Carpal conformation is thought to contribute to the frequency of carpal pathology so non-invasive measurement of carpal morphometry would be useful to identify joints at risk. However, there are scant radiographic morphometrical details for the carpals of Thoroughbred (TB) and Standardbred (SB) racehorses even though these breeds differ in the incidence of carpal damage. This study aimed to identify morphometrical similarities and differences in carpal conformation in TB and SB. Thirty carpal dorsopalmar radiographs (DP) were collected from 15 TB and 15 SB. All DP radiographs were at zero degrees or within the acceptable range of rotation. Twelve carpal radiographic parameters were selected and measured on each radiograph. Statistical analysis found significant differences in four carpal parameters. These parameters revealed that the middle carpal joint in SB was significantly more angled distomedially whereas the radial distal metaphysis showed a greater distolateral inclination in TB. The radiocarpal and the carpometacarpal articulations exhibited common features in the two groups of horses. These carpal traits in TB and SB highlight their potential association with loading distribution and pathology. Measuring carpi from untrained and injured horses is necessary to establish breed specific features for the ideal carpal conformation in each of these breeds.
Carpus, Conformation, Radiology, Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds