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Research

Prevalence of and Predisposing Factors to Distal Phalanx Fractures in Foals

The occurrence of distal phalanx (P3) fractures in foals is much more prevalent than previously thought. Such fractures are thought to lead to subsequent complications as a horse ages. Hoof shape and forelimb conformation may be predisposing factors to these injuries. This study assessed the occurrence and prevalence of lower forelimb fractures in 19 foals in Southern California. None of the owners reported a history of lameness for any of the animals. Even though lameness was not reported, preliminary data revealed that throughout a one year period, lower forelimb fractures were observed in approximately 63.15% of x-rayed foals. Analysis of data is ongoing and further review of the x-rays will reveal even more exciting results, such as the amount of time it took on average for these fractures to heal.

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