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Title:The influence of osteochondrosis (OC), in yearling Standardbred horses on subsequent two and three-year old racing performance and the influence of sire on rates of OC in Illinois Standardbred horses
Author(s):Hilliker, Ivy
Advisor(s):Kline, Kevin H
Contributor(s):Kline, Kevin H
Department / Program:Animal Sciences
Discipline:Animal Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sire Heritability
Abstract:Much of the economic impact of the equine industry is based on performance horses in racing and competitive horse shows. Owners and trainers are concerned about the soundness of their animals both because of humane issues and because it is necessary to get a return on the investment in their horses. Proper functioning and comfort in joint articulations is of prime importance. One primary concern in the racing industry over the last 50 years has been the effect of Osteochondrosis (OC) in horses and how OC affects their performance on the race track. Osteochondrosis is an orthopedic disease that involves the failure of endochondral ossification affecting the articular cartilage. This generally occurs in the early orthopedic development in juvenile horses. Due to this, owners and trainers take great interest in early orthopedic developmental abnormalities as a predictor of future lameness that could inhibit performance. There are two lesions that are most concerning to owners and trainers who are osteochondrosis (OC) and osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD). The difference between the two is that OC is the abnormal subchondral ossification affecting the cartilage and OCD involves a piece of bone falling into the joint space. Several studies have attempted to determine what predisposes horses to this disease. These studies have looked at genetic predisposition, nutrition, skeletal growth rates, and the amount of physical activity. While these studies have tried to determine the likelihood that a horse will develop OC, no work has been done to determine if the horses in Illinois who have some form of OC have had surgery to remove these abnormalities, and if such surgery might result in increased earnings compared to the horses who did not receive surgery. Also, it is important to determine if having OC abnormalities affects the longevity of a horse’s racing career or if it affects the amount of money the horse earns. It is common practice to have yearling horses scanned using fluoroscopy for OC before training starts. Most of the horses that have some form of OC “generally have surgery to remove the abnormality before it can cause any severe damage”, according to the veterinarian who conducts a vast majority of the fluoroscope exams on Illinois horses, Dr. Philip Kapraun. The scans can be done for a number of reasons such as if swelling or lameness is noted, but many owners scan horses as a routine procedure.
Issue Date:2015-02-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Ivy Hilliker
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-07-22
Date Deposited:May 2015

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