Hypertrophic osteopathy (Marie's disease) in Equidae: a review of twenty-four cases



The case records of 23 horses and one donkey affected by hypertrophic osteopathy (HO) (Marie's disease) were reviewed. All affected animals presented with limb swellings, which were bilaterally symmetrical and usually involved both fore- and hindlimbs. Associated signs included stiffness/lameness and weight loss. Radiological features included periosteal new bone formation over the diaphyses and metaphyses of affected bones. The metacarpal and metatarsal bones were most frequently affected. Articular surfaces remained free of disease. Seventeen animals were destroyed on humane grounds, 3 horses recovered after successful treatment of the primary disease, 3 horses recovered after symptomatic treatment and one horse was lost to follow-up. Significant primary diseases that were believed to predispose to HO were identified (pre- or post mortem) in 14 cases. In each of these cases, an intrathoracic disease was identified, although co-existing extrathoracic disease was present in 3 cases. Granulomatous inflammatory lesions were present in 9 of these 14 cases. In 4 horses, which underwent necropsy examination, no significant underlying disease was identified.