Bone Joint Problems

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Consider SDFT Attachment Problems in Lame Horses

Many veterinarians agree that 90% of equine lamenesses originate in the foot. But if it’s not in the foot, there are many other areas where lameness can hide. One area practitioners should examine if a horse is hind-limb lame is where the superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) attaches to the hock, suggests Sue Dyson, MA, Vet MB, PhD, DEO, FRCVS, ...

Superficial Digital Flexor Tendon Rupture in Older Horses

Older horses can be at risk of sustaining an uncommon injury: acute rupture of the proximal (upper) superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) where the cannon bone meets the carpus (knee). This is because as horses age, the SDFT stiffens and becomes less elastic, decreasing its resistance to cyclic loading to the point that it can potentially tear.

Measuring Horses' Skin Temperature Changes Underwater

Water treadmill workouts are gaining in popularity, especially for rehabilitating injuries. Compared with swimming pool exercises, water treadmill therapy allows the horse to maintain correct posture and gives a handler the ability to control the speed, incline, water height, and resistance of the workout.

Subjective vs. Objective Lameness Identification Methods

Lameness evaluations can be extremely subjective. When examining a horse with a mild lameness, in particular, veterinarians often don’t agree on a diagnosis—some are prone to seeing a more sound horse, others a more lame one. To overcome such disparities, practitioners have turned to objective methods such as force plates and inertial sensor s...

Can Tiludronate be Used in Horse Joints?

Early in 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved tiludronate for intravenous administration in horses with navicular disease. Despite being a relatively new drug used in veterinary medicine, some equine practitioners are already prescribing tiludronate for “off-label” use in horses with other conditions, such as osteoarthritis by ...

Researchers Examine Fatal Lumbar Vertebral Fractures

When it comes to catastrophic injuries in racehorses, most people immediately think of severe limb fractures. But these athletes sometimes suffer life-threatening fractures beyond the limbs. Lumbar vertebral fractures, for instance, can occur in the loin area near where the rear of the saddle sits.

Clenbuterol's Impact on Horses' Body Fat Percentage

With any medication comes a risk of side effects. For instance, long-term phenylbutazone administration to treat a musculoskeletal issue can result in gastrointestinal problems; pergolide to treat Cushing's disease can cause a decreased appetite; and vaccine administration to protect against disease can cause injection site swelling and muscle sorenes...

Diagnosing Unusual Hock Lameness

With six bones articulating in close range and multiple tendons and ligaments controlling extension and flexion, the hock, or the horse equivalent of the human ankle, has many moving and shock-absorbing parts. Add to those the animal’s weight and the fact the joint is almost always in flexion, and you’ve got a recipe for a perplexing number of...

High-Speed Exercise and Bone Response

Bone was once considered an inert material with its structure defined by genetics. But it turns out there’s a lot more at work, explained Larry Bramlage, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS: “Selective breeding dictates the initial skeleton, but adaptive training in response to exercise modifies it further.” He and other racehorse surgeons are striving ...

Managing Racehorse Joints with Strict Medication Regulations

In the face of new racing medication rules, veterinarians are revisiting treatment approaches for injured animals on layup that trainers hope to send back to the track soon. At the American Association of Equine Practitioners' Convention, held Dec. 7-11 in Nashville, Tenn., Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, ACVSMR, described how these restricti...

Equine Osteochondrosis Terminology Revamped

If you’ve ever been confused by the differences between osteochondrosis and osteochondritis dissecans, or wondered whether these are the same as developmental orthopedic disease (DOD) or just examples of it, you’re not alone. For decades, diseases of the bones, joints, and cartilage in young horses have sparked many word-slinging debates among...

Osteochondrosis Field Evaluation Protocol Developed

It's common knowledge that osteochondrosis—a developmental orthopedic disease that results from a disruption in the growth of articular cartilage located in specific joints—can cause problems for young horses, but how common is it? How are different breeds affected? Where are the most common lesion sites? And, of course, what’s the m...

Management's Impact on Osteochondral Lesion Development

Do you bed your young horses down in stalls in the winter? How smooth and flat are your pastures? When you’re trying to raise good bones and joints, these questions are worth considering. Because, according to French researchers, how you manage your young stock can have a direct effect on how osteochondral lesions evolve—for better or for worse.

Equine Muscle Matters Reviewed

Most horse owners appreciate the sight of a well-muscled horse, along with the time and effort riders or trainers must commit to helping that animal fill out. But chances are, fewer owners consider the factors within a horse's body that allow him to build—or lose—muscle mass.

Tiludronate, Shock Wave to Treat Bucked Shins (AAEP 2012)

Rarely has a racehorse practitioner not encountered a case of bucked shins (also called dorsal metacarpal disease, or DMD). This commonly identified racehorse injury has both mechanical and biologic roots, so one veterinarian recently set out to test a new treatment protocol in hopes of getting quicker and better results than current treatment options offer.

Study Examines Osteoarthritis Formation after Fetlock Injury

A recent study carried out by a team of equine orthopedic researchers at the University of Guelph Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory took a closer look at post-traumatic osteoarthritis in horses. Specifically, the team evaluated whether or not single impact injury to the fetlock could progress to post-traumatic osteoarthritis or osteochondral dise...

Veterinary Care for the Sport Horse

From the start of his career to the end, an upper-level equine athlete is constantly exposed to stressors that could negatively impact his health, including strenuous exercise and long-distance travel. But starting even before you purchase your next sport horse, there are steps you can start taking to ensure he has a long and healthy career.

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