Dorsal metacarpal disease: incidence and predisposing factors
AbstractForty two 2-year-old thoroughbreds were examined clinically at intervals of 15 days during their training for the first race to determine the incidence and the predisposing factors of dorsal metacarpal disease. During the first year 25 horses were followed during 2 months and in the second year the follow up was done for 4 months in 17 . Horses' data like gender, average speed, speed exercise work and trainer were also collected. Dorsal metacarpal disease was diagnosed in 28% and 70,6% of the 2 year-old thoroughbreds in the first and second year of the study, respectively. Total incidence was 45%. The incidence and average speed was not affected by gender. The average speed achieved by affected and none affected horses remained between 16 and 18m/s. On 500 and 700m speed exercise, the average speed of affected horses was higher than of none affected ones (p<0,05). Ten out of 19 horses showed dorsal metacarpal disease signs at the distance of 700m. There was significant difference between trainers regarding the incidence of dorsal metacarpal disease and average speed of their horses. 2-year-olds under care of trainers whose horses had the highest incidence o dorsal metacarpal disease also were the fastest one's. Therefore, fast speed associated with longer distances (700m) and trainer are factors that predispose young horses to dorsal metacarpal disease.
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