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Category: Horse Health Archives

Diagnostic Imaging – Which One Is Best? – Marion DuPont Scott Equine Medical Center

Diagnostic imaging techniques for determining lameness in horses is constantly evolving and improving, assisting veterinarians to provide accurate diagnosis, prognosis and appropriate treatment options. Understanding imaging options will allow you to understand why your veterinarian has suggested one over another. Digital radiography(X-ray) provides clear, detailed images of bony structures of the horse and is used to diagnose fractures, bone cysts, and arthritis. However, radiographs create a two-dimensional image of three-dimensional bones, and thus can miss subtle abnormalities, especially in complex joints. Ultrasonography sends sound waves by a hand-held probe into the horse’s body. Structures with different densities reflect sound waves back to the probe, which in turn creates digital images. These high quality images are useful to monitor and diagnose soft tissue, joint and bone injuries; however, this technique cannot penetrate through bone, and only the surface of bone is visible. Nuclear Scintigraphy (Bone Scan) involves injecting the horse with radioisotope that tracks to actively changing bone and highlights bony injuries or changes. Using a gamma camera to scan the body, injured bone and tissue absorbs more radioisotope than healthy bone and tissue. This technique is useful for multiple limb lameness, inconsistent lame- ness, lameness detected at speed, kissing spine, neck arthritis and sacroiliac joints. But, it is a screening tool that often identifies a region to further investigate with additional imaging techniques to determine a specific diagnosis. ComputedTomography(CT) provides...

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The Important Role of Equine Hospital Support Staff – Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center

Care of a hospitalized horse requires highly-trained, dedicated personnel. Each horse must be treated as an individual, with examinations, treatments and procedures provided as directed by veterinarians, to ensure their comfort, safety and ultimate recovery. Licensed Veterinary Technicians, equine nurses and nursing assistants, support clinicians with the daily individualized care of each equine patient. Nursing duties for inpatients and outpatients include checking vital signs, administering medications and monitoring IV catheters. Medications are administered at specific times throughout the day and night and wounds require regular lavaging and bandage changes. These dedicated individuals work long hours, on rotating shifts, and their...

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What is EIA?

As news of a Montgomery County horse testing positive for EIA has been circulating this week, a lot of Equiery readers have been posting questions as to what the virus is, how a horse becomes infected and how they may or may not be treated. We hope we are able to answer a few of your questions here. Please note, as of this morning (July 13), the case in Montgomery County is still under investigation and no new information has been released from the Maryland Department of Agriculture. All neighboring farms have been notified by MDA and the case farm will remain in quarantine until the 60-day hold period is lifted, as long as no other horses on the farm test positive during the hold period. The horse infected was euthanized earlier this week. In addition, according to Jason Schellhardt of the MDA Public Health Office, the origin of the virus in the infected horse is under investigation. “This virus is very rare for our area and is more common along the Gulf Coast. We are currently investigating where the horse could have been infected.” Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) is a blood borne virus, typically transferred by biting flies or infected needles that effects horses, donkeys and mules. EIA is closely related to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but is not known to effect human health. The disease is...

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