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Summary

In this double-blind study, the effectiveness of and dose response to intra-articular administration of modified hyaluronan (hylan) was determined in an equine carpal lameness model over a 23-day period, using a computerized three-dimensional motion analysis system, synovial fluid variables, and synovial histologic examination.

In 24 clinically sound horses, baseline motion data was acquired from horses trotting at 4 m/s on a high-speed treadmill. Then, to induce lameness, 25 mg of amphotericin B in 5 ml of sterile water was injected into the left middle carpal joint of each horse every other day for 3 treatments. Phenybutazone (2.2 mg/kg of body weight, PO, once) and butorphanol tartrate (0.1 mg/kg, IM, q 6 h, for 36 hours) were used to control signs of discomfort. Horses were assigned at random to 4 equal groups and received intracarpal administration of either 1, 2, 4 ml of hylan (8 mg/ml), or 2 ml of balanced electrolyte solution (control).

Intracarpal administration of amphotericin B caused significant (P ≤ 0.01) increase in subjective lameness grades over the 2-week evaluation period, and hylan administration did not significantly (P ≤ 0.01) change the subjective lameness grade. Lameness induction caused significant (P ≤ 0.01) decrease in head and withers excursions during the lame forelimb support phase and significant (P ≤ 0.05) increase in head and withers excursions during the sound forelimb support phase. Synovitis induction was further characterized by significant (P ≤ 0.05) increases in total wbc, polymorphonuclear, and large and small mononuclear cell numbers, and synovial fluid total protein concentrations. Also, subjective scores for synovial sections were significantly (P ≤ 0.05) different from baseline values, but hylan treatment at the 1-, 2-, or 4-ml dose did not significantly (P ≤ 0.05) alter these variables, compared with baseline values or values in control horses. Hyaluronan concentrations were not altered by induction of synovitis or hylan treatment.

Although clinical use of hyaluronan for treatment of traumatic joint disease in horses is well accepted, the beneficial effect of hylan was not detectable in this study. Further studies are required to more fully characterize the possible beneficial effects of hyaluronan-based products for treatment of joint disease in equids.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Objective—

To identify risk factors associated with development of laminitis of the supporting limb in Equidae with unilateral laminitis and to determine the radiographic appearance of this type of laminitis.

Design—

Retrospective analysis of medical records.

Animals—

20 Equidae with unilateral lameness that developed laminitis of the contralateral limb.

Procedure—

Case animals were compared with matched and unmatched populations of control animals that did not develop contralateral limb laminitis. Lateromedial radiographic projections of affected feet were evaluated for evidence of laminitis.

Results—

Body weight of case animals was not significantly different from that of control animals, but number of days that control animals were lame prior to recovery was significantly less than number of days that case animals were lame prior to the onset of laminitis. Lateromedial radiographic projections of the foot of the support limb were available for 16 of the 20 case animals. For all 16, thickness of the soft tissue dorsal to the distal phalanx was > 29% of the palmar cortical length of the distal phalanx, but only 1 had evidence of rotation of the distal phalanx. The proportion of case animals that were euthanatized was significantly greater than the proportion of control animals that were euthanatized.

Clinical Implications—

Duration of lameness, but not body weight, was a risk factor for development of laminitis in the contralateral limb in Equidae with unilateral lameness, and animals that developed this complication were more likely to be euthanatized than were animals that did not. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;209:1746–1749)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective—

To describe and compare data from Thoroughbreds that sustained musculoskeletal injuries while racing with data from matched control horses.

Design—

Matched case-control study.

Animals—

216 Thoroughbreds that sustained a musculoskeletal injury while racing and 532 horses from the same races that were not injured.

Procedure—

Data regarding racing history, race-entrant characteristics, racing events determined by analysis of videotapes of races, and results of prerace physical inspections were determined for all horses. Injured horses were compared with control horses by using conditional logistic regression.

Results—

Results of prerace inspection by regulatory veterinarians were significantly associated with injury. Odds of musculoskeletal injury, injury of the suspensory apparatus of the forellmb, and injury of the tendon of the superficial digital flexor muscle of the forelimb were 5.5 to 13.5 times greater among horses assessed to be at increased risk of injury by regulatory veterinarians on the basis of results of prerace inspection than for horses not considered to be at increased risk of injury. Odds of an abnormal finding in the suspensory ligament during prerace inspection were 3.4 times greater among horses that injured the suspensory apparatus than among control horses, and odds of an abnormal finding in the tendon of the superficial digital flexor muscle during prerace inspection were 15 times greater among horses that njured the tendon than among control horses.

Clinical Implications—

Regulatory veterinarians can identify horses during prerace physical inspection that have an increased risk of injury during races. Prerace physical inspections could be used to reduce the risk of injury to Thoroughbreds during races. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:454–463)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association