Older Horses More Susceptible to Acute Superficial Digital Flexor Tendon Rupture

by | 03.15.2015 | 7:40am

A study conducted by a University of California, Davis shows that older horses can be at greater risk for an acute rupture of the proximal superfivial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) due to a loss of elasticity as they age.

The findings were discussed during a session at the 2014 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention held in Salt lake City, Utah. Dr. Betsy Vaughan, DVM, associate professor at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, described a comprehensive review of the school's Large Animal Ultrasound Service records that was conducted between the years of 2003 and 2013.

The study included 1,317 metacarpal ultrasound examinations during the disclosed time period ranging from 15 to 30 years of age.

“in general, horses seem to be at greater risk for rupture of the proximal SDFT as age increases,” said Vaughan during her presentation, according to The Blood-Horse. “The mean age for occurrence in this group was 21.4 years. Rupture of the SDFT should be considered in older horses showing signs of acute severe pain and lameness with swelling of the palmar carpus and/or metacarpus. Prognosis is good for return to pasture soundness, provided the horse is given prolonged rest and rehabilitation.”

Read more at The Blood-Horse.

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