Scientific journals across the globe publish hundreds of horse-focused studies annually; one research database search produced more than 1,200 results for a 12-month stretch. . Each year during the Kester News Hour—always one of the most well-attended sessions at the American Association of Equine Practitioners Annual Convention–a practitioner highlights standout medicine studies from this group. Carol Clark, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, of Peterson & Smith Equine Hospital, in Ocala, Florida, took on the task during the 2014 edition of the convention, held Dec. 6-10 in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Clark began her synopsis by describing several papers on eye problems. The first she highlighted was about treating corneal stromal abscesses with 5% voriconazole (an antifungal) solution by injecting the drug immediately adjacent to the anterior stroma rather than directly into the abscess as veterinarians more typically do. The researchers recommended starting this treatment as early as possible in the disease course. In their study, necessary treatment time decreased from the reported average of eight weeks down to 5.5 weeks and resulted in less scarring.

Next, Clark reviewed a retrospective (2006-2013) examination of 18 cases of orbital fractures. These fractures of the structures surrounding the eye are not uncommon and usually result from trauma, such as a direct kick or a horse hitting its head. “Multiple bones create the equine orbit, and to adequately diagnose the degree of damage and to define fractures, it is necessary to take radiographs along with (conducting) digital palpation," Clark explained. "Ultrasound of the globe of the eye is important, as well.”