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Tarsus: tarsocrural synovitis (bog spavin)

pequis

Synonym(s): Bog spavin


Introduction

  • Cause: acute or chronic low-grade synovitis of the tarsocrural joint  → effusion.
  • Signs: distended tarsocrural (tibiotarsal) joint   Tarsus: tarsocrural synovitis 02 - joint distension    Tarsus: tarsocrural synovitis 04 - joint distention.
  • Diagnosis: physical examination, radiography Hindlimb: radiography, arthrocentesis Synovial fluid: collection, arthroscopy Tarsus: arthroscopy.
  • Treatment: none; drainage, bandaging, intra-articular anti-inflammatories Dexamethasone.
  • Prognosis: guarded.
Print off the Owner factsheet on Bog spavin (tarsocrural synovitis) to give to your clients.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

Predisposing factors

General

  • Poor conformation, eg too straight in the hocks.
  • Prolonged periods of being stalled or inactivity.
  • Lower hindlimb casts may develop effusion in the immobilized limb. ? due to joint capsule sprain.
  • Performance horses, eg dressage, showjumpers, required to perform quick and tight turns and manoeuvres.
  • Deficiencies alone or in combination of: phosphorus Phosphorus, calcium Calcium salts Nutrition: minerals, Vitamins A Vitamin A or D Vitamin D3.
  • Chronic zinc poisoning.

Pathophysiology

  • Biomechanical stress or other tarsal joint pathology, eg osteochondrosis Bone: osteochondrosis → recurring cartilage microtrauma → chronic low grade synovitis → synovial effusion.
  • Distension of the joint → increased space between synoviocytes and dilution of hyaluronic acid.
  • See synovial joint pathobiology Joint: synovial pathobiology.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Weaver M P & Wilant L (2012) Owner survey of tarsocrural effusion (bog spavin) in Clydesdale horses. Vet Rec 170 (11), 286 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • O'Meara B (2012) Bog spavin: recognising the problem is the first step towards recovery. Vet Rec 170 (11), 284-285 (Editorial).
  • Dabareiner R M, Carter G K & Dyson S J (2003) The Tarsus. In: Diagnosis & Management of Lameness in the Horse. Eds: Ross M W & Dyson S J. Saunders, USA. pp 443-444.
  • Sullins K E (2002) The Tarsus. In: Adams Lameness in Horses. 5th edn. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, USA. pp 947-950.

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