Where cases progress favorably, lameness subsides in about three weeks after cauterization and little if any recurrence of the impediment is manifested thereafter. However, because of violent exercise taken in some instances when subjects are put out after being confined in the stall, a return of lameness occurs and it may remain for several days or in some cases become permanent. No good comes from the use of blistering ointments immediately after cauterization. The actual cautery is a means of producing all necessary inflammation and it should be so employed that sufficient reactionary inflammation succeeds such firing. The use of a vesicating ointment subsequent to cauterization invites infection because of the dust that is retained in contact with the wound. The employment of irritating chemicals in a liquid form following firing is needless and cruel.
In many instances lameness is not relieved and subjects show no improvement at the end of six weeks time and it then becomes a question of whether or not recovery is to be expected even with continued rest and treatment. As a rule, such cases are unfavorable. In one instance the author employed the actual cautery three times during the course of six months and lameness gradually diminished for a year. In this case the spavin was of nearly one year’s standing when treatment was instituted. The subject was a nervous and restless but well-formed seven-year-old gelding. Recovery was not complete; recurrent intervals of lameness marked this case, but the horse limped so slightly that the average observer could not detect its existence after the animal had been driven a little way.
Cunean tenotomy has been advocated and practiced by Abildgaard, Lafosse, Peters, Herring, Zuill and others and good results have followed in many cases so treated.
Considering results, the employment of chemicals of various kinds for the purpose of relieving spavin lameness does not compare favorably with firing. Moreover, so many animals have been tortured and needlessly blemished in the attempted cure of spavin that agents which are not of known value, the use of which are likely to result in extensive injury to the tissues, are only to be condemned.
When spavin is bilateral and lameness is likewise affecting both members, prognosis is at once unfavorable. Such cases are often benefited by cauterization but only one leg at a time should be treated.
Bossi’s double tarsal neurectomy (division of the anterior and posterior tibial nerves) has undoubtedly been of decided benefit in many cases, but is not at present a popular method of treatment in this country. This operation has its indications, however, and may be recommended in chronic lameness where no extensive exostosis exists which may mechanically interfere with function.
Distension of the Tarsal Joint Capsule. (Bog Spavin.)
Distension of the capsular ligament of the tibial tarsal (tibioastragular) joint with synovia is commonly known as bog spavin. This condition is separate and distinct from that of distension of the sheath of the deep flexor tendon (perforans) though not infrequently the two affections coexist.