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Open Vet J. 2014; 4(2): -

The palmar metric: A novel radiographic assessment of the equine distal phalanx

M.A. Burd1,*, J.J. Craig2 and M.F. Craig2.


Digital radiographs are often used to subjectively assess the equine digit. Recently, quantitative and objective radiographic measurements have been reported that give new insight into the form and function of the equine digit. We investigated a radio-dense curvilinear profile along the distal phalanx on lateral radiographs we term the Palmar Curve (PC) that we believe provides a measurement of the concavity of the distal phalanx of the horse. A second quantitative measurement, the Palmar Metric (PM) was defined as the percent area under the PC. We correlated the PM and age from 544 radiographs of the distal phalanx from the left and right front feet of various breed horses of known age, and 278 radiographs of the front feet of Quarter Horses. The PM was negatively correlated with age and decreased at a rate of 0.28 % per year for horses of various breeds and 0.33 % per year for Quarter Horses. Therefore, veterinarians should be aware of age related change in the concave, parietal solar aspect of the distal phalanx in the horse.

Key words: Horse, Metric, Palmar, Phalanx, Radiograph.

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