Mapping of prevalence, diagnostics and treatments of orthopedic injuries in Swedish trotting horses
Sammanfattning: Equine sport is the third largest sport in Sweden with an estimated number of 350,000 horses in the country. Trotting racing is the biggest branch in the Swedish equine industry, around 80,000 out of the horse population are trotting horses. Sweden is ranked to be among the top three leading countries in the world holding trotting races. The horses are trained intensely to run at high speed and perform at maximum capacity. The athletic performance can cause injuries and orthopedic problems are seen as the most prevalent type of injuries in racehorses. There is a wide range of pharmaceuticals available to treat orthopedic injuries as well as many diagnostic methods. The knowledge about the prevalence, diagnostics and treatments of orthopedic in the Swedish trotting horse population is not known. It is rare that racehorses are insured to cover the cost of injuries caused by athletic use and therefore no insurance data is available on orthopedic diagnostics and treatments in trotters. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence, diagnostics and treatments of orthopedic injuries in trotting horses in Sweden. As far as the author is aware of, this is the first study that has attempted to execute a mapping of such. This study was done by two different surveys aimed to trotting horse trainers and racehorse veterinarians. In-depth interviews with professional trotting horse trainers were also performed and included in the results. Medical records from some trainers who participated in the in-depth interviews were used in the study. The surveys as well as the interviews contained questions about prevalence of diagnosed injuries, methods to diagnose and what pharmaceuticals that were used as treatment. The surveys were web-based and performed through Netigate (www.netigate.com), the data was also processed in Netigate. The results showed that carpitis was the most prevalent diagnosis and that cortisone was the most commonly used drug for treatment of orthopedic problems. Some diagnoses seemed to popular and performed by specific veterinarians, as well as certain treatments. Results indicated that particular diagnostic methods and pharmaceuticals used deviated from treatment guidelines established by the Swedish Veterinary Association (SVF). In order to reach more precise results and comprehend the motivation of treatments and diagnostic methods, more veterinarians would need to participate in the survey and adding in-depth interviews of veterinarians could also provide additional insights.
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