Document Detail

Developmental aspects of distal limb conformation in the horse: the potential consequences of uneven feet in foals.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17228581     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: Distal limb conformation is generally accepted to be an important item with respect to performance and soundness in mature horses, but little is known about the developmental aspects. OBJECTIVES: To gain insight into the development of distal limb conformation and to assess the possible consequences of uneven feet in foals. METHODS: Conformation of the distal front limbs of 23 Warmblood foals was scored visually and measured using radiographs, at ages 27 and 55 weeks. At the same ages, pressure measurements were made under both front feet. RESULTS: At both ages the hoof-pastern axis was broken-backwards on radiographs, but only occasionally recognised as such, when scored by eye. Over time, the hoof angle decreased, while both the angles of the dorsal and solar surfaces of the distal phalanx (P3) increased and the parallelism between hoof wall and P3 improved. The foals with uneven feet at age 27 weeks showed a significant difference in distal limb loading that persisted until age 55 weeks. CONCLUSIONS: The alignment of the distal limb in the sagittal plane increased in a 6 month period. Visual assessment was not sensitive enough to appreciate this. The growth processes in the distal limb could not compensate for existing unevenness and ensuing asymmetrical limb loading. POTENTIAL RELEVANCE: Foals have a different conformation of the distal limb from mature horses, which should be taken into account when interpreting radiographs. Unevenness of the feet resulted in asymmetrical loading of the proximal and distal interphalangeal joint, which might lead to increased susceptibility to overload injuries and decreased performance at mature age.
A M Kroekenstoel; M C V van Heel; P R van Weeren; W Back
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Equine veterinary journal     Volume:  38     ISSN:  0425-1644     ISO Abbreviation:  Equine Vet. J.     Publication Date:  2006 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-01-18     Completed Date:  2007-02-27     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0173320     Medline TA:  Equine Vet J     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  652-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Derona Equine Performance Laboratory, Department of Equine Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 12, NL-3584 CM Utrecht, The Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Aging / physiology*
Bone Development / physiology*
Bone and Bones / anatomy & histology*,  physiology*,  radiography
Hoof and Claw / anatomy & histology,  physiology
Horses* / anatomy & histology,  growth & development,  physiology

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