Naturally occurring osteoarthritis in the metacarpophalangeal joints of wild horses

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Author(s)

  • Charlotte E. L. Cantley
  • E. C. Firth
  • J. W. Delahunt
  • D. U. Pfeiffer
  • K. G. Thompson

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-81
Journal / PublicationEquine Veterinary Journal
Volume31
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

This study identified changes consistent with osteoarthritis; articular cartilage damage, subchondral bone sclerosis and marginal osteophytes, in the metacarpophalangeal joints of wild New Zealand horses. The articular cartilage lesions were identified by Indian ink staining techniques and histology. The lesions occurred on the proximodorsal aspect of the first phalanx (P1) and were more severe on the medial compared to the lateral eminence of the bone, and their severity increased with age. The bone mineral density of the subchondral bone underlying the cartilage lesions, assessed using conventional radiography and dual energy absorptiometry, also increased with age and with severity of the overlying cartilage lesion. Subjective assessment of cabinet radiographs revealed that the subchondral bone sclerosis was greater in horses with severe articular cartilage damage. Ossicles, with a distinct trabecular bone pattern, were identified at the proximo-dorsal margin of P1 in 8 specimens from 5 horses from the older age groups (greater than age 5 years). The results of this study demonstrate age-related changes consistent with osteoarthritis in the metacarpophalangeal joints of wild horses. There appears to be a significant relationship between subchondral bone sclerosis and overlying cartilage degeneration in the proximodorsal aspect of P1. We have identified an age-related osteoarthritic process naturally present in horses; and postulate that the stresses of racing and training may accelerate this ageing process.

Research Area(s)

  • Bone mineral density, Horse, Metacarpophalangeal, Osteoarthritis, Wild horse

Citation Format(s)

Naturally occurring osteoarthritis in the metacarpophalangeal joints of wild horses. / Cantley, Charlotte E. L.; Firth, E. C.; Delahunt, J. W.; Pfeiffer, D. U.; Thompson, K. G.

In: Equine Veterinary Journal, Vol. 31, No. 1, 01.1999, p. 73-81.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal