Horse

Clinical trials for horses

  • Status: Not currently enrolling

    Description:

    The oral sugar test (OST) has been developed as a new test for diagnosing the glucose and insulin problems involved in the development of laminitis (founder) in horses.  This new test is easily performed and provides more information than just a single blood sample.  However, we do not know enough about the consistency of results, so this study is being conducted to compare results of two tests performed 7 to 14 days apart.

    The OST involves fasting your horse and then collecting 3 blood samples (20 mL each) from the jugular vein using a needle before and 60 and 90 minutes after giving corn syrup (0.15 ml/kg) by mouth.  Our fasting procedure is as follows:

    •         For an OST beginning between 8:00 and 10:00 AM, we ask you to bring your horse into a dirt paddock or stall and leave only one flake of hay at 10 PM the night before.
    •         For an OST beginning between 4:00 and 6:00 PM, we ask you to bring your horse into a dirt paddock or stall and leave only one flake of hay at 6:00 AM the same morning.

    Inclusion Criteria:

    Horses with suspected or confirmed glucose and insulin problems associated with equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) or Cushing’s disease (also called pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction).

    Horse owners must allow their horse to be tested twice 7-14 days apart.

    Exclusion Criteria:

    Horses that are currently suffering from other diseases.  For example, any medical problem causing fever.

    Blood samples must be collected without causing significant stress, so horses with a fear of needles are excluded.

    Client Benefits:

    This study covers the cost of measuring glucose and insulin in the blood samples collected, but horse owners are financially responsible for costs associated with two veterinarian visits to farm and professional time for performing the tests.

    Contact Information:

    Diane Welsh, Clinical Trial Technician   clinicaltrials@tufts.edu                                                               ‘

     

     

     

  • Status: Not currently enrolling

    Description:

    Injuries of the flexor tendons and suspensory ligament (the flexor apparatus) are a common occurrence in equine athletes. Unfortunately, the tendon and ligament healing response in both horses and humans is slow and often inadequate.  In some sporting activities, 23–67% of horses with tendon injury treated using conservative methods re-injure their tendons within 2 years. Surgical intervention provides little added benefit.

    These authors consider that sub-optimal rehabilitation programs often impede a timely return to soundness. While equine veterinarians are increasingly aware of the need for carefully controlled early re-introduction of exercise following injury, precisely how and when to implement activity is the subject of debate. If flexor apparatus loads are introduced too soon, or if they are of excessive magnitude or frequency, healing can be delayed or re-injury may occur.

    Our goal is to develop protective leg wear that will facilitate early safe return to rehabilitative exercise. The legwear is worn bilaterally. It is designed to mechanically limit peak fetlock extension. This allows us to limit peak flexor apparatus loads (stress) and corresponding flexor strains (stretch) to within physiologic norms (for that point in the horse’s rehabilitation). This will effectively prevent over-extension and/or over-loading of the injured tissue(s) and, at the same time, promote symmetric weight-bearing by reducing motion- and load-related pain.

    In this specific phase of the overall study we propose to assess weight-bearing at the walk and trot in horses with unilateral (single limb) flexor apparatus injury in the absence and presence of the protective legwear. We expect that the leg wear will allow increased loading of the injured limb as determined by force plate gait analysis. Reduction in clinical lameness should occur simultaneously.

    Inclusion Criteria:

    • Horses will have confirmed unilateral forelimb flexor apparatus injury (a ‘suspensory’, ‘tendinopathy’ ‘tendonitis’, etc.) of known dimension and severity, as characterized by ultrasound or MRI.
    • Horses will have confirmed unilateral forelimb lameness emanating from the flexor injury on the affected limb.

     

    Exclusion criteria:

    • Horses with asymmetric conformation of the forelimbs.
    • Horses with concurrent disease or injury.
    • Horses with greater than a lameness grade 2.5 (this corresponds to a horse with lameness that is difficult to observe at a walk, but is consistently mildly lame at the trot). This will allow us to effectively exclude horses that are still experiencing an acute or severe injury (lameness reflects pain that generally reflects injury extent and severity).

    Client Benefits:

     This gait analysis study will be performed at no cost to you, the client. Additionally, you will be given a check for $400 to help cover any costs associated with your horse’s routine treatment for its injury at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.  Your horse’s participation will allow us to gain information which will help in the rehabilitation of yours and others’ horses with flexor apparatus injury through the use of our leg wear. You understand that your horse’s participation in this study may not alleviate or cure his/her injury.

    Contact Information:

    For questions regarding the clinical trial please email the clinical trials technician, Diane Welsh at:  clinicaltrials@tufts.edu

     

                                                                        

     

     

     

     

  • Status:  Fully enrolled

    Comparison of histamine bronchoprovocation using respiratory inductive plethysmography (RIP) and forced oscillatory mechanics (FOM) to measure airway hyperreactivity in horses with inflammatory airway disease (IAD)

    Description:

    Inflammatory airway disease (IAD) is a non-infectious lung condition which often manifests as intermittent coughing, nasal discharge, and increased mucus in the airways of horses. IAD, similar to human asthma, affects many horses of varying age, resulting in chronic poor respiratory health and exercise intolerance. Improvements in diagnosing and monitoring responses to treatment of IAD would improve horse welfare and benefit the equine industry.

    IAD is diagnosed by either semi-invasive (bronchoalveolar lavage – BAL or “lung wash”) or non-invasive techniques (lung function testing using FOM/RIP). Forced oscillatory mechanics (FOM) testing is performed to non-invasively measure the horse’s respiratory system resistance as an indicator of airway obstruction or narrowing. In contrast, RIP or “Respiratory Inductive Plethysmography”, non-invasively measures the disparity between the horse’s breathing efforts and the amount of airflow actually moving out of the lungs, which would indicate inflammation or obstruction. Both tests are performed before and after nebulization with histamine for the assessment of airway reactivity or ‘twitchiness’ of the airways, which is a common feature of IAD.

    The use of FOM is limited to the hospital setting; whereas the RIP system is portable and thus highly applicable to clinical field practice and stall-side research use. However, the two methodologies have yet to be compared directly; although each has been validated against a conventional method to measure airway resistance (esophageal balloon-pneumotachography). This study is therefore essential in validating the use of portable lung function testing (RIP) by substantiating that comparable results may be achieved using either RIP or FOM.

    Inclusion Criteria:

    Horses of any sex, aged 2-20 years, and weighing 300-600 kg, with clinical signs suggestive of inflammatory airway disease (poor performance, exercise intolerance, cough or nasal discharge); a condition similar to asthma in people.

    Exclusion Criteria:

    Horses that show signs of infectious disease (as determined by history, fever or physical examination), upper respiratory tract abnormalities (such as increased airway noise during exercise) or recurrent airway obstruction (signs of respiratory abnormalities at rest).

    Client Benefits:

    The study will cover most of the costs associated with any testing related to the study (the overnight stay, both forms of lung function testing, and the lung wash will be covered by the study). You will thus have the benefit of a physical examination, lung function testing, and bronchoalveolar lavage cytology to inform you of your horse’s health status. Your horse’s participation will also allow us to gain information which will help in the diagnosis and management of other patients with IAD.

    Contact information:

    For questions regarding the clinical trial please email the clinical trials technician, Diane Welsh at: clinicaltrials@tufts.edu

     

     

  • Status:  Fully enrolled

    Description:

    Standard MRI protocols in small animals use contrast material (gadolinium) via intravenous administration to fully assess a disease process. The dose of the contrast material is generally based on body weight; however, in horses this makes the use of contrast cost prohibitive.

    This study will add information about equine MRI and will determine if regional limb perfusion is a feasible way to deliver contrast medium and allow for better characterization of common injuries in equine athletes. The goal is to determine if this method of contrast material administration will allow increased sensitivity of lesion detection while keeping the overall price of contrast administration reasonable

    Inclusion Criteria:

    • Horses: any sex, age, weight
    • Any horse undergoing MRI as part of its lameness work up for lameness localized to the foot/distal limb.

     

    Client Benefits:

    The study will cover all of the costs associated with the regional limb perfusion as well as the additional anesthesia time and additional MRI sequences. Your horse’s participation will also allow us to gain information about any current injury and will help in the diagnosis of other horses with injuries in the hoof capsule. You understand that your animal’s participation in this study may not alleviate or cure his/her ailment.

    Contact Information:

    For questions regarding the clinical trial please email the clinical trials technician, Diane Welsh at: clinicaltrials@tufts.edu

  • Status:  Currently enrolling

    Description:

    Colic or abdominal pain is the primary equine emergency seen by field practitioners, as well as, clinicians in a hospital setting. Strangulating lesions of the small intestine are one of the most serious causes of colic and necessitate surgical intervention. Following small intestinal surgery, horses can have a variety of complications (eg., ileus, laminitis, diarrhea, incisional infections, intra-abdominal adhesions, and recurrence of colic) which often lead to prolonged hospitalization, increased costs, and decreased survival rates.  The goal of this study is to determine if horses with devitalized small intestine have bacterial contamination of their abdomen pre-operatively and if present, is there an association with the development of post-operative complications.

    Despite numerous studies examining post-operative complications following small intestinal surgery, we still have a poor understanding for the mechanisms leading to the most significant complications in our equine patients. To our knowledge, no studies have been performed evaluating the possibility that horses presenting with strangulating small intestinal lesions may have a previously unrecognized septic peritonitis on admission (to be determined by positive bacterial culture of peritoneal fluid). The goal of this study would be to examine any potential correlation of positive bacterial culture of the peritoneal fluid on admission with post-operative complications. If such an association was established with this study, culture of peritoneal fluid on admission may become standard of care, in addition to more aggressive management of these horses in surgery and in the post-operative period.

    We hypothesize horses presenting for suspected small intestinal strangulating lesions that have a positive bacterial culture of peritoneal fluid obtained on admission will have larger amounts and more compromised small intestine as compared to horses that have no bacterial growth. In addition, positive bacterial culture would predispose horses to increased post-operative complications (ileus, laminitis, incisional infections, adhesions and post-operative colic).

    Inclusion Criteria:

    Horses presenting for acute abdominal pain (colic) with suspected strangulating small intestinal lesion (dilated small intestine on rectal or ultrasound, serosanguinous abdominal fluid with elevated lactate, elevated blood lactate, positive net reflux and refractory abdominal pain). Horses must undergo exploratory celiotomy.

    Exclusion Criteria:

    Horses will be excluded (samples will not be submitted) if surgical evaluation does not confirm a small intestinal strangulating lesion.

    Client Benefits:

    The study will cover the costs of initial fluid analysis, blood gas analysis and culture of the abdominal fluid as well as procalcitonin level analysis. Your horse’s participation will also allow us to gain information which will help in the diagnosis/management/treatment of other horses with this condition. You understand that your animal’s participation in this study may not alleviate or cure his/her ailment.

    Contact Information:

    For questions regarding the clinical trial please email the clinical trials technician, Diane Welsh at: clinicaltrials@tufts.edu