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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1992 Jul 1;201(1):121-4.

Fistulous withers in horses: 24 cases (1984-1990).

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  • 1Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station 77843.


Between Jan 1, 1984 and Aug 1, 1990, 27 horses were admitted to the veterinary medical center for evaluation of fistulous withers. Nine (37.5%) of 24 horses tested for antibody to Brucella abortus were seropositive. Horses that tested seropositive were significantly (P = 0.046) more likely to have been pastured with cattle that were seropositive for B abortus, and were significantly (P = 0.010) more likely to have had radiographic evidence of vertebral osteomyelitis than were horses that tested seronegative. Five horses that were seropositive for B abortus were administered strain 19 brucella vaccine sc (n = 1) or iv (n = 4). The horse treated by sc injection of vaccine improved during hospitalization, but was lost to follow-up evaluation. Three (75%) of 4 horses treated by iv injection died, but 1 horse recovered within 4 weeks of treatment.

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