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Forskningsartikel2014Vetenskapligt granskadÖppen tillgång

Ossification of ungular cartilages in front feet of cold-blooded trotters - a clinical radiographic evaluation of development over time

Hedenstrom, Ulf O.; Olsson, Ulf; Holm, Arne W.; Wattle, Ove S.


Background: It has not yet been shown that ossification of ungular cartilages (OUC) is a pathological condition. Beside heredity, factors such as sex, age, repeated concussion, local trauma, hoof and body size have been suggested as contributing factors for OUC development. By comparing radiographs of front hooves from cold-blooded trotters with different age we wanted to evaluate when development of OUC in cold-blooded trotters occurs and if and when it stabilizes in relation to age and workload. Diagnosis and grading of OUC were based on radiological field examinations of 649 Swedish and Norwegian cold-blooded trotters' front hooves. A hundred and forty-seven of the horses were re-examined 3-13 years (mean age 9, median 8 years) after the first occasion. All radiographs were evaluated blind, using two different grading systems for OUC. Work load, in form of number of races completed, and body size score were collected from official data. Four statistical ordinal regression models were used, compared and evaluated.

Results: We identified a breakpoint at 2.8 +/- 0.38 years of age when ossification ends and proposed a simpler grading system with more consistent results. There was no significant correlation between body size and grade of OUC. Comparison of different statistical methods for evaluation of ordinal data revealed a piecewise linear regression model as most suitable.
Conclusions: Individuals with OUC developed this condition during the stage of life when their hooves develop in size. Results from this study can assist equine practitioners when examining and for understanding this condition in their clinical work and is also beneficial for the Scandinavian equine industry when devising breeding programs.


Equine; Horse; Collateral cartilages; Sidebones; Side bones; Distal phalanx; Radiology; Statistical methods

Publicerad i

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica
2014, Volym: 56, artikelnummer: 73Utgivare: BIOMED CENTRAL LTD