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The use of a routine radiological database of an equine practice to determine the prevalence of osteochondrosis and the housing and exercise conditions relevant for the development of OC in warmblood foals studied under veterinary practice based, field conditions.

By J.J. Versteeg


The aim of this study was to investigate which housing and exercise conditions are relevant for the development of osteochondrosis in warmblood foals. Radiological examinations of an equine veterinary clinic in The Netherlands were used to manually create a digital database containing the prevalence of OC in European Warmblood Horses in the age of 1 to 5 years. The database contained 828 horses of 351 breeders. The breeders (≥ five horses) were asked to perform a questionnaire about environmental factors including housing, feeding and management. The housing practices contained i.a. size of stables, pastures and amount of exercise. The questionnaire was divided in periods of life stage of the foal; foal before weaning and foal after weaning until the age of one. The final database of the 45 collaborating breeders contained 626 European Warmblood Horses. The number of OC-affected horses determined the OC-status of a horse farm (> 25% OC positive horses on the farm results in a high OC status farm). One significant relation is found between group composition on sex in pasture and the farm OC status. Separate pasture for male and female weaned foals seems to have a relation with a low farm OC status. More research is necessary to further investigation and specification of the factors that are considered to be relevant for the development of osteochondrose in warmblood foals

Topics: Osteochondrose, equine, horse, OC, warmblood, foal, exercise, conditions
Year: 2015
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