Top Equine Surgery Studies of 2013

Dr. Lisa Fortier shares her picks for the top equine surgery- and lameness-related studies of 2013.
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The ever-popular Kester News Hour was once again well-attended at the 2013 American Association of Equine Practitioners’ Convention, held Dec. 7-11 in Nashville, Tenn. This quick-fire presentation is designed to bring busy equine practitioners up to speed on some of the most important and influential studies in different fields.

Lisa Fortier, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVS, professor of Large Animal Surgery at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, in Ithaca, N.Y., shared her picks for the top surgery- and lameness-related studies with attendees during the news hour.

Upper Airway Issues

The first study Fortier described introduced the prevalence and features of a recently identified upper respiratory condition called ventrorostral displacement of the dorsal laryngeal mucosa (or VRDDLM). She explained that the condition occurs when the mucosa on top of the arytenoids (flappers) progressively obscures the airway during exercise. The researchers who performed the study identified the condition in 12 of 600 racehorses with presenting complaints of poor performance and/or abnormal respiratory noise. Most of the affected horses also had another concurrent respiratory issue, Fortier said. The condition’s etiology remains unclear, and treatment isn’t immediately necessary, she said.

"Six of the horses’ conditions resolved in six to nine weeks, suggesting transient airway instability may be related to the level of training, immaturity, and airway disease of young Thoroughbred racehorses," she said

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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