Equine case study – Mari Nordlandshest

A case study explaining the effectiveness of radiography in determining an accurate diagnosis in equine practice. For veterinary use.

Mari was found by the owner on pasture on the evening 17/11/2013 and she was lame on the right hind leg (RH.) The attending veterinary surgeon the same evening recorded the pony to be 4/5 lame RH. There was no sign of trauma or swelling of the leg. Mari was put on NSIDE’s and box rest.

The next morning Mari was still 4/5 lame RH. On examination Mari was bright an alert, eating well but reluctant to move. There was now swelling RH in the hip-stifle region caudal to the stifle. On palpation there was no sign of pain below the stifle, higher up the leg there was sign of pain on deep palpation.  On flexion of the stifle and hock there was no sign of pain. Mari was very reluctant manipulation of the hip joint. When using the stethoscope one could also hear crepitus in the RH hip area. RH stance was toe out with the whole leg rotated outwards, there was asymmetry of the hip.

Mari’s case reminded me of a case I saw as a student at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Science in 1993. It was a breeding bull with the same type of lameness and crepitus over the hip joint. This bull was found to have a dislocated hip on post mortem.

Mari’s estimated weight was around 400 kg. This is on the edge of what I expected my radiographic equipment can produce radiographs around the hip joint. It was decided to try to examine the hip with radiography anyway.

After a quick look in the “Handbook of Equine Radiograpy”p.123,I decided to try to radiograph the hip joints separately with the generator under the Mari’s abdomen and the plate placed over the pelvis. The setting on the generator was 100kV with 40mA. And the diagnosis was confirmed.

Thanks to: Cathrine Tschudi Madsen MDNV and Anne Cecilie Berentsen MDNV for referring this case.

Ref. “Handbook of Equine Radiograpy” Weaver & Barakzai
Equipment: Tru-DR lx with Orange High Power 10040HF

Tjerand Lunde, BVM&S, MDNV

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