Length of metacarpal and metatarsal bones in five Iranian sheep breeds and their associations with ungula measurements
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CitationAzarpajouh, S., Munita, M.P. & Calderón Díaz, J.A. Length of metacarpal and metatarsal bones in five Iranian sheep breeds and their associations with ungula measurements. BMC Vet Res 17, 376 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12917-021-03076-5
AbstractBackground This study aimed to measure the length of metacarpal and metatarsal bones in five Iranian sheep breeds and to correlate the length of the bones with ungula measurements. Thoracic and pelvic limbs of 2-year-old, previously untrimmed, pastured Afshari, Moghani, Kurdi, Makoui, and Lori–Bakhtiari ewes, (n = 20 ewes per breed) were collected after slaughter. The following lengths were recorded in the metacarpal and metatarsal bones: from the margo proximalis lateralis to the lateral (L1) and medial (D1) cartilago physialis; from the margo proximalis lateralis to the margo abaxialis of the lateral (L2) and medial (D2) caput; from the cartilago physialis lateralis to the margo abaxialis of the lateral caput (X1); from the cartilago physialis medialis to the margo distalis of the caput ridge (X2) and from the margo axialis of cartilago physialis to the margo axialis of the lateral caput (X3). Additionally, measurements of the ungula including pars dorsalis length, pars mobilis lateralis and medialis height, pars dorsalis height to the ground and to the solea cornea, thickness of the solea in the pars dorsalis, pars mobilis lateralis and medialis, solea cornea length and angulus dorsalis were recorded in the medial and lateral digits of the thoracic and pelvic limbs. Data on length of the metatarsal and metacarpal bones were analysed using mixed model equations while Pearson correlations were calculated between metacarpal and metatarsal bones and ungula measurements. Results Lori- Bakhtiari and Moghani ewes had greater L1, L2, and D1 and D2 while X1, X2 and X3 was greater in Kurdi ewes (P < 0.05). Measurements such as L1, L2, D1 and D2 were greater in the metatarsal than in metacarpal bones (P < 0.05) and the opposite was observed for X1, X2 and X3 (P < 0.05). No asymmetry was observed between the lateral and medial measurements (P > 0.05). Low to moderate correlations were observed between bone and ungula measurements (P < 0.05). Conclusion Under the conditions of this study, differences in metacarpal and metatarsal bone measurements were observed between breeds but no asymmetry was observed between lateral and medial bones. Results indicate an association between metacarpal and metatarsal bones ungula measurements. This could provide baseline information for the development and/or improvement of current ungula health protocols in the studied sheep breeds.