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Chemical and cytologic effects and bactericidal activity of gentamicin in septic synovial fluid were evaluated in an experimental model of infectious arthritis in horses. Septic arthritis was induced by inoculation of approximately 7.5 × 106 colony-forming units of Escherichia coli into 1 antebrachiocarpal joint in each of 16 clinically normal adult horses. Clinical signs of septic arthritis were evident 24 hours after inoculation. Horses were allotted to 3 groups: group-1 horses (n = 5) each were given 150 mg of gentamicin (50 mg/ml; 3 ml) intra-articularly (ia); group-2 horses (n = 5) each were given 2.2 mg of gentamicin/kg of body weight, iv, every 6 hours; and group-3 horses (n = 6) each were given buffered gentamicin, consisting of 3 mEq of sodium bicarbonate (1 mEq/ml; 3 ml) and 150 mg of gentamicin (50 mg/ml; 3 ml), ia. Synovial fluid specimens were obtained at posttreatment hour (pth) 0, 0.25, 1, 4, 8, 12, and 24 via an indwelling intra-articular catheter. Synovial fluid pH was evaluated at pth 0, 0.25, and 24. Microbiologic culture and cytologic examination were performed on synovial fluid specimens obtained at pth 0 and 24, and gentamicin concentration was measured in all synovial fluid specimens.

At pth 0, E coli was isolated from synovial fluid specimens obtained from all horses. Synovial fluid pH was lower (range, 7.08 to 7.16) and wbc count was higher (range, 88,000 to 227,200 cells/μl) and predominantly neutrophilic (95 to 99%) at pth 0 than before inoculation. Synovial fluid pH was lowered further (mean, pH 6.63) after ia administration of gentamicin in group-1 horses; mean pH remained unchanged (7.07) after buffered-gentamicin administration in group-3 horses. At pth 0.25, mean peak synovial fluid gentamicin concentration in horses of groups 1 and 3 (4,745 and 6,190 μg/ml, respectively) was 1,000 times greater than that in group-2 horses (5.1 μg/ml) at the same time. Synovial fluid gentamicin concentration in group-1 and group-3 horses was always greater than that in group-2 horses and remained greater than a minimal inhibitory concentration of gentamicin (2 μg/ml) against many common equine bacterial pathogens for at least 24 hours after injection. Further, the calculated apparent half-life and clearance of gentamicin in synovial fluid calculated after ia administration were similar in horses of groups 1 and 3. By pth 24, E coli could not be isolated from synovial fluid specimens obtained from group-1 horses. However, moderate to heavy growth of E coli was isolated from synovial fluid specimens obtained at pth 24 from horses in groups 2 and 3 (80 and 66%, respectively).

In selected cases, ia administration of unbuffered gentamicin may be a useful supplement to drainage, lavage, and systemic antibacterial and anti-inflammatory treatment in horses with naturally acquired infectious arthritis.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To establish an objective method of determining proventricular diameter in psittacine birds by assessment of lateral whole-body radiographic views.

Design—Retrospective case-control study.

Animals—100 parrots with no signs of gastric disease and 19 parrots with signs of gastric disease.

Procedures—Measurements were obtained for the following variables: proventricular diameter at the level of the junction between the last thoracic vertebra and synsacrum, maximum distance between the dorsal serosa of the proximal aspect of the proventriculus and dorsal border of the sternum, maximum coelomic cavity height at the level of the proximal aspect of the proventriculus, and maximum dorsoventral height of the keel of the sternum. The ratio of proventricular diameter to each of those measurements was calculated and compared among species within the group without signs of gastric disease and between the gastric and nongastric disease groups.

Results—No significant differences were seen among species of parrots without signs of gastric disease for any ratio, but there were significant differences between parrots with gastric signs and those without gastric signs for all ratios. Only the proventricular diameterto-maximum dorsoventral height of the keel of the sternum ratio had no numeric overlap between groups. Sensitivity and specificity of the ratio for detection of proventricular enlargement were both 100%. Six causes associated with proventricular enlargement were identified.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Evaluation of the proventricular diameter-to-keel height ratio is a new method for evaluating proventricular size in psittacines. Ratio values < 0.48 indicate normal proventricular diameter and the absence of proventricular disease.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the clinical characteristics and outcome of foals with septic osteitis of the distal phalanx.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—22 foals.

Procedures—Information obtained from medical records included signalment; clinical, laboratory, and radiographic findings; treatment method; and outcome. Foals included in the study had lameness referable to the foot, radiographic evidence of localized lysis or focal loss of bone density of the distal phalanx, and suppurative discharge or necrosis of the affected bone evident at surgery. Foals with a history or evidence of penetrating wounds or subsolar abscessation were excluded.

Results—Mean age of foals at initial evaluation was 40.8 days (range, 3 to 122 days). Twenty-one (95%) foals had lameness as the primary complaint. Lesions consistent with septic osteitis of the distal phalanx localized to specific areas of the bone on the basis of radiographic and surgical findings were located on the solar margin or toe (14/22 [64%]), extensor process (5/22 [23%]), and palmar or plantar process (3/22 [13%]). Hind limbs (18/26 [69%] affected limbs) were more frequently affected. Two foals had > 1 affected limb, 2 had additional sites of osteomyelitis, and 4 had concurrent septic arthritis. Surgical debridement and regional antimicrobial perfusion were performed during general anesthesia. Extensor process lesions were not debrided. Nineteen of 22 (86%) foals survived to be discharged from hospital, and 16 horses reached racing age. Eleven of 16 had race starts, of which 8 had official race starts and 3 had unofficial race starts.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Septic osteitis of the distal phalanx should be considered as a source of lameness in foals with signs referable to the foot and does not necessarily preclude a career in racing. Although infection may occur secondary to bacterial penetration of the hoof or sole, the distal phalanx should also be considered as a potential site for hematogenous septic arthritis or osteomyelitis in foals.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To compare long-term outcomes of juvenile pubic symphysiodesis (JPS) and triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO) in dogs with hip dysplasia.

Design—Prospective clinical trial.

Animals—18 dogs with hip dysplasia (ie, distraction index ≥ 0.5 in at least 1 hip joint and no, mild, or moderate radiographic evidence of degenerative joint disease [DJD]).

Procedures—Dogs between 4 and 5.5 months old at enrollment were assigned to undergo JPS, and dogs between 5 and 12 months old were assigned to undergo TPO. All dogs were reexamined at 2 years of age.

Results—At 2 years of age, there were no significant differences between groups in regard to lameness scores, angle of extension of the hip joints, distraction index, peak vertical force, acetabular angle, radiographic DJD score, or owner-assigned scores of clinical function. Dorsal acetabular rim angle was significantly higher in dogs that underwent JPS than in dogs that underwent TPO. For dogs that underwent TPO, dorsal acetabular rim angle was significantly decreased and acetabular angle was significantly increased at 2 years of age, compared with values obtained prior to surgery.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that JPS and TPO have similar effects on hip joint conformation in dogs with moderate to severe hip dysplasia but that neither procedure eliminates the hip joint laxity characteristic of hip dysplasia or the progression of degenerative changes.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


To identify factors affecting the prognosis for survival and athletic use in foals with septic arthritis.


Retrospective study.


93 foals with septic arthritis.


Medical records were reviewed to obtain clinical findings, laboratory test results, radiographic findings, treatment method, and outcome. Race records for Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds were evaluated to determine whether foals subsequently raced and whether they raced successfully.


43 foals had 1 affected joint, 44 foals had multiple affected joints, and number of affected joints was not recorded for 6 foals. The femoropatellar and tarsocrural joints were most commonly affected. Osteomyelitis or degenerative joint disease were detected in 59% (46/78) of foals. Failure of passive transfer, pneumonia, and enteritis were common. Foals were treated with lavage, lavage and intra-articular administration of antibiotics, lavage and arthroscopic debridement with or without partial synovectomy, or lavage and arthrotomy to debride infected bone and systemic administration of antibiotics. Seventy-three foals survived to be discharged from hospital, and approximately a third raced. Isolation of Salmonella spp from synovial fluid was associated with an unfavorable prognosis for survival and multisystem disease was associated with an unfavorable prognosis for survival and ability to race; other variables were not significantly associated with survival and ability to race.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

With treatment, the prognosis for survival of foals with septic arthritis was favorable, whereas prognosis for ability to race was unfavorable. Multisystem disease, isolation of Salmonella spp from synovial fluid, involvement of multiple joints, and synovial fluid neutrophil count ≥ 95% at admission may be of prognostic value. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;215:973–977)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To perform lipidomic analysis of surfactant and plasma from asthmatic and healthy horses.


30 horses with clinical signs of asthma and 30 age-matched control horses.


Detailed history, physical examination, CBC, and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) cytologies were obtained. Asthmatic horses were grouped based on their BALF inflammatory profile: severe equine asthma (SEA), mild equine asthma with neutrophilic airway inflammation (MEA-N), or mild equine asthma with eosinophilic airway inflammation (MEA-E). Each asthma group was assigned its own age-matched control group. Lipidomic analysis was completed on surfactant and plasma. Surfactant protein D (SP-D) concentrations were measured in serum and BALF.


SEA surfactant was characterized by a phospholipid deficit and altered composition (increased ceramides, decreased phosphatidylglycerol, and increased cyclic phosphatidic acid [cPA]). In comparison, MEA-N surfactant only had a decrease in select phosphatidylglycerol species and increased cPA levels. The plasma lipidomic profile was significantly different in all asthma groups compared to controls. Specifically, all groups had increased plasma phytoceramide. SEA horses had increased plasma cPA and diacylglycerol whereas MEA-N horses only had increased cPA. MEA-E horses had increases in select ceramides and dihydrocermides. Only SEA horses had significantly increased serum SP-D concentrations.


The most significant surfactant alterations were present in SEA (altered phospholipid content and composition); only mild changes were observed in MEA-N horses. The plasma lipidomic profile was significantly altered in all groups of asthmatic horses and differed among groups. Data from a larger population of asthmatic horses are needed to assess implications for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research