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Scapulohumeral osteoarthritis in 20 Shetland ponies, miniature horses and falabella ponies
  1. P. D. Clegg, MA, VetMB,PhD, MRCVS1,
  2. S. J. Dyson, MA, VetMB,PhD, FRCVS2,
  3. M. C. Schramme, DVM,PhD, MRCVS2 and
  4. G. E. S. Summerhays, BVetMed, MRCVS3
  1. 1 Division of Equine Studies, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences and Animal Husbandry, University of Liverpool Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Leahurst, South Wirral CH64 7TE
  2. 2 Centre for Equine Studies, Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7UU
  3. 3 The Equine Veterinary Hospital, Forest Mere, Liphook, Hampshire GU30 7JG


This paper describes the clinical and diagnostic features of 20 cases of scapulohumeral osteoarthritis in Shetland ponies, miniature horses and falabella ponies. The history and clinical signs were similar in all the cases. Radiographically they all had consistent changes which consisted predominantly of articular osteophytes and periarticular enthesiophytes. Six of the cases had radiographic evidence of dysplasia of the scapulohumeral joint, although it was uncertain whether this was a primary or a secondary finding. No specific treatment appeared to be advantageous. At follow up, six of the ponies had to be euthanased owing to continuing severe lameness; the other 14 ponies remained lame, but were maintained at pasture by the occasional use of oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. No definitive aetiology for the condition was identified, but it is proposed that an underlying dysplasia, or lack of collateral support may predispose the scapulohumeral joint of miniature horse breeds to the disease.

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