Editor’s note: Each year, the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Convention brings forward cutting-edge scientific topics. This venue provides excellent continuing education for equine practitioners from around the world, giving insights into state-of-the-art medical, surgical and business strategies. At the 2016 Convention in Orlando, Florida, interesting papers were presented at the Kester News Hour. Many of the papers discussed have practical implications for common problems in equine medicine and surgery. In addition, this information can help provide practitioners with material to educate clients in the best health care for their horses. We will cover four of these topics in separate articles on EquiManagement.com.
Venograms for Non-Lame Horses
Venograms often are performed on horses with some form of distal limb pathology, and especially to evaluate the integrity of feet experiencing laminitis and to help guide treatment. In this study at Colorado State University, reported by Britta Leise, DVM, PhD, DACVS, at the 2016 AAEP Convention, 23 polo team horses with lameness less than Grade 2 (on a 1-5 AAEP scale) were evaluated with contrast radiography of the feet.
In horses that had delayed contrast fill when weight bearing, unweighting the hoof enabled rapid contrast fill of the dorsal lamellar vessels. The deeper the sole depth—14 mm or more—the better the blood supply and detail of terminal papillae. In general, the study identified that there are normal variations of vascular patterns in normal feet.
The Bottom Line
Armed with information from the most current research, veterinarians are best able to make well-informed decisions to manage and treat your patients, and to educate your clients about their choices in caring for their horses. This builds client loyalty and a team approach to business practice.