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Carpometacarpal Osteoarthritis in Thirty-Three Horses

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To describe signalment, clinical, and radiographic changes associated with carpometacarpal osteoarthritis (CMC-OA) and to report long-term outcome. Study Design

Case series. Animals

Horses (n=33) with CMC-OA. Methods

Medical records (1992–2007) of horses diagnosed with CMC-OA were reviewed and signalment, clinical, and radiographic findings retrieved. Owners were contacted for information on the impact of lameness on intended use, response to treatment, progression of lameness, outcome, and owner satisfaction with response to treatment. Results

CMC-OA identified in 39 limbs, occurred predominantly in middle-aged and older Quarter Horses and Arabians, and caused severe lameness that prevented normal use. Characteristic swelling was centered over the 2nd metacarpal bone/2nd carpal bone articulation. Radiographic changes consisted of proliferative new bone, narrowed joint space, and subchondral lysis. Of 20 horses with follow-up, 7 of 14 treated horses were euthanatized within 4 years and 4 of 5 nontreated horses within 3 years. Response to treatment was short lived and considered very poor by most owners. Conclusion

CMC-OA seemingly occurs primarily in Quarter Horses and Arabians in our region. Response to conservative treatment is very poor and short-lived with most horses being euthanatized. Clinical Relevance

Conventional treatment methods are unsuccessful for treating CMC-OA.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

Publication date: 01 December 2009

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