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Abstract

Objective—To determine the types of musculoskeletal problems that result in lameness or poor performance in horses used for team roping and determine whether these problems are different in horses used for heading versus heeling.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—118 horses.

Procedure—Medical records of team roping horses that were evaluated because of lameness or poor performance were reviewed to obtain information regarding signalment, primary use (ie, head horse or heel horse), history, results of physical and lameness examinations, diagnostic tests performed, final diagnosis, and treatment.

Results—Among horses evaluated by lameness clinicians, the proportion with lameness or poor performance was significantly greater in horses used for heading (74/118) and lower in horses used for heeling (44/118) than would be expected under the null hypothesis. Most horses examined for poor performance were lame. A significantly greater proportion of horses used for heading had right forelimb lameness (26/74 [35%]), compared with horses used for heeling (7/44 [16%]). Horses used for heading had more bilateral forelimb lameness (18/74 [24%]), compared with horses used for heeling (4/44 [9%]). Horses used for heeling had more bilateral hind limb lameness (3/44 [7%]), compared with horses used for heading (0%). The most common musculoskeletal problems in horses used for heading were signs of pain limited to the distal sesamoid (navicular) area, signs of pain in the navicular area plus osteoarthritis of the distal tarsal joints, and soft tissue injury in the forelimb proximal phalangeal (pastern) region. Heeling horses most commonly had signs of pain in the navicular area, osteoarthritis of the metatarsophalangeal joints, and osteoarthritis of the distal tarsal joints.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Horses used for heading were most commonly affected by lameness in the right forelimb. Horses used for heeling had more bilateral hind limb lameness than horses used for heading. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:1694–1699)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Motion of 6 clinically sound horses trotting at a speed of 4 m/s on a treadmill was captured by video cameras before and 9, 16, and 23 days after amphotericin-induced lameness to determine the quantitative variables of three-dimensional computer-assisted image analysis that objectively describe carpal lameness. Amphotericin-B was used to induce lameness, and phenylbutazone (2.2 mg/kg of body weight, PO, once) and butorphanol tartrate (0.1 mg/kg im, q 6 h, to effect) were used to control discomfort. Four 60Hz cameras were symmetrically placed around the treadmill to capture 6 seconds of images from retro-reflective spheres taped to the trotting horses. Images were transferred to a video-based digitizer and a computer work station, where 4 files of two-dimensional data were reduced to 1 file of three-dimensional data. The effect of lameness on motion analyzed was assessed by use of two-way ANOVA. Differences between means were assessed, using the Student-Newman-Keul’s test (P ≤ 0.05).

Head and withers excursions, (dorsal vertical displacement of head and withers targets, respectively) during the sound forelimb support phase were increased significantly during all lameness measurement periods. Head excursion, but not withers excursion, during the lame forelimb support phase, was decreased significantly during all lameness measurement periods. Computer determinations of stride length swing phase, stance phase, forelimb abduction, and carpal and fetlock ranges of motion did not consistently characterize the lameness. It was concluded that three-dimensional computer-assisted image analysis could be used for objective lameness evaluation in horses and that head and withers excursions were the most consistent variables for assessing equine carpal lameness.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effect of weight reduction on clinical signs of lameness among overweight dogs with clinical and radiographic signs of hip osteoarthritis

Design—Nonblinded prospective clinical trial.

Animals—9 client-owned dogs with radiographic signs of hip osteoarthritis that weighed 11 to 12% greater than their ideal body weight and were examined because of hind limb lameness.

Procedure—Dogs were weighed, and baseline body condition, hind limb lameness, and hip function scores were assigned. Severity of lameness was scored using a numerical rating scale and a visual analogue scale. Dogs were fed a restricted-calorie diet, with amount of diet fed calculated to provide 60% of the calories needed to maintain the dogs' current weights. Evaluations were repeated midway through and at the end of the weight-loss period.

Results—Dogs lost between 11 and 18% of initial body weight. Body weight, body condition score, and severity of hind limb lameness were all significantly decreased at the end of the weight-loss period.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that in overweight dogs with hind limb lameness secondary to hip osteoarthritis, weight reduction alone may result in a substantial improvement in clinical lameness. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:1089–1091)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

SUMMARY

Objective

To evaluate the associations of operation and individual animal-level risk factors with occurrence of lameness in the Michigan horse population.

Sample Population

3,925 horses monitored from 138 randomly selected Michigan operations for a total of 814,753 horse-days.

Procedure

All horses monitored < 60 days were eliminated from the source population. From the remaining horses, a prospective unmatched case-control study population was generated that included all cases and a random sample of noncases. Analysis of risk factors associated with occurrence of lameness was conducted, using Cox's proportional hazards regression model.

Results

Horses in larger operations, compared with horses in the first operation size quartile, were associated with decreased risk of lameness (2nd quartile [Qj: hazard ratio [HR] = 0.57; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.36, 0.91; 3rd Q: HR = 0.74; 95% CI: 0.49, 1.13; 4th Q: HR = 0.46; 95% CI: 0.28, 0.76). Compared with mares, stallions (HR = 1.90; 95% CI: 1.17, 3.07) and geldings (HR = 1.46; 95% CI: 1.02, 2.09) were at increased risk of lameness. Compared with horses used for breeding purposes only, those participating in exercise or performance-related activities including racing (HR = 4.70; 95% CI: 1.70, 13.03) and showing (HR = 2.80; 95% CI: 1.07, 7.28) also were at increased risk of lameness.

Conclusions

Comparison of these results with those conducted using multivariable logistic regression strengthens the argument that there is decreased risk of lameness for horses in larger operations and increased risk of lameness for active horses. Additionally, results of this analysis suggested that stallions and geldings are at increased risk of lameness, compared with mares.

Clinical Relevance

Lameness prevention strategies in the horse industry should focus principally on horses participating in exercise or performance-related activities, including racing and showing, on male horses, and on horses stabled in smaller operations. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:23–29)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the short-term effects of 4 therapeutic shoeing systems on lameness and voluntary limb-load distribution in horses with chronic laminitis.

Animals—10 horses with chronic laminitis.

Procedures—A clinical trial was conducted that used a concurrent control, crossover design to evaluate the relative effectiveness of a standard flat shoe, fullered egg-bar shoe, heart-bar shoe, and modified equine digital support system to alleviate chronic lameness in horses. Therapeutic success was assessed during a 7-day period by use of subjective (Obel grade and clinical score) and objective (forceplate data) evaluations.

Results—Comparison of pretreatment and intertreatment control data indicated that disease status of the horses did not change during the course of the study. None of the therapeutic shoeing treatments used resulted in a significant change in severity of lameness.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results were interpreted to imply that substantial clinical improvement should not be expected during the first 7 days after therapeutic shoeing for the specific shoes tested in this study. On the basis of our results, we hypothesize that when used as the lone indicator of therapeutic success, severity of lameness may not be a valid indicator. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1629–1633)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research
Author:

Abstract

Objective—To determine the prevalence of lameness as a function of season (summer vs winter), housing type (free stalls vs tie stalls), and stall surface (sand vs any other surface) among lactating dairy cows in Wisconsin.

Design—Epidemiologic survey.

Animals—3,621 lactating dairy cows in 30 herds.

Procedure—Herds were visited once during the summer and once during the winter, and a locomotion score ranging from 1 (no gait abnormality) to 4 (severe lameness) was assigned to all lactating cows. Cows with a score of 3 or 4 were considered to be clinically lame.

Results—Mean ± SD herd lameness prevalence was 21.1 ± 10.5% during the summer and 23.9 ± 10.7% during the winter; these values were significantly different. During the winter, mean prevalence of lameness in free-stall herds with non-sand stall surfaces (33.7%) was significantly higher than prevalences in free-stall herds with sand stall surfaces (21.2%), tiestall herds with non-sand stall surfaces (21.7%), and tie-stall herds with sand stall surfaces (12.1%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that the prevalence of lameness among dairy cattle in Wisconsin is higher than previously thought and that lameness prevalence is associated with season, housing type, and stall surface. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1324–1328)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify scintigraphic abnormalities in the pelvic region of horses examined because of hind limb lameness or poor performance and determine the clinical relevance of areas of abnormal radiopharmaceutical uptake (ARU) in these horses.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—128 horses.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed, and information on signalment, history, admitting complaints, physical examination findings, and results of lameness examinations was recorded. Clinical relevance of areas of ARU was determined by comparison with results of other diagnostic tests. For horses with clinically relevant areas of ARU, follow-up information was obtained through telephone interviews with owners and trainers and analysis of race records.

Results—Areas of ARU were identified in the tuber coxae (25 horses), ischiatic tuber (9), hip joint (10), third trochanter (10), ilium (5), sacral tuber region (22), greater trochanter (1), cranial femoral cortex (1), skeletal muscle surrounding the pelvis (34), or multiple areas (11). In 44 horses, areas of ARU were associated with the primary cause of lameness; in 51, areas of ARU were not associated with the primary cause of lameness; and in 33, the primary cause of lameness was not determined. Thirty-six of the 44 horses with clinically relevant areas of ARU were available for follow-up; 15 (42%) had a good outcome.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that pelvic scintigraphy may be useful in identifying abnormalities in horses with hind limb lameness or poor performance. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224: 88–95)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary:

An epidemiologic study investigating the prevalence of lameness in lactating dairy cows was performed in 17 dairy herds in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The mean herd size was 50 cows. Cows from 14 herds were housed in stanchions or tie stalls, and cows from 3 herds in free stalls or dry lot. During visits to each farm in the summer and subsequent spring, 2 investigators simultaneously but independently evaluated the ambulation of lactating cows by use of a standardized scoring system. The lameness scoring system was reliable at the 2 visits, with 92.7 and 91.3% agreement between the 2 observers and κ coefficients of 0.60.

The prevalence of lameness detected by the investigators (“clinical” lameness) was 13.7% (117/853) in summer and 16.7% (134/801) in spring in lactating dairy cows. These prevalences were 2.5 times higher than those estimated by the herd managers. Parity was significantly (P ≤ 0.03) associated with lameness, with higher prevalence of clinical lameness found in cows of higher parity.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Authors and

Summary

Degenerative joint disease of the tarsi was diagnosed in 20 of 24 Holstein bulls with tarsal lameness at 2 artificial insemination centers from 1975 to 1987. Each of the 2 centers housed about 100 bulls/yr. Of the 24 bulls with tarsal lameness, 22 were from the artificial insemination center designated as A, and 2 were from the center designated as B. Examination of the housing and management procedures revealed that center A had concrete floors with cuboi-dal-shaped yards, whereas center B had deep sand flooring, with long, narrow yards. The only other difference between the 2 centers was that center A used 1- and 2-year-old bulls as teasers for older, heavier bulls to mount, whereas center B used, bulls that were at least 6 years old to withstand the stress placed on their hind limbs by the weight of bulls undergoing semen collection. Radiographic lesions of tarsi of bulls from both centers ranged from distention of the tibiotarsal joint pouch to hypertrophic degenerative osteoarthritis of the distal, intertarsal, and tarsometatarsal joints. It was concluded that the concrete flooring and the semen collecting practices were responsible for the high prevalence of tarsal lameness and degenerative joint disease of the tarsi in bulls housed at center A.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To compare analgesic effects of phenylbutazone administered at a dosage of 4.4 mg/kg/d (2 mg/lb/d) or 8.8 mg/kg/d (4 mg/lb/d) in horses with chronic lameness.

Design—Controlled crossover study.

Animals—9 horses with chronic forelimb lameness.

Procedure—Horses were treated IV with phenylbutazone (4.4 mg/kg/d or 8.8 mg/kg/d) or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution once daily for 4 days. All horses received all 3 treatments with a minimum of 14 days between treatments. Mean peak vertical force (mPVF) was measured and clinical lameness scores were assigned before initiation of each treatment and 6, 12, and 24 hours after the final dose for each treatment.

Results—Compared with values obtained after administration of saline solution, mPVF was significantly increased at all posttreatment evaluation times when phenylbutazone was administered. Clinical lameness scores were significantly decreased 6 and 12 hours after administration of the final dose when phenylbutazone was administered at the low or high dosage but were significantly decreased 24 hours after treatment only when phenylbutazone was administered at the high dosage. No significant differences in mPVF and clinical lameness scores were found at any time when phenylbutazone was administered at the low versus high dosage.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that the high dosage of phenylbutazone was not associated with greater analgesic effects, in terms of mPVF or lameness score, than was the low dosage. Considering that toxicity of phenylbutazone is related to dosage, the higher dosage may not be beneficial in chronically lame horses. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:414–417)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association