Research Journal

The information, ideas and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Study Looks At Shoes, Certain Injuries

This cross-sectional study examined horseshoes, exercise histories and moderate (non-fatal) suspensory injuries as possible risk factors for catastrophic suspensory apparatus failure (SAF) and condylar fracture of the distal canon bone (CDY). Comparisons were made between 108 horses with SAF, 33 with CDY and 160 control horses.

With slightly higher toe grabs on injured horses, only a marginal association was identified between toe grabs and moderate suspensory injury. However, the odds of SAF for horses shod with pads and horses with moderate suspensory injury were twice as high as for other horses. A longer interval since the last layup and higher intensity of recent exercise were also linked to SAF. Increased risk of CDY was associated with moderate suspensory injury, male horses, a longer interval since the last layup and higher intensity of recent exercise.

The authors conclude that while pads seem linked to SAF, the association may be attributed to another pre-existing injury for which the pads are a treatment rather than to a cause-and- effect relationship. They suggest the previously identified link between toe grabs and SAF and CDY may be partially attributed to the effects of exercise or pre-existing moderate suspensory injury. They suggest periodic reductions in exercise intensity for horses that have been in training for longer than 6 months could reduce the risk of catastrophic injury, particularly for those with moderate suspensory problems.

—Hill AE et al. AJVR 2004;65:1508-1517.

Horses Raised On Pasture Easier To Train

This experimental study examined

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Albert Kane

Albert J. Kane, DVM, MPVM, Ph.D.

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