cranial nerve deficits, vestibular dysfunction, ataxia, tetraparesis, and apparent neck pain. Common hematologic abnormalities included leukocytosis, neutrophilia, lymphopenia, and hyperfibrinogenemia. Cytologic examination of CSF samples revealed moderate to marked suppurative inflammation. Mortality rate was 96.4%. Microbial culture of CSF yielded bacterial growth in 15 of 23 horses (before death [2 horses], after death [11], and both [2]).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that meningitis and meningoencephalomyelitis are uncommon disorders in horses. Infectious disease was more common than noninfectious disease. Local trauma, ascending infection, or hematogenous spread of infection were the most common causes of meningitis or meningoencephalomyelitis. Neurologic deficits, neutrophilia, lymphopenia, hyperfibrinogenemia, and CSF with neutrophilic pleocytosis were common findings in affected horses.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To describe the clinical course and outcome in horses in which Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis infections were associated with musculoskeletal disease and lameness.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—35 horses.

Procedures—Clinical and clinicopathologic data were collected from horses diagnosed with lameness associated with C pseudotuberculosis infection between 1999 and 2009.

Results—32 (91.4%) horses had grade 4/5 lameness. Three (8.6%) horses had grade 5/5 lameness. Abscesses were diagnosed by clinical or ultrasonographic examination. Abscesses were located in the axillary or triceps region in 25 (71.4%) horses, the stifle region in 2 (5.7%), and the popliteal lymph node in 1 (2.9%). Diffuse lymphangitis was seen in 4 (11.4%) horses, osteomyelitis in 2 (5.7%) horses, and septic arthritis in 2 (5.7%) horses. Horses commonly had clinicopathologic abnormalities characterized by neutrophilia (96.4%), anemia (67.8%), hypoalbuminemia (66.6%), or hyperfibrinogenemia (42.8%). Treatment included surgical drainage of the abscess in 21 (60%) horses, performed under ultrasonography in 20 horses; anti-inflammatory medications in 34 (97.1 %) horses; and antimicrobials in 30 (85.7%) horses.

Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceC pseudotuberculosis infection of the limbs in horses typically results in severe lameness but may have a favorable prognosis. The diagnosis may be challenging, and results of blood work consistent with inflammation are nonspecific, but anemia, hyperglobulinemia, and increased synergistic hemolysis inhibition titers are common. Ultrasonography may localize the lesions and facilitate surgical drainage to alleviate lameness. When C pseudotuberculosis musculoskeletal infection results in osteomyelitis or septic arthritis, the prognosis for survival is poor.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To test the hypothesis that application of a rope restraint device would result in behavioral, electroencephalographic, and humoral changes consistent with sleep and analgesia in neonatal foals.

Animals—8 healthy neonatal foals.

Procedures—Following acclimatization to experimental conditions, each foal underwent a series of assessments before and during or at the end of a period of restraint via application of a restraint device (soft linen rope). Assessments included measurements of heart and respiratory rates, rectal temperature, and circulating β-endorphin and steroid hormone concentrations and evaluations of mentation and body position (behavior), electroencephalographic patterns, and pain tolerance.

Results—All foals were lively with apparently normal behavior prior to restraint. During application of the restraint device, foals assumed lateral recumbency with relaxed, somnolent behavior. Heart and respiratory rates and rectal temperature uniformly decreased as a result of the procedure. Electroencephalographic recordings (completed for 3 foals only) revealed patterns consistent with slow wave sleep. Plasma ACTH, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, and androstenedione concentrations significantly increased during restraint, compared with prerestraint values. The foals' tolerance to noxious stimuli significantly increased during restraint; however, this was independent of the concentration of circulating β-endorphin.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In neonatal foals, the evaluated form of restraint resulted in a decrease in heart and respiratory rates and rectal temperature. Squeeze-induced somnolence may resemble the effects of compression of the fetus in the birth canal and lead to inhibition of voluntary activity. Use of this technique to safely restrain neonatal foals during minor procedures warrants further evaluation.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the efficacy of an avirulent Lawsonia intracellularis vaccine in preventing proliferative enteropathy in weanling foals.

Animals—12 healthy weanling foals.

Procedures—Foals were randomly assigned to a vaccinated, nonvaccinated, or control group. Vaccinated foals received an avirulent porcine L intracellularis frozen-thawed vaccine intrarectally 60 and 30 days prior to experimental challenge. On day 1, vaccinated and nonvaccinated foals were challenged via nasogastric intubation with a virulent heterologous isolate of L intracellularis. Control foals were not challenged. Clinical observation and ultrasonographic evaluation of the small intestine were performed, and body weight, serum concentration of total solids, fecal excretion of L intracellularis, and seroconversion were measured for each foal until day 56. Diseased foals were treated with antimicrobials and supportive care.

Results—None of the 4 vaccinated foals developed clinical disease following challenge with virulent L intracellularis. Three of 4 nonvaccinated foals developed moderate to severe clinical signs compatible with proliferative enteropathy, hypoproteinemia, and thickened small intestinal loops. Vaccinated foals had significantly less fecal shedding of L intracellularis than nonvaccinated foals. Serologic responses between vaccinated and nonvaccinated foals after challenge were similar. Control foals remained clinically unaffected with no evidence of fecal shedding and seroconversion.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Intrarectal administration of a commercial avirulent porcine vaccine against L intracellularis resulted in complete protection against proliferative enteropathy in the foals in this study and may also reduce environmental contamination with the organism on endemic farms.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research