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Original Article

AJVS. 2022; 72(1): 1-8

Carpal Morphometry in Normal Horses and Horses with Carpal Bone Pathology

Aiman H. Oheida, Abdulrhman M. Alrtib, Mohamed H. Abushhiwa, Christopher J. Philip, Helen M.S. Davies.


Relationships between carpal morphology and carpal pathology might assist in identifying horses at risk of carpal pathology. This study was aimed to investigate the hypothesis that carpal morphology is related to the incidence of carpal pathology in racing Thoroughbreds. Ten carpal parameters were used to measure carpal morphology on dorsopalmar (DP) carpal radiographs. Radiographs were collected from 19 experienced Thoroughbred race horses with no evidence of carpal damage(normal)and 72 horses with carpal damage (clinical). All radiographs were at a defined position called zero degrees (ZDP) or within an acceptable rotational range. Based on a P-value of < 0.05 and using the false discovery rate method to control Type I error, two parameters showed significant differences between normal and clinical horses. The angulation of the radial metaphysis and distal radius in relation to the angulation of the radial facet of the third carpal bone (C3) was significantly related to the occurrence of pathology in the bones of the middle carpal joint in Thoroughbred race horses. This study presented important features on DP radiographs that allowed identification of a carpal conformation associated with carpal damage in Thoroughbred race horses. Using such a highly specific, cost-effective and safe technique as a routine for examining yearling Thoroughbreds would assist in identifying horses with carpal conformation unsuited to racing.

Key words: Thoroughbreds; carpus; radiology, morphology; pathology

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