The Horse

DEC 2018

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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Inquiries to: 859/276-6726 E-Mail: ERICA LARSON, News Editor @TH_EricaLarson 10 December 2018 The Horse | "The most important take- away was that performing elective arthroscopic surgery on an outpatient basis did not result in an increased risk of complications," said Erica Secor, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, of Wisconsin Equine Clinic & Hospital, in Oconomowoc. One of the most serious complications of arthroscop- ic surgery—a minimally invasive procedure in which a vet examines and, if needed, treats joint dam- age using an endoscope—is septic arthritis, or joint infection. In Secor and colleagues' study of 357 horses that underwent 366 arthroscopic procedures, the overall septic arthritis rate was 0.47% which compares favorably with previous reports, she said. They found no significant differences between hospitalization status—inpatient (198 procedures) or outpatient (168)—and septic arthritis development rate. Veterinarians reported mild fever in 9% of the inpatient population (14 the 147 horses for which follow- up was available) while own- ers did not report fever in any outpatient horses (which they were instructed to mon- itor for during the first week after surgery); Secor said this could be due to owner- reporting bias—missing or not reporting complications. Most febrile horses did not require treatment, and fever resolved within 24 hours, she added. Owners also reported that no outpatient horses developed colic or diarrhea, which vets identified in four and three inpatient horses, respectively. Again, this might be due to reporting bi- as, said Secor, but she noted that issues such as feed and housing changes or the po- tential for hospital-acquired infections could increase hospitalized patients' risk for digestive problems. "We may find (after further research) that there are times we are doing a disservice to our patients for hospitalizing them longer than is necessary," she said. Young, healthy horses with simple lesions are often good candidates for outpa- tient arthroscopic surgery, she said. Less favorable can- didates include horses with additional health issues. "Many patient, client, and clinician factors need to be considered when determin- ing the ideal treatment plan for a given case," she said. Read more at TheHorse. com/161716.—Katie Navarra Low Complication Rates Seen in Outpatient Arthroscopy Patients Horses that underwent arthroscopy on an outpatient basis had a similar complication risk to those that had inpatient procedures. ANNE M. EBERHARDT/THE HORSE PHOTOS NEWSFRONT Hoof Sole Packing Reduces Impact Vibrations Some work on hard surfaces can benefit a horse's internal structures, but too much can lead to musculoskeletal damage. This can be problem- atic for horses that spend a considerable amount of time on firm footing, such as police horses. So, Amy L. Barstow, MRCVS, of the Royal Veterinary College, and colleagues tested whether a pour-in polyurethane sole packing could help in such cases. They found it did help reduce certain vibrations and forces in the hoof, suggesting they could help minimize wear-and-tear injuries related to working on hard footing. However, the team noted that some horses might be less comfortable with the sole- pack applied than without. "It really is an individual decision that requires good cooperation with the farrier and a good familiarity with the horse," Barstow said. "Our study supports its use, but more research is necessary before making general recommendations." Avoid Haylage for Ponies With ID Equids with insulin dysregulation (ID) require a diet low in nonstructural carbohydrates (NSC) that produces minimal insulin responses. Soaking hay can reduce NSC levels, but it's time-con- suming and resource-reliant. So, British researchers compared insulin responses to haylage—cuttings wrapped in plastic soon after harvest to maintain nutrients and moisture—to those from dry or soaked hay. Sugar in haylage is partially fermented, so a lower insulin response might be expected, said Harry Carslake, MA, VetMB, Dipl. ACVIM, MRCVS, of the University of Liverpool. But he and his colleagues found that ponies' blood glucose and insu- lin levels were "surprisingly high" after consuming haylage versus dry and soaked hay. They recommended feeding soaked hay or low-NSC dry hay until further haylage research is completed. STUDY SHORTS O utpatient surgical procedures—cataract surgery, minor joint repairs, arthroscopy, and more—have become a routine and safe part of human medicine. In equine medicine outpatient surgeries aren't yet as common, in part due to a lack of published studies on their safety. But researchers recently conducted the first study strictly evaluating equine outpatient arthroscopy complication rates.

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