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  • Author or Editor: Richard A. S. Mitchell x
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Objective—To investigate the biomechanical behavior of the lumbosacral disk under compressive load in dogs, using pressure profilometry, and to investigate the relationship between pressure profile features and background and disease variables.

Sample Population—23 lumbosacral disks and adjacent vertebrae harvested from medium and large breed dogs.

Procedure—A 1.3-mm unidirectional needle-mounted pressure transducer was inserted into the disk in a ventral-to-dorsal manner while the disk was loaded in compression by a materials testing machine. Withdrawal of the transducer resulted in a pressure profile for cranial and lateral stress. Pressure profiles were analyzed, and relationships to age and gross evidence of degeneration were investigated.

Results—There was a moderate positive correlation between age and degree of nuclear degeneration (r s = 0.420, P = 0.046), but no relationship between age and mean nuclear pressure was detected. Mean nuclear pressure correlated negatively with severity of degenerative changes in the nucleus pulposus. Receiver operator characteristic curves to evaluate mean nuclear pressure as a diagnostic test for nuclear degeneration revealed a sensitivity and specificity of 82 and 83%, respectively. In addition, age was moderately correlated with the magnitude of stress peaks (r s = –0.571, P = 0.004). Stress peaks were not related to the severity of nuclear degeneration.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Determination of the mean nuclear pressure by disk profilometry provides information on the severity of lumbosacral disk degeneration with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity. The magnitude of single stress peaks within the dorsal annulus fibrosus is correlated with age and may not necessarily reflect advancing degeneration. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1734–1739)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate whether administering a tart cherry juice blend (TCJB) prior to exercise would reduce skeletal and cardiac muscle damage by decreasing the inflammatory and oxidative stress response to exercise in horses.

Animals—6 horses.

Procedures—Horses were randomly allocated into 2 groups in a crossover study with a 2-week washout period and orally administered either TCJB or a placebo solution (1.42 L, twice daily) in a double-masked protocol for 2 weeks prior to a stepwise incremental exercise protocol. Horses were tested for serum activities of creatine kinase and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and concentrations of cardiac troponin I (cTnI), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS; an indicator of oxidative stress), and serum amyloid A (SAA; an indicator of inflammation). To ensure that treatment would not result in positive results of an equine drug-screening protocol, serum samples obtained from each horse prior to and after 2 weeks of administration of TCJB or the placebo solution were tested.

Results—All horses had negative results of drug screening at both sample times. The exercise protocol resulted in a significant increase in TBARS concentration, SAA concentration, and serum AST activity in all horses. Administration of TCJB or placebo solution was not associated with an effect on malondialdehyde or SAA concentrations. However, administration of TCJB was associated with less serum activity of AST, compared with administration of placebo solution.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administration of TCJB may diminish muscle damage induced by exercise.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research