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Association between race history and risk of superficial digital flexor tendon injury in Thoroughbred racehorses

Toshiyuki TakahashiEquine Research Institute of the Japan Racing Association, 321-4 Tokami-cho, Utsunomiya-shi, Tochigi 320-0856, Japan.

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Yoshinori KasashimaEquine Research Institute of the Japan Racing Association, 321-4 Tokami-cho, Utsunomiya-shi, Tochigi 320-0856, Japan.

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Yoshiharu UenoMiho Training Center of the Japan Racing Association, 2500-2 Mikoma, Miho-mura, Inashikigun, Ibaraki 300-0493, Japan.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether race history, including the number of races and total race distance, was associated with risk of superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) injury in Thoroughbred racehorses in Japan.

Design—Matched case-control study.

Animals—515 Thoroughbred racehorses (case horses) that sustained an SDFT injury during training or racing in Japan during 2002 and 951 horses (control horses) without SDFT injury that were matched with case horses on the basis of age and month of the latest race.

Procedure—Variables related to race history were compared between case and control horses by means of conditional logistic regression.

Results—The odds of SDFT injury increased as mean race distance and mean body weight at race time increased. Compared with females that had never competed in steeplechase races, males regardless of steeplechase race history and females that had competed in steeplechase races had higher odds of SDFT injury.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that longer mean distance per race, heavier mean body weight at race time, steeplechase experience, and sex (male) increased the risk of SDFT injury in Thoroughbred racehorses. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:90–93)

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether race history, including the number of races and total race distance, was associated with risk of superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) injury in Thoroughbred racehorses in Japan.

Design—Matched case-control study.

Animals—515 Thoroughbred racehorses (case horses) that sustained an SDFT injury during training or racing in Japan during 2002 and 951 horses (control horses) without SDFT injury that were matched with case horses on the basis of age and month of the latest race.

Procedure—Variables related to race history were compared between case and control horses by means of conditional logistic regression.

Results—The odds of SDFT injury increased as mean race distance and mean body weight at race time increased. Compared with females that had never competed in steeplechase races, males regardless of steeplechase race history and females that had competed in steeplechase races had higher odds of SDFT injury.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that longer mean distance per race, heavier mean body weight at race time, steeplechase experience, and sex (male) increased the risk of SDFT injury in Thoroughbred racehorses. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:90–93)