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J S Afr Vet Assoc. 2011 Dec;82(4):194-204.

Radiographic changes in Thoroughbred yearlings in South Africa.

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Department of Companion Animal Clinical Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa.


This study involves the evaluation of pre-purchase radiographic studies of South African Thoroughbred yearlings. Radiographic changes were recorded and compared with similar international studies. The study differs from other studies in that a lower prevalence of pedal osteitis (1.26%), dorsal osteochondral fragmentation of the metatarsophalangeal joint (1.60%), distal metacarpal sagittal ridge changes (15.7%), ulnar carpal bone lucencies (8.33%), carpal osteophytes (1.19%), distal intertarsal and tarsometatarsal joint radiographic changes (9.92%), tarsal osteochondrosis lesions (4.40%) and stifle osteochondrosis lesions (0.4%) was found. The prevalence of dorsal osteochondral fragments in the metacarpophalangeal joint was similar to other studies (1.60%). A higher prevalence of vascular channels as well as irregular borders and lucencies was evident in the proximal sesamoid bones. There was a higher prevalence of palmar metacarpophalangeal and plantar metatarsophalangeal osteochondral fragments (2% and 7.10% respectively). Palmar metacarpal disease, metacarpal supracondylar lysis, proximal sesamoid bone fractures and carpal osteochondral fragmentation were absent in the current study. Additional findings recorded in the current study were proximal interphalangeal joint hyperextension (left front 15.13%, right front 18.91%), the solar angle (right front 2.38 degrees, left front 2.79 degrees), the prevalence of carpal bone 1 (30.95%) and carpal bone 5 (1.59%). Management, nutrition and genetics in the various groups of Thoroughbred yearlings should be further investigated in order to explain the reasons for the differences recorded in the current study.

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