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Spotlight On Septic Arthritis

Septic arthritis, a debilitating disease caused by a bacterial infection in a horse’s joint, requires immediate and aggressive treatment when diagnosed. Currently, the standard treatment is arthroscopic lavage, a procedure in which fluid is injected into the joint to wash out debris or infection. But after the initial procedure, the course of treatment becomes less clear. The clinical team may need to flush the infected joint repeatedly or perform a procedure that delivers high concentrations of antibiotics to a horse’s leg (regional limb perfusion). In most cases, aggressive antibiotic therapy is required. But these drugs can cause side effects, such as diarrhea, and long-term exposure can play a role in antibiotic resistance. What makes therapy even more challenging is that there’s no reliable way to establish when the infection has been eliminated and when treatment can be stopped. “What we want to do is identify a marker that we can…

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