Objective—To evaluate pelvic movement over a large number of strides in sound horses and in horses with induced hind limb lameness by applying methods to the pelvis that have been described for evaluating vertical head movement in horses with induced forelimb lameness.
Animals—17 adult horses.
Procedure—Horses were filmed while trotting on a treadmill before and after induction of transient mild and moderate hind limb lamenesses. Vertical pelvic movement was measured by a signal decomposition method. The vertical pelvic signal was decomposed into a periodic component (A1) that occurred at half the stride frequency (representing vertical pelvic movement caused by lameness) and another periodic component (A2) that occurred at stride frequency (representing normal vertical pelvic movement of a trotting horse). Vertical pelvic and foot positions were correlated for each stride to compare the difference between the minimum and maximum heights of the pelvis during and after stance of the right hind limb to the minimum and maximum heights of the pelvis during and after stance of the left hind limb.
Results—Maximum pelvic height difference and lameness amplitude (A1) differed significantly between sound and mild or moderate hind limb lameness conditions. Mean A1 value for vertical pelvic movement in sound horses was less than that previously reported for vertical head movement.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Pelvic height differences and signal decomposition of pelvic movement can be used to objectively evaluate hind limb lameness in horses over a large number of strides in clinical and research settings. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65: 741–747)