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Retrospective study on clinical findings, treatment details and outcome in foals with rupture of the common digital extensor tendon

Book Contribution - Book Abstract Conference Contribution

Introduction:Rupture of the common digital extensor tendon (CDET) in foals is sparsely documented in liter-ature.Materials and methods: Retrospective study of foals with CDET rupture presented to the University of Ghent and Han-nover between 2009 and 2020. History, clinical examination and treatment details were retrieved from clinical records, and outcome was based on telephone questionnaire with the owner.Results: Twenty foals were identified. The sample consisted of mostly Warmbloods (15/20), with an equal distribution between male and female foals. Median age on admission was 7.5 days (range 1U+201321). Twelve foals presented with concurrent flexural deformity. In two cases, no treatment was performed due to financial restrictions. Treatment included medical support, immobilization (bandage/splint/cast, tailored to the individual case and stage of healing), and box rest. The foals were hospitalized for a median of 27.5 days (range 7U+201376); all foals survived to discharge. Fol-low-up was obtained for 18 horses. Three horses were euthanized for reasons unrelated to CDET rupture. All foals treated in 2020 (n=6) presented excellent short-term functional and cosmetic outcome (median follow-up 6.5 months, range 4U+20138), whereas 5/9 foals treated in pre-ceding years (median follow-up 33 months, range 12U+201390) were reported to have limitations in performance, which owners attributed to CDET rupture earlier in life.Conclusion and discussion: Rupture of the CDET is a rare condition often requiring prolonged veterinary care, especially in cases with concurrent flexural deformity. Further research is required to investigate the potential association with limitations in athletic performance later in life.
Book: Proceedings of 2nd meeting of the European College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation: Tendinopathies in horses, dogs and humans: lessons learnt when crossing species boundaries
Pages: 34 - 34