Temporohyoid osteoarthropathy in 33 horses (1993-2000)
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A retrospective study of the medical records of 33 horses was performed to determine the clinical and diagnostic abnormalities associated with temporohyoid osteoarthropathy. Data collected from medical records included signalment, presenting complaints, history, physical examination findings, laboratory data, results of diagnostic imaging studies, and treatments. Follow-up information was obtained from a review of case records; by telephone conversation with the owner, veterinarian, or trainer; or by both methods. Of 33 horses with temporohyoid osteoarthropathy, 29 presented with facial nerve (cranial nerve VII) deficits and 23 presented with vestibulocochlear nerve (cranial nerve VIII) deficits. Guttural pouch endoscopy was more reliable than radiography for diagnosis. Of horses with unilateral clinical signs, 22.6% actually had bilateral disease. Magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography identified the lesions in all horses in which these tests were performed. Of 30 horses for which follow-up information was obtained, 20 (67%) were alive. Eight horses were euthanized and 1 died because of problems associated with temporohyoid osteoarthropathy. Nineteen of 20 surviving horses (95%) were considered by the owner or trainer to be suitable for athletic use. Twelve surviving horses (60%) had residual facial nerve deficits; 11 horses (55%) had residual vestibulocochlear nerve deficits. Horses with temporohyoid osteoarthropathy have a fair prognosis for return to some type of athletic function, but there is risk of acute death. The majority of horses would be expected to have some residual cranial nerve dysfunction, and it could take a year or longer for maximal improvement to occur.