Osteochondrosis in growing dairy bulls – a case report

Teppo Heinola and Heli Karhula


Foot problems of different degree appeared in a growth testing unit for dairy bulls in the year 2000. Eight of these animals were slaughtered and blood samples taken before slaughtering. Front and hind legs were sent to the post mortem examinations. Lesions, erosion and ulceration were found from the distal joint surfaces of the front and hind legs. Histological samples were taken from the affected articular surfaces. Histopathology of the articular surfaces revealed osteochondrosis. In the serum samples of all animals, high blood serum phosphorus concentration was found; serum calcium concentrations were normal. Because of the high phosphorus consentration in serum, the serum calcium: phosphorus ratio was especially low.

Analysis of the diet showed that animals were overfed, particulary in the beginning of the experimental period. The calcium: phosphorus ratio of the diet (1.36) was below the norm in the beginning of the growth test. The etiological reasons for bovine osteochondrosis suggested in the literature are rapid growth, intensive feeding, imbalance of the minerals, deficiency of vitamins, lack of exercise and these factors together. In the case described here, we assume that the overfeeding of concentrate, combined to the mineral imbalance in the beginning of the experiment probably caused osteochondrosis.

What is Veterinary Forensic Medicine II?

Katri Halinen, Marja Kukkula, Ilkka Alitalo and Antti Sukura


This article is the second of two articles describing recent advance studies performed by Katri Halinen at the Department of Basic Veterinary Science, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki. Forensic, respectively legal medicine, is in itself not a discipline in the curriculum of veterinary students in Finland. However, veterinarians deal frequently with forensic or veterinary jurisprudence issues even in every day duties. This second article deals with anti-doping work in forensic veterinary medicine. The article also concerns certificates given by veterinarians in various duties. Moreover, the paper presents the outlines of the legislation and laws regulating veterinary jurisprudence in Finland.