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The objective of this study was to compare the skull morphology of the Straight Egyptian Arabian (SEAR) to the Thoroughbred (TB), using computed tomography (CT) in the context of surgical procedures commonly performed on the equine head.


Measurements relating to surgical considerations of the equine head were taken from 29 clinically normal adult horses (15 SEAR, 14 TB).


A clinical prospective study. Standing skull CTs were performed. Fourteen gross and 10 CT measurements were taken.


Several variables showed a significant difference between groups, in all cases greater in TB. Head length (P < .001) and facial crest length (P < .001) were significantly shorter in SEAR than TB. The head length was shorter relative to body height in SEAR (P < .001). The lateral length of a virtual maxillary bone flap was shorter in SEAR (P < .001). SEAR had smaller craniofacial angles than TB (P = .018).


SEAR skull morphology differs significantly from TB, making surgical approaches potentially more challenging. Compared with TB, the shorter facial crest in the SEAR group could contribute to poor surgical access to the maxillary sinus in SEAR due to shorter maxillary flap lengths. Significant differences in the craniofacial angles between SEAR and TB suggest similarities between SEAR and brachycephalic dog breeds, warranting further investigation.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research