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Keywords:

  • horse;
  • vertebral;
  • osteomyelitis;
  • arthritis;
  • salmonella

Summary

A case of infectious arthritis of a cervical vertebral articulation and vertebral osteomyelitis in a foal caused by Salmonella is described. Ultrasound images of the cervical facet joints were suggestive of septic arthritis and ultrasound facilitated needle placement for arthrocentesis and joint lavage. Due to the uncommon location of the infection, diagnosis of septic arthritis was not immediate and, despite aggressive intra-articular lavage and instillation of appropriate intra-articular antibiotics after hospitalisation, we were unable to resolve the infection in this foal. Radiographs did not show evidence of osseous involvement until later in the course of the infection. Septic arthritis should be suspected in cases with similar clinical and laboratory findings and radiographic changes may not be present early in the course of infection. Ultrasound imaging provided the most useful diagnostic information regarding infection of the cervical joints, facilitating both diagnosis and treatment.