Epidemiological features and association with crib-biting in horses with neurological disease associated with temporohyoid osteoarthropathy (1991–2008)


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A retrospective study of 43 cases of temporohyoid osteoarthropathy was performed to evaluate the epidemiological features and a possible association with crib-biting. Data collected from records included case details, what diagnostics were utilised, whether medical or surgical treatment was administered, and outcome. Owners were contacted via telephone and asked whether the horse had displayed crib-biting behaviour. Forty-three horses were diagnosed with neurological disease associated with temporohyoid osteoarthropathy, 62.8% of which were Quarter Horse-types. Median age at presentation was 10 years and median duration of neurological signs prior to presentation was 3 days. Skull radiographs and guttural pouch endoscopy were used to definitively diagnose temporohyoid osteoarthropathy in 72% of the cases. Of 43 horses, 21 received medical treatment and 15 surgical treatment, with an overall survival rate of 55.8%. Crib-biting was observed in 31.3% of cases and there was a significant association between being afflicted with THO and likelihood of possessing the behaviour. Horses with neurological disease associated with THO were 8 times more likely to be crib-biters compared to the general population.