Mobile Equine Veterinary Service

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Dr. Porter @ 352-258-3571
portermi.dvm@gmail.com

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Fungal Plaque in a Horse

A 7 year-old gelding presented to PHD veterinary services for the complaint of mild epistaxis (bloody nasal discharge). Endoscopic exam of the nasal passages identified a golden colored mass (Figure 1) that was covered in blood and was located within the opening to the ethmoid turbinates. The mass was diagnosed as an ethmoid hematoma based on location, appearance, and behavior. The client was given the option of surgical removal or treatment with intra-lesional doses of formalin. Based on the relatively small size of the ethmoid hematoma it was decided to attempt treating 1-2x with formalin and if there was not complete resolution then surgical resection would be pursued.


Figure 1
Four weeks after the first injection of formalin, a follow-up endoscopy noted significant reduction in the size of the ethmoid hematoma (Figure 2) and what appeared to be a second mass deeper within the ethmoid turbinates. The second ethmoid hematoma was not visualized during the initial exam because the first ethmoid hematoma was blocking the view! Based on these findings, the second ethmoid hematoma was injected with formalin in a similar fashion as the original ethmoid hematoma.

Figure 2
Six weeks after the second formalin injection the client reported that there was a slight yet persistent bloody discharge from the affected nares. Endoscopic exam revealed what appears to be a fungal plaque (black/white/yellow) adhered to the site of the ethmoid hematoma (Figure 3 and 4). This is an unusual finding and may prove to be a challenging complication. Fungal plaques have a predilection for vascular tissue and can infect the upper airway of horses. Fungal infection within the guttural pouch of a horse is well documented and can result in a catastrophic hemorrhage if not diagnosed and treated early. Fungal infection within the ethmoid turbinates is not common in my experience. Often these fungal plaques do NOT respond to systemic anti-fungal medication and must be either removed or treated aggressively with topical medication.
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Figure 3

Figure 4
The current clinical plan for this horse is medication with oral anti-fungal medication for several weeks. If there is no change, the fungal plaques will be treated with topical anti-fungal medication. Stay tuned....

Finally after 4 weeks of anti-fungal medication, there is no evidence of a fungal plaque and there is NO evidence of an ethmoid hematoma (Figure 5). The ethmoid turbinates are visible for the first time in this horse since the initial exam. Although there is no evidence of an existing ethmoid hematoma, these tumors commonly reoccur hence the gelding will be monitored closely for the next 12 months. 


Figure 5

Friday, September 19, 2014

Coffin bone rotation and Sinking in a donkey.

Sadly, I share the story of my very own donkey named "Lollipop". She is approximately 12 years old and every summer gets a bit foot sore when the green grass is lush. Through benign neglect and some luck, she has recovered every year with just a few days of phenylbutazone treatment! This year has been different. She has been lame in left front foot for over 2 months. Initially, she was lame in both front feet and I kept her feet supported with impression material and bandages. After 30 days of foot bandages, I switched to Soft Ride boots with removable orthotics designed for acutely foundered horses. The donkey remained lame in the left front foot hence I broke down and radiographed both front feet. On the day that the radiographs were taken, I noted that the entire coronary band was soft and painful in the left front foot!!
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Figure 1

Figure 2
.Figure 1 is a radiographs of the left front foot and Figure 2 is of the right front foot. There is evidence of chronic laminitis in both front feet with coffin bone rotation and pedal bone lysis. However, the most concerning observation was the radiographic evidence of coffin bone "sinking", predominantly in the left front foot. This occurs when the lamina becomes detached all the way around the foot and can result in the entire hoof sloughing off the foot!! In Figure 3 and 4, the red line corresponds to the coronary band and the blue arrow is the distance from the coronary band to the coffin joint. In Figure 3 (left front foot), the blue arrow is longer than the blue arrow in Figure 4. This would suggest that the entire bony column has "sunk" into the hoof capsule. This would also explain why the coronary band was soft and painful. In essence, Lollipop is trying to lose her hoof!  If this was to happen she would likely require humane euthanasia!!

Figure 3
 
Figure 4
Due to the severity of her condition, she is now locked up in a stall and I have placed her left front foot in a cast. The cast will hopefully stabilize the foot/hoof and allow time for healing of the lamina. She is comfortable on 1/2 gram of phenylbutazone 2x per day and other than being annoyed about the stall confinement, she appears stable. Stay tuned and keep her in your thoughts and prayers!!