Developmental Orthopedic Diseases in Equids

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DOD usually occurs in larger, faster-growing breeds of horses.


 

The term “developmental orthopedic disease,” or DOD, encompasses all general growth disorders which result from abnormal bone growth.  So, what causes DOD?  It’s when the cartridge at the ends of bones fails to turn into bone when the horse stops growing, or under other circumstances.  It then becomes thicker and larger, interfering with the movement of the horse.

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DOD can adversely affect horses’ joints–and also their usefulness.


 

This disorder generally occurs in the fast-growing horse breeds, such as Thoroughbreds.  It may result in wobblers syndrome.  Horses that have wobblers generally have a lack of coordination, or ataxia.  It occurs in the cervical vertebrae, and can be treated–at least temporarily–by fusing the affected vertebrae in the neck.  The effects of DOD also encompass Physitis (enlarged growth plates), angular leg deformities, and joint cartilage damage.

Ponies are generally less at-risk.


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