Discussion of showjumping deaths - Page 11 - The Horse Forum
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post #101 of 109 Old 11-10-2011, 12:46 PM
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Thanks for her update. I was looking for one and couldn't find it.
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post #102 of 109 Old 11-10-2011, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Allison Finch View Post
Thanks for her update. I was looking for one and couldn't find it.
Twitter is awesome for these things! :)

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post #103 of 109 Old 11-10-2011, 01:24 PM
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The International riders are competing right now.. i should probly be working.. oh well...

Royal Agricultural Winter Fair 2011 Free Access<
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post #104 of 109 Old 11-12-2011, 04:45 AM
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I didn't get through all eleven pages so forgive me if I'm repeating.

But if you think all us vets have for cardiac evaluation is a stethoscope, you are sorely mistaken. At the academic hospital were I am completing my veterinary degree, we have far more sophisticated technology.

We routinely do heart ECG in both relaxed and exercising horses which reveals a variety of conditions such as atrial fibrillation, mumours, heart chamber enlargements and even metabolic imbalances. We do ECGs on every horse before surgery as well as when horses come in for cardiac complaints so you can be pretty sure that it would be a standard test for a check-up of a super-athlete. It is not that expensive to do and is incredibly simple to do, you just need the knowledge to interpret the results.

We run ultrasounds of the heart to evaluate chamber size and contraction in multiple modes. We do doppler ultrasound to look for any abnormalities in cardiac blood flow. While we are certainly far behind the medical world when it comes to technology, we are not as outdated as you assume.
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post #105 of 109 Old 11-12-2011, 02:48 PM
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Im glad you shedded some light ob that topic. Its good to know that there is some good technology out there and hopefully the owners of big athlete horses are responsible enough to make sure their horses are in good cardiac health before big competitions. Which im sure they do... especially when they see or hear about things like that happening

But I don't think that what he died from could have been diagnosed before it happened as there were no signs. Correct me if im wrong.
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post #106 of 109 Old 11-12-2011, 02:57 PM
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He died from an aortic rupture am I right?

I'm not sure if they know the reason behind the rupture - there are many that can damage the integrity of the vessel wall and predispose it to rupture - stressful blood flow, jet lesions, atherosclerosis, an aneurysm - the list goes on. But most of these would be very difficult to diagnose without symptoms. Sometimes aneurysm can be diagnosed on radiographs but it would have to be an excellent quality radiograph and a big aneuryms so the chances are slim.
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post #107 of 109 Old 11-12-2011, 05:57 PM
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At an academic hospital, not at the competition. I would think it funny to see anyone fly across the Atlantic to compete with an ECG unit... And as you say, diagnosis of aneurysms even with high quality diagnostic equipment is sketchy at best.
Of course these horses are getting routine evaluations of cardiac health but if they aren't showing symptoms and are as extremely fit as Hickstead was, they aren't going to be trailering the horse to the veterinary college once a week to get an ECG done... often times a stethoscope is all that is used to evaluate the horses hearth health at home on a routine basis (ie after workouts) and an ECG will only be done every once in a while, but still routinely (twice a year maybe). If it ain't broke don't try to fix it mentality.
Hicksteads death was a freak incident and I honestly don't think, especially after the Lamaze interview, that there is anything more that could have been done for that horse.
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post #108 of 109 Old 11-12-2011, 11:02 PM
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Whilst I agree with you that nothing could have been done and it was a freak accident. I must point out that the new ECG machines link to a laptop so they are in fact very small and portable (even one of our older models is a little bigger than an A3 so not out of the realm of possibility to fly with or for a veterinarian to carry with him in his car).

And most specialised equine veterinarians, at least the ones I know, also have ultrasound machines - routinely used on farms to evaluate tendons etc.
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post #109 of 109 Old 03-29-2012, 09:50 AM
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Man, what happened to Hickstead is upsetting and a freak accident.
As to some of you who have been wondering if the horses are checked before and after the competition the answer is yes. I know on the "A" circuit, I had a horse competing in the Grand Prix at the end of the week in Atlanta, we were required to have the horseshow vet check his health and everything. I'm not sure if it's like this at all A Shows, but it's like that in Atlanta.

I know for the American Invitational all the horses are checked thoroughly before and after entering the ring.

Also these things are hard to detect and don't just happen to world class athletes. This happened to me, while I was showing a coming four year old, at a local schooling show. We finished our little 2ft 6 fence hunter course and as we were coming out of the ring he just collapsed with me on top of him. The horse is extremely calm and was acting perfectly normal. The vet had checked him maybe a few days before the show! It was also an at home schooling show so there was no stress due to traveling involved. Turns out that coming four year old had a aortic rupture.

So it's not unheard of at the local events either people. World Class athletes are vetted a lot!
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