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Case Description—4 horses with a history of neck pain, abnormal head carriage, and related inability to perform were examined. Cranial nuchal bursitis was diagnosed in 2 horses, and caudal nuchal bursitis was diagnosed in the other 2.

Clinical Findings—All 4 horses had prominent swelling in the region between the frontal bone and temporal fossa (ie, the poll) and abnormal head carriage. Ultrasonographic examination revealed fluid distention and synovial thickening of the cranial or caudal nuchal bursa in all 4 horses. Ultrasonography-guided aspiration of the affected region was performed successfully in 3 horses. Radiography revealed bony remodeling and mineralization over the dorsal aspect of the atlas in 1 horse and a radiolucency at the axis in another. Nuclear scintigraphy revealed an increase in radioisotope uptake at the level of C2 in 1 horse. Although a septic process was considered among the differential diagnoses in all horses, a septic process could only be confirmed in 1 horse.

Treatment and Outcome—All horses were refractory to conservative management consisting of intrabursal injection of anti-inflammatory medications. Bursoscopic debridement and lavage of the affected bursae resulted in resolution of the clinical signs in all horses, and they all returned to their intended use.

Clinical Relevance—Cranial and caudal nuchal bursitis, of nonseptic or septic origin, should be considered as a differential diagnosis in horses with head and neck pain. Horses undergoing surgical intervention consisting of nuchal bursoscopy have the opportunity to return to their original degree of exercise. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2010;237:823–829)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To compare heat generation during insertion, pullout strength, and associated microdamage between a self-tapping positive profile transfixation pin (STTP) and nontapping positive profile transfixation pin (NTTP).

Sample Population—30 pairs of third metacarpal bones (MC3s) from adult equine cadavers.

Procedures—One MC3 of each pair was assigned to the STTP group; the other was assigned to the NTTP group. The assigned pin was inserted into the diaphysis in a lateral to medial direction. Bone temperature increase during pilot-hole drilling and pin insertion was recorded at 1 mm from the final thread position with wire thermocouples at cis and trans cortices. Resistance to axial extraction before and after cyclic loading was measured in a material testing device, and microstructural damage caused by transfixation pin insertion was assessed with scanning electron microscopy.

Results—The STTP group developed a significant increase in bone temperature, compared with the NTTP group. No significant difference was found between the mean maximal pullout strength of the STTP and the NTTP in both non–cyclic-loaded and cyclic-loaded groups. Microdamage to the bone-pin interface was lower when the STTP versus the NTTP was used, but more bone debris was apparent after inserting the STTP.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Because of the significant increase in temperature generation and debris accumulation despite similar pullout strengths and lesser microfracture formation, the STTP likely poses a higher risk of bone necrosis and potential loosening than the NTTP. This might be corrected by redesign of the tapping aspect of the STTP.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


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