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Summary

The histories and clinical signs in 11 horses with longstanding poor performance attributed to chronic sacroiliac damage are described. The main clinical feature was a lack of impulsion from one or both hindlimbs causing a restriction in the hind gait or lowgrade lameness. A temporary improvement was often achieved using anti-inflammatory medication, but eventually all the horses were killed because of unsatisfactory progress at exercise. Post mortem examination revealed that changes were confined to the sacroiliac joints. The macroscopic and histological findings varied considerably and in only two cases could the changes be classified histologically as arthrosis. In the other nine horses there was increased joint surface area or irregular outline associated with extensions of the joint on the caudomedial aspect. These changes were interpreted as indicating a chronic instability of the joint leading to restriction of hindlimb impulsion. The underlying cause of the problem was not ascertained but the significance and possible pathogenesis of the lesions are discussed.