2011’s Top Equine Surgery/Lameness Studies

A wrap-up of the most important, interesting, or applicable surgery and lameness studies from Dr. Scott Palmer

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Each year, researchers publish hundreds of equine surgery and lameness studies. During the 2011 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Nov. 18-22 in San Antonio, Texas, some of the most clinically relevant surgery and lameness studies were presented during the annual Kester News Hour. Scott E. Palmer, DVM, Dipl. AVBP (Equine Practice), hospital director and staff surgeon at the New Jersey Equine Clinic, shared his thoughts on top studies with a veterinary audience.

Respiratory Problems

"Coughing is a common complaint in mature nonracehorses with epiglottic abnormalities," began Palmer as he described a retrospective study of mature (a mean age 16, with a range from 9 to 30 years of age) horses with abnormalities of the epiglottis (a flap of cartilage that moves to cover the horse’s windpipe when it swallows to prevent inhaling fluid or food). In the 23 horses studied, the primary complaint for 70% was chronic cough and the most common epiglottic abnormality was epiglottic entrapment, which results in hampered epiglottal movement (followed by subepiglottic granuloma and subepiglottic cyst). All horses were treated surgically and 74% required no further treatment, while a few required further treatment for inflammation, recurrent airway obstruction, and dorsal displacement of the soft palate.

"Upper airway endoscopy is recommended in the evaluation of older horses with a cough," summarized Palmer. "Surgical treatment can be beneficial in most horses, with some requiring further postoperative medical treatment

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Written by:

Christy West has a BS in Equine Science from the University of Kentucky, and an MS in Agricultural Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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