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  • Author or Editor: Patricia J. Provost x
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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine clinical features of horses with bacterial meningitis or brain abscesses secondary to infectious disease processes involving the head.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—7 adult horses.

Procedure—Medical records of Tufts University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center (Lexington, Ky) were reviewed to identify adult (> 12 months old) horses in which a postmortem diagnosis of bacterial meningitis or brain abscess had been made. Horses were included in the study if an intracranial infection was confirmed, the horse had a primary infectious disease process involving the head, and there were no signs of systemic infection.

Results—23 adult horses with bacterial meningitis or a brain abscess were examined during the study period, but only 7 met the criteria for inclusion in the study. Primary sites of infection included the paranasal sinuses, nasal cavity, periocular tissues, and submandibular lymph nodes. Three horses died suddenly prior to hospitalization, and 1 horse was hospitalized but died 7 days after the onset of neurologic abnormalities. The remaining 3 horses were euthanatized because of a rapid deterioration in clinical status.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although rare, fatal intracranial complications can develop in horses with infectious diseases involving the head. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:739–742)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine prevalence, clinical findings, and long-term survival rate after surgery associated with incarceration of the small intestine through the gastrosplenic ligament (ISIGL) in horses.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—14 horses with ISIGL.

Procedures—Medical records of horses with ISIGL examined between January 1994 and December 2006 were reviewed. Signalment, initial physical examination findings, results of abdominal fluid analysis, and clinical laboratory values were recorded, along with surgical findings, including segment of incarcerated intestine and surgical procedures performed. Long-term survival data were obtained through client interviews.

Results—Clinical findings included small intestinal distention identified via rectal palpation (10/14 horses) or transabdominal ultrasonography (8/11), nasogastric reflux (4/14), and abnormal abdominal fluid (9/9). All horses required intestinal resection and anastomosis. Postoperative complications included adynamic ileus (5/14 horses), incisional infection (4/14), diarrhea (3/14), and laminitis (1/14). No breed or age predilection was detected, although geldings were at increased risk for ISIGL. Long-term survival rate was 79% (11/14 horses).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—ISIGL was an uncommon cause of colicin this hospital population. With appropriate surgical intervention and postoperative management, the long-term prognosis for surgically treated horses was fair to good.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the prevalence of hypomagnesemia and hypocalcemia in horses with surgical colic.

Animals—35 horses with surgically managed colic.

Procedure—Serum concentrations of total magnesium (tMg2+) and calcium (tCa2+), as well as ionized magnesium (iMg2+) and calcium (iCa2+) were analyzed before surgery and 1, 3, 5, and 7 days following surgery. A lead-II ECG and pertinent clinical data were also obtained at each time.

Results—Preoperative serum tMg2+ and iMg2+ concentrations were below the reference range in 6 (17%) and 19 (54%) horses, respectively. Serum concentrations of tCa2+ and iCa2+ were less than the reference range in 20 (57%) and 30 (86%) horses before surgery. Horses with strangulating lesions of the gastrointestinal tract had significantly lower preoperative serum concentrations of iMg2+ and iCa2+, as well as a higher heart rate than horses with nonstrangulating lesions. Horses that developed postoperative ileus had significantly lower serum concentrations of iMg2+ after surgery. Serum concentrations of magnesium and calcium (total and ionized) correlated significantly with the PR, QRS, QT, and corrected QT (QTc) intervals. Horses that were euthanatized at the time of surgery (n = 7) had significantly lower preoperative serum concentrations of iMg2+, compared with horses that survived. Neither serum magnesium nor calcium concentrations were predictors of hospitalization time or survival.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Hypomagnesemia and hypocalcemia were common during the perioperative period, particularly in horses with strangulating intestinal lesions and ileus. Serum concentrations of tMg2+ and tCa2+ were less sensitive than iMg2+ and iCa2+ in detecting horses with hypomagnesemia and hypocalcemia. ( Am J Vet Res 2001;62:7-12)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research