The diversity between the ruminants’ digits makes it necessary to study the anatomical features in all these animals. For this purpose, the left forelimb and hind limb of Brazilian male bovine breeds (Curraleira, n=15; Pantaneira, n=15; Nellore, n=15) and water buffaloes (n=12) were used. Dorsopalmar/plantar radiographies were obtained. Then they were photographed, digitalized and analyzing by computer program ImageJ software. The lengths of the condyles (LC), first (P1), second (P2), third phalanges (P3), and the overall length (OL) of the digits, on the forefeet (FF) and hind feet (HF) were determined. The LC, P1, P2, P3 and OL of the digits were similar in the Curraleira and Pantaneira breeds in the FF and HF. In Nellore, the lengths of all bone measurements were greater than the bone lengths of the Curraleira and Pantaneira. No differences for LC and P1 lengths between Nellore and Buffaloes were observed. The buffaloes showed the lengths of the P2, P3 and OL greater than the bone measurements of all bovine breeds. No statistical differences between lateral and medial digits, of the FF and HF, were seen in bovines and buffaloes. Nevertheless, it was interesting to observe that the lateral digits appeared some millimeters greater, in Curraleira (FF=2.4 mm, HF=0.8 mm), Pantaneira (FF=0.7 mm, HF=1.1 mm), Nellore (FF=0.7 mm, HF=1.6 mm) and buffaloes (FF=0.2 mm, HF=0.9 MM). The lateral forefoot condyles were longer than medial forefoot condyles in all animals. A higher correlation between the length of P3 and the body weight in the hind foot of buffaloes was seen. Canonical analysis demonstrated similarity between the bovine digits and proved that buffalo digits were longer than in all bovines. The lengths of the digital bones are different among Curraleira, Pantaneira and Nellore breeds, and Buffaloes.
Key words: Cattle, digit, ruminants, radiography, bone, Bovidae.
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