The Horse

MAR 2019

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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Page 56 of 75

YOUR GUIDE TO THE 2018 AAEP CONVENTION A20 March 2019 The Horse | AAEP Wrap-Up A New Way to Detect Stress Fractures "Humeral stress fractures (in the bone between the shoulder and elbow joints) are well- described in the racing popula- tion and can progress to catastrophic fracture if unrecognized," said Betsy Vaughan, DVM, Dipl. ACVSMR, associ- ate clinical professor of large animal ultrasound at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. It can be difficult to spot these tiny cracks without nuclear scintigraphy (bone scan), which remains the gold standard diagnostic approach but can be expensive and inaccessible. Further, radiography can be unreliable for this. So Vaughan and colleagues assessed a more accessible and affordable approach: ultrasound. This modality is readily available to most vets, so Vaughan and colleagues reviewed records from five Thoroughbred racehorses 3 to 4 years old suspected of having humeral stress fractures. They found that "ultrasound is a useful and economical screening tool to identify humeral stress fractures and can be used with radiography to monitor healing," said Vaughan. "It is very important to re- member that a normal ultrasound exam does not rule out stress fracture. Radi- ography and/or nuclear scintigraphy are sometimes required to identify fractures and should be pursued in suspect cases with normal ultrasound findings." Now Vets Can 'Listen' to PSL Injuries Practitioners recently assessed acoustic myography, or AMG, for evaluating, di- agnosing, and monitoring hind proximal suspensory ligament (PSL) injuries, which are notoriously difficult to evaluate. The suspensory ligament facilitates energy storage for movement. A small amount of muscle fiber within it provides tension, and AMG measures how the muscle and ligament fibers move. "The AMG unit produces readings as pressure waves—the horse's walk, for example, has less frequent pressure waves than the trot," said study author Kent Al- len, DVM, Cert. ISELP, of Virginia Equine Imaging, in The Plains. The waves allow vets to "listen" to the tissue quality. Allen and colleagues sought to use AMG to differentiate between healthy and injured hind PSLs in 85 horses. They conducted lameness exams, confirmed or ruled out PSL injury, then applied AMG sensors at the walk and trot. They determined a normal AMG read- ing was greater than 5, a chronic or low- level injury was 2.5 to 4.5, and an acute injury was less than 2.5. Scores in horses with PSL injuries were significantly dif- ferent from those in sound horses or with non-PSL injuries, Allen said, with most PSL-injury horses scoring less than 5. He likened healthy and unhealthy PSLs to a guitar: "Strum a tuned guitar string, and it'll dampen normally and produce a pleasant sound." Untuned, it will pro- duce a different note. Same goes for the "tuned" and "untuned" ligaments. Allen said AMG won't replace lameness exams, diagnostic analgesia (blocking *CAUTION: Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. Do not use in horses with impaired renal function or with a history of renal disease. NSAIDs should not be used concurrently with Tildren ® . Concurrent use of NSAIDs with Tildren ® may increase the risk of renal toxicity and acute renal failure. The safe use of Tildren ® has not been evaluated in horses less than 4 years of age, in pregnant or lactating mares, or in breeding horses. Tildren ® is a registered trademark of Bimeda Animal Health Limited. All rights reserved. Providing lasting relief for your horse with Navicular syndrome . To learn more about Tildren ® , ask your Veterinarian or visit . Effective Control clinical signs Long-lasting Safe Tildren ® T ur i heartache i t o hope . (tiludronate disodium) Bisphosphonate drug for intravenous infusion Global Excellence in Animal Health

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