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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To evaluate head, pelvic, and limb movement to detect lameness in galloping horses.

ANIMALS 12 Thoroughbreds.

PROCEDURES Movement data were collected with inertial sensors mounted on the head, pelvis, and limbs of horses trotting and galloping in a straight line before and after induction of forelimb and hind limb lameness by use of sole pressure. Successful induction of lameness was determined by measurement of asymmetric vertical head and pelvic movement during trotting. Differences in gallop strides before and after induction of lameness were evaluated with paired-sample statistical analysis and neural network training and testing. Variables included maximum, minimum, range, and time indices of vertical head and pelvic acceleration, head rotation in the sagittal plane, pelvic rotation in the frontal plane, limb contact intervals, stride durations, and limb lead preference. Difference between median standardized gallop strides for each limb lead before and after induction of lameness was calculated as the sum of squared differences at each time index and assessed with a 2-way ANOVA.

RESULTS Head and pelvic acceleration and rotation, limb timing, stride duration measurements, and limb lead preference during galloping were not significantly different before and after induction of lameness in the forelimb or hind limb. Differences between limb leads before induction of lameness were similar to or greater than differences within limb leads before and after lameness induction.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Galloping horses maintained asymmetry of head, pelvic, and limb motion between limb leads that was unrelated to lameness.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research