Study: Management Practices Can Help OCD Lesions Resolve

How young horses are fed and housed can impact how osteochondral lesions evolve, and even help them heal.

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How young horses are fed and housed can impact how osteochondral lesions evolve, and even help them heal. | Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Researchers know that osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) lesions can develop in foals as the result of management practices—how they’re fed and housed. But they’ve recently learned that how we manage foals during their first 18 months can also affect how their osteochondral lesions evolve, and even help them heal.

Specifically, foals consuming little or no concentrated feed had more OCD cases that resolved on their own between six and 18 months of age, said Luis Mendoza, DVM, of the Mont-Le-Soie Equine Research Center, in Vielsalm, Belgium.

However, this doesn’t mean breeders need to jump to extreme conclusions and stop giving concentrated feeds to their young herd, he added. It’s all about balance

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Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

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