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Do you x-ray your young horses for OCD when nothing is suspected?

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  • Do you x-ray your young horses for OCD when nothing is suspected?

    Sometimes I read on here about OCD in youngstock, but it seems that there was a suspected issue and that's why the x-rays were performed. Do people x-ray youngstock at a certain age (say a year) just to confirm their joints look good? I had never thought about doing this before, but have read a couple threads lately where people did x-rays on young horses and I got to thinking.

    I have absolutely no reason to suspect anything is wrong with my yearling. No swelling, stiffness, quick growth, etc. and she is sound, but I started wondering if people x-ray just "because," and if there is some advantage to doing so?

    If this is a dumb question then feel free to ignore it
    TIA
    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    I'm planning to Xray stifles, hocks and pastures when my (now)yearlings are 2. I figure that gives me time to take care of any problems before I'll want to have them started. I'm also curious to see what others do.

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    • #3
      I do. Anything that I have not sold by the time it is 18 months old I have radiographed. I have hocks, stifles and fetlocks checked. If there is an issue then I want to address it as soon as possible. It also helps prevent any nasty surprises on a pre-purchase. Or if something does show up on a pre-purchase exam then we have the orignal rads. to compare to the new ones.
      Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!
      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hills...h/112931293227

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      • #4
        I don't x-ray unless there is a reason to suspect a problem. I think people go a little crazy with x-rays sometimes. I used to work for a vet, and I remember people buying horses that were clinically unsound because "the x-rays are clean" and passing on perfectly sound horses because of a spur or an OCD on an area of a joint that doesn't usually cause a problem. That said, if I was a buyer looking at a young horse and the seller had recent clean x-rays on file, that would be a selling point for me. I don't do it myself because it's so expensive.
        www.saraalberni.com

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        • #5
          On my own horses I don't x-ray unless there is a reason to think there is a problem. If I were selling a horse I would because I would want to know if something was there so I could disclose it before a potential buyer came along and wasted a lot of time and money. I also really appreciate that a seller has x-rays when I am looking so I would like to extend the same courtesy if I can.

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          • #6
            I got my yearling x-rays originally to get a better idea of the trimming that needed to be done. We ended up also doing his hocks and knees, too, since we were getting x-rays either way.
            Pacific Coast Eventing
            Standing Yeager GF

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            • #7
              According to my vet there is a lot of evidence to suggest that x-rays of horses under age 2 can show what appears to be OCD, but that "goes away" by age 3 or so. So, I would not rely on x-rays of youngsters for OCD. Too much chance of a false positive that would scare people needlessly.
              Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

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              • #8
                I have heard that what Appears to be OCD on young horses can fuse into perfectly normal bones as they mature, so unless there is an issue I would never spend the money on x-rays.
                Now in Kentucky

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Valentina_32926 View Post
                  I have heard that what Appears to be OCD on young horses can fuse into perfectly normal bones as they mature, so unless there is an issue I would never spend the money on x-rays.
                  This is partly true. The newest research indicates that if the horse has clean rads at 18 months or older, then they will not develop OCD after that point (unless we are talking about a chip due to injury/trauma, etc). Developmental OCD will either be present at 18 months, or not, and at that point what you see is generally what you get. That is why I wait until at least 18 months. I did have one youngster show up with a very small stifle chip at about 20 months of age that we caught on a routine screening. We were advised to put her through a course of Adequan and that more than likely the chip would resolve. That is exactly what we did and her x-rays were clean after treatment. Maybe it would have resolved on its own, but at her age it was less likely that that would be the case. Of course, research changes all the time, but that is currently where we are!

                  Edited to add that the exception to the above could possibly be wobblers, as some horses develop wobblers as 2 or 2 1/2 year olds. However, screening rads of the neck/spine are very rare as they are difficult to take and interpret.
                  Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!
                  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hills...h/112931293227

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                  • #10
                    I do baseline xrays on my youngsters that I still have at 2-3 years of age. I prefer to know how they will do in a PPE before starting them. Many buyers appreciate having baselines to compare current xrays with.
                    Mary Lou
                    http://www.homeagainfarm.com

                    https://www.facebook.com/HomeAgainFarmHanoverians

                    Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sonesta View Post
                      According to my vet there is a lot of evidence to suggest that x-rays of horses under age 2 can show what appears to be OCD, but that "goes away" by age 3 or so. So, I would not rely on x-rays of youngsters for OCD. Too much chance of a false positive that would scare people needlessly.
                      This is what I had heard also. We wouldn't do X-rays on a young horse under 3 unless there was something pointing to a possible problem. Ours spend the majority of their time in turn out and since we have our own farm, we can make adjustments in our feeding program when necessary. Also all of our foals have sold as weanlings and of all of them only 1 buyer had X-rays done (which came back perfect).
                      I do like the idea of doing them for a 3 year old as a base and selling point for potential clients to view and compare to.
                      Worth A Shot Farm
                      Finding the horse of your dreams, is always Worth A Shot!
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sonesta View Post
                        According to my vet there is a lot of evidence to suggest that x-rays of horses under age 2 can show what appears to be OCD, but that "goes away" by age 3 or so. So, I would not rely on x-rays of youngsters for OCD. Too much chance of a false positive that would scare people needlessly.
                        I agree totally.

                        Terri
                        COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                        "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

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                        • #13
                          Woops, meant to add that before mine start in heavy work, I think it's best to see what's going on. Firstly because I'm a breeder and want to know but I don't them done under 3 years.

                          Terri
                          COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                          "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

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                          • #14
                            We do baselines when we put them up for sale or if we think there may be a problem. We don't sell weanlings and only yearlings once in a while. Doing it too early is often a waste of money. They can change so much from month to month that the very early x-rays aren't reliable when you may be trying to sell them later.
                            Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
                            "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"

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                            • #15
                              My apologies for the slight spin off, but what about the mares? We have all of ours radiographed according to the PROK exam for the KWPN. Does anyone else do x-rays on their breeding mares?
                              Ryu Equestrian & Facebook Page
                              Breeding Horses Today, for the Equestrian Sport of Tomorrow.
                              Osteen & Gainesville, Florida.

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                              • #16
                                I do a full set of digital xrays prior to backing them at 3. My mares have all been scanned as well, but just in the course of time, for various reasons, not as a breed registry requirement.
                                Peg
                                Fleur de Lis Hanoverians

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                                • #17
                                  My mare was done before I bred her. I just wanted to minimise risk if that's possible. I know it's more than hereditary, but still did so anyway.

                                  So far so good. No unpleasant surprises!

                                  Terri
                                  COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                                  "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

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                                  • #18
                                    We x-ray all babies in the fall of their yearling year, about 18 mos. An experienced vet can tell you what OCD lesions will likely go away and what will not. If a youngster needs surgery to remove an OCD, it is much better to do it at a young age. Yes, sometimes we have to do follow up radiographs. Yes, it costs money, but it costs a lot more money to raise a nice horse up to age 3 or 4 and find out that it is only saleable at a fraction of what it should be worth because of OCD, and surgery is a bigger deal at that point.

                                    I don't specifically make a point of x-raying broodmares but anything nice enough to breed has typically been x-rayed in the past. If a mare had a long, sound competition history, I really can't think I'd care too much if she didn't have xrays.

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                                    • #19
                                      I'm going to X-Ray my kid/s (just started breeding) before they start work.

                                      I think it's good to have a baseline so that if anything pops up once they start sport then you have originals to compare to.

                                      Also, for sale purposes. If anything pops up in a PPE you have originals.
                                      http://kaboomeventing.com/
                                      http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
                                      Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

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                                      • #20
                                        If you were to Xray a young horse before putting it up for sale..what joints would you do?

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