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Prevalence of osseous fragments in distal limbs of young Hanoverian horses
Hanoverian horses are very popular in all riding disciplines. As in other warmblood breeds osseous fragments in certain joints remain a big problem. The exact prevalence in young horses was not described, and so nearly 4000 young horses pre-selected for sale at auction from 1991 to 1998 by the Association of Hanoverian Warmblood Breeders (Verband hannoverscher Warmblutzüchter e.V.) in Verden (Aller), Germany were evaluated. With very interesting results!

The prevalence of osseous fragments in different limb joints was analysed in 3749 young Warmblood riding horses. The evaluation of these horses was based on a standardized radiological examination, including the distal interphalangeal (DIJ), the proximal interphalangeal (PIJ), the metacarpo- and metatarsophalangeal (MC/MTJ) and the tarsocrural joints (TCJ).

In 32% of all horses at least one osseous fragment was found on these radiographs.

TCJ were affected in 9.6% of the horses and MC/MTJ in 20.7%.

The percentage of horses affected in the MTJ was significantly higher (13.7%) than that of horses affected in the MCJ (9.5%).

The prevalences of osseous fragments were considerably lower in DIJ (4.5%) and PIJ (0.9%).

Osseous fragments only occurred either in DIJ or PIJ or MC/MTJ or TCJ in 87% of the affected horses.

Depending on the joint type, osseous fragments were found in analogous joints in the front and the hind limbs in up to 26% of the affected horses, whilst bilateral affection occurred in between 10% and 46% of the horses.

Distribution of osseous fragments in the limb joints investigated here did not differ significantly between male and female horses.

There was a significant increase in the percentage of horses with osseous fragments in MC/MTJ during the study period.

The results of this study indicate the need to act against the high prevalences of osseous fragments in the limb joints of young Warmblood riding horses.


Source: Stock, K. F., Hamann, H. & Distl, O. (2005): Prevalence of Osseous Fragments in Distal and Proximal Interphalangeal, Metacarpo- and Metatarsophalangeal and Tarsocrural Joints of Hanoverian Warmblood Horses. In: Journal of Veterinary Medicine Series A 52 (8), 388-394.




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