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  • Factors Associated with Survival in 148 Recumbent Horses

    By M. Aleman, P. H. Kass, J. E. Madigan, K. G. Magdesian, N. Pusterla, and L. S. Winfield Published in the Equine Veterinary Journal (Purchase access to read the complete article) Abstract Summary: Reasons for performing study There are currently few data available on the prognosis and outcome of recumbent horses. Objectives: To investigate the outcome of hospitalised horses that had been recumbent in the field or hospital and factors affecting their survival within the first 3 days of hospitalisation and survival after 3 days to hospital discharge. Study Design: Retrospective analysis of clinical records. Methods: Records of 148 horses admitted to the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, University of California Davis from January 1995 to December 2010 with a history of recumbency or horses that became recumbent while hospitalised were evaluated. Exact logistic regression was used to assess the association between clinical parameters and survival within the first 3 days of hospitalisation and survival to hospital discharge after 3 days. Results: There were 109 nonsurvivors and 39 survivors. Multivariate analysis showed variables associated with an increased odds of death within the first 3 days of hospitalisation included duration of clinical signs prior to presentation, with horses showing clinical signs for over 24 h having increased odds of death (P = 0.043, odds ratio [OR] 4.16, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.04–16.59), the presence of band neutrophils (P = 0.02, OR 7.94, 95% CI 1.39–45.46), the horse not using the sling (P = 0.031, OR 4.22, 95% confidence interval 1.14–15.68) and horses that were unable to stand after treatment (P<0.0001, OR 231.15, 95% CI 22.82–2341.33). Increasing cost was associated with lower odds of death (P = 0.017, OR 0.96, for each additional $100 billed, 95% CI 0.93–0.99). Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the duration of clinical signs, response to treatment and the ability of horses to use a sling are associated with survival to hospital discharge for recumbent horses.

  • Hemorrhage and Blood Loss-induced Anemia Associated with Acquired Coagulation Factor VIII Inhibitor

    Hemorrhage and blood loss–induced anemia associated with an acquired coagulation factor VIII inhibitor in a Thoroughbred mare By Laramie S. Winfield, DVM and Marjory B. Brooks, DVM Published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (Purchase access to read the complete article) Abstract Case Description: A 23-year-old Thoroughbred mare was evaluated because of a coagulopathy causing hemoperitoneum, hematomas, and signs of blood loss–induced anemia. Clinical Findings: The mare had tachycardia, pallor, hypoperfusion, and a large mass in the right flank. The mass was further characterized ultrasonographically as an extensive hematoma in the body wall with associated hemoabdomen. Coagulation testing revealed persistent, specific prolongation of the activated partial thromboplastin time (> 100 seconds; reference interval, 24 to 44 seconds) attributable to severe factor VIII deficiency (12%; reference interval, 50% to 200%). On the basis of the horse’s age, lack of previous signs of a bleeding diathesis, and subsequent quantification of plasma factor VIII inhibitory activity (Bethesda assay titer, 2.7 Bethesda units/mL), acquired hemophilia A was diagnosed. The medical history did not reveal risk factors or underlying diseases; thus, the development of inhibitory antibodies against factor VIII was considered to be idiopathic. Treatment and Outcome: The mare was treated with 2 transfusions of fresh whole blood and fresh-frozen plasma. Immunosuppressive treatment consisting of dexamethasone and azathioprine was initiated. Factor VIII deficiency and signs of coagulopathy resolved, and the inhibitory antibody titer decreased. The mare remained healthy with no relapse for at least 1 year after treatment. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: Horses may develop inhibitory antibodies against factor VIII that cause acquired hemophilia A. A treatment strategy combining transfusions of whole blood and fresh-frozen plasma and administration of immunosuppressive agents was effective and induced sustained remission for at least 1 year in the mare described here.

  • Electrophysiological Studies in American Quarter Horses with Neuroaxonal Dystrophy

    By Monica Aleman, Danika L. Bannasch, Carrie J. Finno, Steven R. Hollingsworth, John E. Madigan, Ron Ofri, and Laramie Winfield Published in the Equine Veterinary Journal (Purchase access to read the complete article) Abstract Objective: Neuroaxonal dystrophy (NAD) is a disease characterized by the sudden onset of neurologic signs in horses ranging from 4 to 36 months of age. Equine degenerative myeloencephalopathy (EDM), a disease that has been associated with low vitamin E concentrations, is considered a more advanced form of NAD. The objective of this report is to describe the electrophysiological features of NAD/EDM in American Quarter horses (QHs). Horses: Six NAD/EDM-affected QHs and six unaffected QHs were evaluated by ophthalmic examination and electroretinography. Five of the NAD/EDM-affected QH and five unaffected QHs were also evaluated by electroencephalography (EEG). Results: Ophthalmic examination, ERGs, and EEGs were unremarkable in NAD/EDM cases. Conclusions: Neuroaxonal dystrophy/EDM does not appear to cause clinical signs of ocular disease or functional ERG/EEG deficits in QHs.

  • Standing Medial Patellar Ligament Splitting to Manage Horses Exhibiting Delayed Patellar Release

    Long-term Outcome of Standing Medial Patellar Ligament Splitting to Manage Horses Exhibiting Delayed Patellar Release: 64 Horses By Sarah J. James, Timothy G. Eastman, and Justin D. McCormick Published in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science (Purchase access to read the complete article) Abstract A standing surgical technique for splitting the medial patellar ligament is described, and the long-term (average 4.5-years) efficacy of the procedure in horses exhibiting delayed patellar release is reported. Medical records of 64 horses that underwent a standing medial patellar ligament splitting surgery performed to treat delayed patellar release were analyzed retrospectively. Horses were sedated in standing stocks. A number 15 scalpel blade was used to percutaneously split the medial patellar ligament from just proximal to its insertion on the tibial tuberosity to its attachment on the parapatellar fibrocartilage, with the goal of inducing a localized desmitis and subsequent thickening of the ligament. Aftercare consisted of oral antibiotics, 14 days stall rest with hand walking, light exercise for 14 days, and full work at 4 weeks. Follow-up information was obtained through telephone calls to owners and/or clinical evaluation by a veterinarian. Results showed that 89% of horses benefitted from the procedure, with complete resolution in 58% of horses and improvement in 31% of horses. A total of 73% of horses were able to perform at the desired level following the procedure; 63% of horses showed signs of improvement or resolution within 30 to 60 days. Two horses had complications following the procedure: 1 horse had an incisional infection, and 1 had a medial patellar ligament rupture. This study shows that standing medial patellar ligament splitting is a successful, long-term surgical option for treatment of delayed patellar release. The procedure has few complications and allows rapid return to desired performance.

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