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Nearly 2,500 equine veterinarians gathered in Orlando, Fla., in early December 2016 to discuss all aspects of equine health at the American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention. Even among the foot and limb, there is a wide variety of topics surveyed during the gathering. However, among those presentations and discussions, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and soft tissue injuries received a great deal of attention among those interested in the foot and limb.
Although previous conventions have provided sessions that delivered practical footcare advice for veterinarians and farriers alike, this year’s offerings emphasized the diagnostic aspects for vets. Here are some of the highlights from the convention in relation to those presentations.
The digital cushion has a more complicated structure contributing to its role in protecting the internal structures of the foot than previously thought. The histological and functional properties of different regions of it have not been fully studied. Dr. Babak Faramarzi of Western University College of Veterinary Medicine in Ponoma, Calif., presented research that examined the regional distribution of connective, nervous and adipose tissues, as well as the vascular components of the digital cushion. Previously, he’s felt literature is often incomplete or inconsistent on the digital cushion’s function.
The study examined digital cushion samples from the axial-proximal, axial-distal, axial-lateral and axial medial regions of the fore hooves of 24 euthanized Quarter Horses. The horses were clinically sound before euthanized. Using MRI won’t show the depth of detail that he would need…