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Prevalence and Risk Factors of Bone Spavin in Icelandic Horses in Sweden: A Radiographic Field Study

Abstract

The present field study was performed to estimate the prevalence of radiographic signs of bone spavin (RSBS) and to evaluate some possible risk factors for RSBS in the Icelandic horse in Sweden. The survey in-cluded horses from 11 farms involving 379 horses, comprising 238 geldings, 125 mares and 16 stallions. Age ranged from 0 to 19 years with a mean age of 8.1 years. Horses were radiographed with a dorsolateral-plantaromedial-oblique projection of both tarsi. Information about age, gender, origin, working intensity, number of gaits and age when saddle broken were obtained by interviewing the owners. Features of each horse’s con-formation were obtained by measurement or inspection.

Radiographic signs of bone spavin were found in 23% (n = 88) of the horses. Horses younger than 5 years did not show any RSBS and the prevalence increased from zero to 33% between 4 and 8 years of age. Using a multivariate logistic regression model in-creasing age and sickle hock conformation were found to be significantly associated with increased risk of RSBS. Age when saddle broken in combination with height at the withers also influenced the multivariate logistic regression model significantly.

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank Professor Peter Lord for linguistic advice and constructive discussions and the techni-cians of the Department of Clinical Radiology for ex-cellent assistance.

This survey was supported by Försäkringsaktiebo-laget Agria (Agria Insurance), Stockholm, Sweden.

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Correspondence to P. Eksell.

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Eksell, P., Axelsson, M., Broström, H. et al. Prevalence and Risk Factors of Bone Spavin in Icelandic Horses in Sweden: A Radiographic Field Study. Acta Vet Scand 39, 339–348 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03547782

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Keywords

  • equine
  • tarsus
  • degenerative joint disease
  • bone spavin
  • radiology