Keyword: Injuries

  • 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.

  • Preventing Injuries in Thoroughbred Racehorses

    The big names are recognizable: Barbaro, Eight Belles, St Nicholas Abbey. But hundreds of other racehorses have suffered racing or training injuries that ultimately proved fatal, as well. And while everyone would like to see the number of catastrophic injuries that occur on racetracks reduced, finding ways to actually accomplish that is easier said than d...

  • Check Ligament Surgery Helps Racehorses with SDFT Injuries

    Moderate to severe superficial digital flexor (SDF) tendon lesions in Thoroughbred racehorses have typically carried a poor prognosis for a return to racing and a lengthy rehabilitation process for horses that do return. But a team of veterinarians recently took a closer look at a procedure that could help improve the outcome for Thoroughbreds with such i...

  • Treating Suspensory Injuries with Fetlock Support Shoes

    Veterinarians and farriers apply a wide variety of horseshoes to treat the plethora of hoof problems that come our horses’ way, not to mention issues farther up the limb. Injuries to the suspensory ligament (a structure crucial to a horse's limb support system) are notoriously difficult to treat, so veterinarians recently tested a modern version...

  • Managing Equine Cystic Stifle Lesions

    Could something even smaller than a pea end a horse's athletic career? If that something is a cystic lesion in the stifle (or femoral condylar cyst), it's entirely possible. Fortunately, specific management approaches can help some horses return to their jobs in the arena or on the track with few, if any, lasting effects.

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Researchers Study Racehorses' Bone Fatigue Life

    When you buy a new horse trailer, chances are you'll also get lots technical information about the “fatigue life” of mechanical parts like the shocks or the clamp to close the hitch. That fatigue life refers to how long these parts can be used—opening and closing, absorbing shock, clamping, or whatever they do—before they break.

  • What are Third Trochanter Fractures in Horses?

    Ever heard of the horse's third trochanter? It's a part of a bone, and guess what: It can break. While not common, third trochanter fractures can cause almost instant, severe hind limb lameness that can be difficult to diagnose. But the news isn't all bad: French researchers say these fractures probably won’t end a horse's athletic c...

  • 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.

  • Stabilizing Equine Limb Fractures in the Field (AAEP 2012)

    Many fractures once deemed inoperable can now be surgically repaired successfully, but management approaches during the critical post-fracture window can have a major impact on outcomes. One equine practitioner reported that veterinarians must be prepared with the appropriate knowledge and equipment to help save these patients' lives.

  • Bandages for Fracture Stabilization Evaluated (AAEP 2012)

    Fracture stabilization is one of the most important steps in addressing potentially catastrophic injuries in horses. One of the staples veterinarians use to stabilize equine limb fractures is the Robert Jones bandage, a layered and padded bandage, sometimes used in conjunction with a splint layered inside the wrap, designed to limit limb mobility.

  • Therapeutic Ultrasound Settings for Horses Identified

    Did you know that ultrasound can be used for more than just diagnosing tendon and ligament injuries in horses? Indeed, veterinarians can also use it therapeutically to treat soft tissue injuries, but what settings they should use and how long they should treat an injured horse has, until now, been a bit of a "guesstimation" game.

  • Vestibular Disease in Horses Reviewed

    Although they don't tend to garner as much attention as infectious neurologic diseases, vestibular diseases (those that pertain to the balance mechanisms) are common and important causes of neurologic problems in horses. At the 2013 Western Veterinary Conference, held Feb. 17-21, Laurie Beard, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM, associate clinical professor at Kans...

  • Preparing Joint Injection Sites in Horses (AAEP 2012)

    When administering equine joint injections, veterinarians must take steps to minimize the risk of septic arthritis developing in the treated joint. Particularly in equine athletes, septic arthritis can be a devastating and debilitating complication, though aggressive treatment returns a large range (27-92%) of affected horses back to work.

  • Limb Positioning for Assessing Joints via X Ray (AAEP 2012)

    Lower limb radiographs can help practitioners uncover valuable information about bones, joints, and joint balance in equine athletes, but Colorado State University (CSU) researchers have determined the usefulness and accuracy of this information depends largely on how the horse stands during X ray capture.

  • Supplement to Support Post-Surgical Joint Health (AAEP 2012)

    A research team from the Nutraceutical Alliance Inc. shared some good news for owners of horses with osteoarthritis at the 2012 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention: A nutritional supplement fed immediately after osteochondral fragment removal surgery could help reduce the amount of post-surgical inflammation in the joint.

  • MRI to Evaluate Suspensory, Sesamoid Injuries (AAEP 2012)

    Since its inception in the 1930s, the inaugural patent in 1974, and the successful construction of the world’s first whole-body scanner by 1977, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become an indomitable tool in both human and equine medicine. Today, equine practitioners use MRI extensively to help diagnose even the most subtle lameness causes.

  • Stem Cell Approach Ineffective for SDFT Injuries (AAEP 2012)

    Musculoskeletal injuries are an all-too common cause of lameness in horses. Thanks to the advent of biologic therapies, including stem cells, tendon injuries aren’t the “death sentence” they once were. Despite the positive results associated with stem cells in equine tendon injuries, however, the “best” way to obtain and use ...

  • Selecting the Best Joint Therapy Approach (AAEP 2012)

    A puffy fetlock. A knee that's warm to the touch. A hock that feels just a bit sticky in the trot. All are common performance problems pointing to the possible onset of osteoarthritis (OA). Equine joint therapy is often used to treat these types of OA-inflammation related issues while potentially modulating disease.

  • CT for Equine Limb Fracture Diagnosis? (AAEP 2012)

    A fracture can put a horse's athletic future--sometimes even his life--on the line, and basing treatment on a complete and accurate diagnosis can make a major difference in the horse's recovery. A veterinarian in Belgium believes computed tomography (CT) offers a better option for imaging some lower limb fractures than radiography.

  • Using MRI and Scintigraphy to Diagnose Suspensory Injuries (AAEP 2012)

    The biblical saying, "two are better than one because they have a good return for their work," succinctly describes recommendations Natalie Zdimal, DVM, recently made regarding diagnostic imaging for suspensory-ligament-related injuries. Horses with such injuries generally have discomfort in the back the back of the fore- and hind-limbs near the...