Survey Radiography of the Carpus and Tarsus in Neonatal Thoroughbred Foals and Appearance at 6 Months of Age

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Incomplete mineralization of the carpal and tarsal cuboidal bones in neonatal foals has been associated with angular limb deviations, misshapen bones, and osteoarthritis in later life. Later radiographic abnormalities of cuboidal bones are associated with a reduction in athletic performance. This study examined a single radiographic projection of each carpus and tarsus in 100 full-term Thoroughbred foals in the first week of life and at 110–301 days of age to describe neonatal mineralization of cuboidal bone growth cartilage and subsequent radiographic abnormalities. Neonates exhibited a variation in cuboidal bone mineralization at birth, and only 46% were considered completely mineralized. Reduced cuboidal bone mineralization at birth was associated with later radiographic abnormalities in the tarsus but not in the carpus.HighlightsThoroughbred neonates exhibit a variation in cuboidal bone ossification.Neonatal tarsal immaturity was associated with later radiographic abnormalities (RA).Neonatal exercise control may reduce later tarsal RA.

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