2. DEVELOPMENTAL ORTHOPEDIC DISEASE ( DOD)
calcification of the bone directly under the cartilage layer) and bone cysts. Stated simply, all of these occur when the formation of cartilage at the end of long bones is over-stimulated or the conversion of cartilage to bone is somehow disrupted or inhibited. Although there is a strong genetic component to many developmental conditions, they can also be caused by management---specifically, too rich of a diet and too much confinement. Although protein was once thought to be the nutritional culprit in DOD, recent research shows that carbohydrates--and sweet feed, in particular---may be the cause. Regardless of the nutritional underpinnings, the prevention is the same: feeding young, growing horses only the nutrients they need.
“Young horses should not be fed like steers in a feedlot,” says Nelson. “Horses should be fed to optimize athletic ability and soundness for a long life of useful performance. We want these babies to grow well, but too much