In what originally began as research to answer my own questions about osteoarthritis, I learned as much as I could from reading anatomy, veterinary, and physiology books. I had to look in many places to find all the answers I wanted. The books that provided the best visual information lacked text to explain the images, and the books that provided the best text definitions usually provided simplified illustrations or very confusing clinical photographs. While trying to unite the best images with the best text explaining what was going on, an idea was formed. I decided to combine clear images with clear descriptions, comparing the two most common types of osteoarthritis found in horses, types 1 and 2. 1 wanted to design a system that could be used in veterinarians' offices to explain osteoarthritis to a client in a manner that was understandable as well as informative. The equine limb is an amazingly complex structure. It allows a thousand pound animal to run at speeds of up to 45 miles an hour, jump over six foot obstacles and sleep while standing. However, this marvel of evolution has come at a cost. The cost is a strict definition of the work expected of the limb. Horses do not have the ability nor the desire to partake in bed rest or stay off an injured limb. With this in mind, veterinarians have often struggled with the best way to manage injuries in horses. Treatments for diseases such as osteoarthritis are still being debated. Equine osteoarthritis is a devastating disease that strikes thousands of horses each year. It can be an inevitable badge of advancing age, or a preventable injury brought on by human demand. It can even result from traumatic injury. Whatever the cause, once it has taken hold it leads to the same end, progressive damage to the joint In order to discuss the disease process of osteoarthritis I have explored the anatomy of the two joints most frequently involved, the carpus and hock. The relationship of the bones that form these joints is paramount to understanding the forces that are at work when a horse is in motion. I also explored the structure of synovial joints, and the hock and carpus joints in motion. This lesson in anatomy was designed to be accurate enough for use in a teaching environment, yet to be clear enough for use in a clinical environment where often all members involved are not veterinarians.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Osteoarthritis; Horses--Diseases; Lameness in horses; Horses--Anatomy
Department, Program, or Center
School of Art (CIAS)
Chadbourne, Wendy, "Equine osteoarthritis: A Comparison of type 1 and type 2 conditions" (1999). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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