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Equine Health
Osteochondrosis in foals
  1. Derek Cuddeford,
  2. Ian Handel and
  3. Michael Thrusfield
  1. Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Easter Bush Campus, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9RG

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THE recent paper by Vander Heyden and colleagues (2013) concludes that ‘It appears that mares fed concentrate during their gestation are more likely to produce foals that subsequently develop osteochondrosis (OC) compared with other mares’. This comment could have consequences for veterinarians' advice to owners of brood mares, practical horse management on studs and for the manufacturers of horse feeds. The conclusion is dubious and we, therefore, are concerned that uninformed persons could be easily misled by this paper, resulting in a negative effect on brood mare management.

The questionnaire that the authors distributed to collect the data incorporated in the analysis used the term ‘concentrate’ as a ‘catch-all’, including straight cereals and all manner of things, embracing complete feed. Furthermore, there was no quantification …

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