The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of pawing behavior in a population of Standardbred racehorses and the relationship of pawing frequency to time of day. Standardbreds (n=41) were observed using instantaneous scan sampling twice daily, in the morning before training and in the afternoon after training. A majority of the horses, twenty-four (58.5%) of the 41 horses showed pawing behavior at least once (median=7, interquartile range=2–15). After training, there were a median of 4 (interquartile range 1–11) observations of pawing or 11.2% of total observations. In the morning, before training, there were 3 (0–3.25) pawing observations, or 9.1% of total observations. There was a significantly greater frequency of pawing in the afternoon (P=0.0005). They pawed less on Sunday afternoons when they had not trained. Pawing may be related to exercise and, possibly, discomfort.
Rupture of the gastrocnemius muscle is occasionally found in neonatal foals associated with dystocia and assisted delivery. In this report, 3 cases of gastrocnemius muscle disruption in newborn Thoroughbred foals (6, 5 and 2 days old) are reported. In all cases, the foals were presented with inability to rise unassisted postpartum, a dropped tarsus and swelling in the caudal aspect of the thigh accompanied by a hematoma. Ultrasonography, radiography, computerized tomography (CT) and subsequent autopsy were performed to confirm the clinical and pathological features of these cases.