The radiographic diagnosis of osteochondrosis in pigs: A retrospective study.

Mohammed Ebeid, BVSc, MVSc, Dr. Med. Vet.; Werner Zimmermann, Dr. Med. Vet., FVH of Swine Medicine; Gottlieb Ueltschi, Dr. Med. Vet., Dip ECVDI

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Objective: To evaluate the use of radiography as a means to diagnose osteochondrosis in pigs.

Method: This retrospective study included 51 cases of osteochondrosis in pigs ranging in age from 2-12 months. The cases were diagnosed in our clinic during a 3-year period. The pigs were examined clinically, then one side of the pigs was radiographed (because osteochondrosis is assumed to be a generalized condition). Radiographs were made for the coxofemoral joints (24), femorotibila joints (24), tarsi (16), humeroradioulnar joints (20), and distal physis of the ulna and carpi (37).

Results: Two categories of radiographic changes were recognized: 1) those affecting the articular epiphyseal cartilage complex; and 2) those affecting the physeal growth plates of the long bones. The frequency of osteochondrotic lesions at the distal physeal plate of the ulna was 32 of 37 (86.4%) of the distal ulna examined. The changes at the distal physeal plate of ulna were graded on a scale from 0-5 according to the size, location, and extent of the lesions, as previously reported. Examples of lesions encountered in different locations were illustrated.

Implications: Radiography is a useful tool for diagnosing osteochondrosis in pigs. The distal physeal plate of the ulna is a suitable site to be radiographed to establish the diagnosis of this generalized condition.

Keywords: diagnosis, osteochondrosis, radiography

RIS citationCite as: Ebeid M, Zimmermann W, Ueltschi G. The radiographic diagnosis of osteochondrosis in pigs: A retrospective study.. J Swine Health Prod 1998;6(3):121-125.

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