The use of magnetic resonance imaging to better define hoof pathology in the reticulated giraffe (giraffa camelopardalis reticulata)

A 22-yr-old bull giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) with severely altered hoof conformation in both forelimbs was presented for necropsy following acute mortality. Due to multiple challenges that prevented safe immobilization, corrective hoof trimming procedures were never performed on this animal. To better define the extent of the damage of the soft tissue structures and bone within the hoof, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system was used to obtain images of these structures. The MRI study found evidence of severe osteolysis, phalangeal fractures of both forelimbs, and tenosynovitis of several tendon sheaths. These findings help demonstrate the impact that hoof overgrowth can have on internal structures within the hoof. By managing hoof problems early in the course of disease and investing in appropriate facilities that make giraffe immobilization safer, morbidity and mortality associated with hoof disease and overgrowth can potentially be reduced.

Last Updated
January 31, 2021
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