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  • Author or Editor: Kathrin F. Stock x
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Objective—To evaluate whether additive genetic correlations existed between certain aspects of the radiographic appearance of the distal sesamoid (navicular) bones (RNB) or between RNB and other types of radiographic changes in the limbs of Hanoverian Warmblood horses.

Animals—5,157 horses.

Procedures—Quasi-linear and binary traits were defined by the appearance of canales sesamoidales (CSs) and the structure and contour of the forelimb navicular bones (NBs). Prevalences of osseous fragments in the metacarphophalangeal and metatarsophalangeal (fetlock) and tarsocrural joints and deforming arthropathy in tarsal joints were analyzed as binary traits. Genetic parameters were estimated by use of multivariate linear models.

Results—Heritability estimates for the RNB traits ranged from 0.10 to 0.34. Additive genetic correlations among those traits were usually close to unity. Extensive radiographic changes in the NBs, including changes in CSs and alterations in structure and contour, had correlations with less distinct radiographic changes. Negative additive genetic correlations were observed between small numbers of short and conical CSs in the central portion of the distal border of the NB and osseous fragments and arthropathy, and between most types of radiographic findings in the NBs and osseous fragments in tarsal joints.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The genetic bases for different types of RNB were not identical. The detection of correlations between normal RNB and findings of short and conical CSs versus deformed CSs and structural and contour changes warrants further study. Genetically justified distinction between physiologic and pathologic NB changes will increase the efficiency of selecting against NBs with radiographically apparent alterations.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine whether selection schemes accounting for orthopedic health traits were compatible with breeding progress in performance parameters in Hanoverian Warmblood horses.

Animals—5,928 horses.

Procedure—Relative breeding values (RBVs) were predicted for osseous fragments in fetlock (metacarpo- and metatarsophalangeal) and tarsal joints, deforming arthropathy in tarsal joints, and pathologic changes in distal sesamoid bones. Selection schemes were developed on the basis of total indices for radiographic findings (TIR), dressage (TID), and jumping (TIJ). Response to selection was traced over 2 generations of horses for dressage and jumping ability and all-purpose breeding. Development of mean RBVs and mean total indices in sires and prevalences of orthopedic health traits in their offspring were used to assess response to selection.

Results—Giving equal weight to TIR and TID, TIJ, or a combined index of 60% TID and 40% TIJ, 43% to 53% of paternal grandsires and 70% to 82% of descending sires passed selection. In each case, RBVs and total indices increased by as much as 9% in selected sires, when compared with all sires, and prevalences of orthopedic health traits in offspring of selected sires decreased relatively by as much as 16%. When selection was exclusively based on TID, TIJ, or TID and TIJ, percentages of selected sires were 44% to 66% in the first and 73% to 84% in the second generation and TID and TIJ increased by 9% to 10% and 19% to 23%, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Compared with exclusively performance-based selection, percentages of selected sires changed slightly and breeding progress in TID, TIJ, or TID and TIJ was only slightly decreased; however, prevalences of orthopedic health traits decreased in offspring of TIR-selected sires. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1371–1379)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research