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This NebGuide describes and discusses management techniques to prevent orthopedic disease in horses.
Equine Developmental Orthopedic Disease (DOD) is a significant problem facing today's horse breeders. A serious case of DOD can render a young horse essentially worthless due to crippling lameness. There is continuous debate as to the interplay of nutrition, management, genetics and exercise on the incidence of bone disease in young, growing horses. In the early stages, growing horses may appear unaffected by the disease, but may later develop lameness and eventually chronic arthritis. Recent research has identified many factors which will aid breeders to minimize the incidence of DOD.