Pathophysiological mechanisms in equine osteochondrosis

The University of Melbourne

  • Project code: PRJ-000216

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Tuesday, May 1, 2007

  • Project completion date: Wednesday, September 1, 2010

  • National Priority: HOR-Thoroughbred diseases and parasites


Thoroughbred Horses

Research Organisation

The University of Melbourne

Objective Summary

This project will meet the RIRDC Horse Program objective ‘assist in developing the Australian horse industry and enhancing its export potential’ with particular emphasis on the Key R&D issues: The problems of the young growing horse Diagnosis andtreatment of common equine diseases The project is concerned with osteochondrosis a significant problem of young growing horses. The results of this project will provide information that will assist in future investigations into genetic causes of osteochondrosis as well as identifying candidate markers for development of diagnostic tests for identification of foals at risk of developing osteochondrosis. These outcomes will lead to the development of improved management strategies that will decreasethe incidence of osteochondrosis. The results gained from this project will aid in early diagnosis of foals at risk of developing osteochondrosis allowing the development of management strategies to minimize the clinical effects which will play a part in Objective 1 of the Horse R&D Plan 2006-2011 ( Reduce the incidence and impact of diseases and parasites ). The information generated in the current project will be integral to the development of a diagnostic test in the future for early diagnosis and treatment thus reducing injury and breakdown contributing to Objective 2 of the Horse R&D Plan 2006-2011 ( Reduce injury and breakdown of horses in work and training ). In addition the project will identify genes involved in the initiation of osteochondrosis which is of relevance to Objective 3 ( Improve productivity in breeding ). The genes of interest identified could be used as a basis for future studies to identify genetic risk markers which will aid the stud industry in reducing developmental orthopaedic diseases in foals.