Factors associated with outcome following treatment of horses with septic tenosynovitis: 51 cases (1986-2003)

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2007 Apr 15;230(8):1195-200. doi: 10.2460/javma.230.8.1195.


Objective: To identify factors associated with outcome (ie, survival and return to function) following treatment of horses with septic tenosynovitis.

Design: Retrospective case series.

Animals: 51 horses with septic tenosynovitis.

Procedures: Information was obtained from medical records and through follow-up conversations with owners. Factors analyzed for an association with outcome included affected limb, etiology, duration of clinical signs prior to examination, presence of complications, primary treatment, secondary treatments, number of surgical procedures, and hospitalization time.

Results: Concurrent complications were identified in 41 (80%) horses. The primary treatment consisted of through-and-through lavage in 26 (51%) horses, tenoscopy in 20 (39%), and tenosynoviotomy combined with lavage in 5 (10%). Forty (78%) horses were discharged, and 37 (73%) survived at least 1 year after surgery; 21 of the 37 (57%) returned to their previous or a higher level of performance. Percentages of horses that survived 1 year after discharge and percentages that returned to their intended use did not vary significantly among treatments. Horses with tendon rupture or sepsis of an adjacent joint were significantly less likely to survive. Horses with tendon injury or pannus were significantly less likely to return to their intended use.

Conclusions and clinical relevance: Results suggested that various factors were associated with outcome in horses with septic tenosynovitis. However, surgical technique was not found to be associated with survival rate or rate of return to intended use.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Horse Diseases / drug therapy
  • Horse Diseases / surgery
  • Horse Diseases / therapy*
  • Horses
  • Hospitalization
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tenosynovitis / drug therapy
  • Tenosynovitis / surgery
  • Tenosynovitis / therapy
  • Tenosynovitis / veterinary*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents