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Major Causes of OCD Lesions in Horses
The major mitigating factor is nutritional or mineral imbalances in the diet resulting in rapid growth the first year of life. These are high energy (carbohydrates) and protein diets. There are a variety of other reasons a young horse will develop OCD lesions such as trauma to a joint, higher than average body weight and heredity.
Plotting out a foal’s growth pattern on a graph can help you recognize a growth spurt. You will want to track weight, girth and height on your chart. The growth lines should show a consistent, even and upward pattern. Spikes in the chart may indicate a need to adjust the foal’s diet.
While it is important to maintain a balanced diet for a foal or yearling, it is just as important to maintain a balanced diet for a pregnant or nursing mare.
Mineral and nutritional requirements change as your horse matures. The National Research Council Board on Nutrition Requirements for Horses has developed an interactive nutrition calculator that will help you determine the mineral and nutritional requirements for your foal, pregnant mare or mature horse. This should get you off to a good start in understanding your horse’s diet requirements including minerals, but as always it is best to consult with your feed supplier and their associated nutritionists.
Learn More: Treatment of OCD Lesions in Horses