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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether kinematic changes induced by heel pressure in horses differ from those induced by toe pressure.

Animals—10 adult Quarter Horses.

Procedure—A shoe that applied pressure on the cuneus ungulae (frog) or on the toe was used. Kinematic analyses were performed before and after 2 levels of frog pressure and after 1 level of toe pressure. Values for stride displacement and time and joint angles were determined from horses trotting on a treadmill.

Results—The first level of frog pressure caused decreases in metacarpophalangeal (fetlock) joint extension during stance and increases in head vertical movement and asymmetry. The second level of frog pressure caused these changes but also caused decreases in stride duration and carpal joint extension during stance as well as increases in relative stance duration. Toe pressure caused changes in these same variables but also caused maximum extension of the fetlock joint to occur before midstance, maximum hoof height to be closer to midswing, and forelimb protraction to increase.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Decreased fetlock joint extension during stance and increased head vertical movement and asymmetry are sensitive indicators of forelimb lameness. Decreased stride duration, increased relative stance duration, and decreased carpal joint extension during stance are general but insensitive indicators of forelimb lameness. Increased forelimb protraction, hoof flight pattern with maximum hoof height near midswing, and maximum fetlock joint extension in cranial stance may be specific indicators of lameness in the toe region. Observation of forelimb movement may enable clinicians to differentiate lameness of the heel from lameness of the toe. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:612-619)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To identify hind limb and pelvic kinematic variables that change in trotting horses after induced lameness of the distal intertarsal and tarsometatarsal joints and after subsequent intra-articular administration of anesthetic.

Animals—8 clinically normal adult horses.

Procedure—Kinematic measurements were made before and after transient endotoxin-induced lameness of the distal intertarsal and tarsometatarsal joints and after intra-articular administration of anesthetic. Fourteen displacement and joint angle (metatarsophalangeal [fetlock] and tarsal joints) measurements were made on the right hind limb, sacrum, and the right and left tubera coxae. Kinematic measurements were compared by general linear models, using a repeated measures ANOVA. Post hoc multiple comparisons between treatments were evaluated with a Fisher least squared difference test at α = 0.05.

Results—After lameness induction, fetlock and tarsal joint extension during stance decreased, fetlock joint flexion and hoof height during swing increased, limb protraction decreased, and vertical excursion of the tubera coxae became more asymmetric. After intra-articular administration of anesthetic, limb protraction returned to the degree seen before lameness, and vertical excursion of the tubera coxae became more symmetric.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Increased length of hind limb protraction and symmetry of tubera coxae vertical excursion are sensitive indicators of improvement in tarsal joint lameness. When evaluating changes in tarsal joint lameness, evaluating the horse from the side (to assess limb protraction) is as important as evaluating from the rear (to assess pelvic symmetry). (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1031–1036)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective

To determine the effect of local anesthesia of the palmar digital nerves on forelimb kinematics in Quarter Horses with and without navicular disease.

Animals

12 adult Quarter Horses; 5 clinically normal (sound) and 7 with navicular disease.

Procedure

Kinematic measurements were made on adult horses trotting on a treadmill, before and after palmar digital nerve block (PDNB). Twenty-three displacement, joint angle, and temporal gait measurements of the right forelimb and head were made for 5 strides in each horse. Initial (before local anesthesia) right forelimb measurements were obtained after a left forelimb PDNB. Kinematic measurements were compared before and after PDNB of the right forelimb by multiple ANOVA with an α = 0.05, adjusted for posthoc comparisons by Bonferroni correction.

Results

In sound horses, the only significant change in kinematic measurements after PDNB nerve block was in the maximum extension of the metacarpophalangeal joint at mid-stance, which was decreased by an angle of 2°. In horses with navicular disease, mean maximum extension of the metacarpophalangeal joint during stance phase and maximum flexion of the carpal joint during swing phase were significantly increased after PDNB. Also, total stance phase, cranial stance phase, and breakover durations were significantly shorter. In horses with navicular disease, differences between minimum head heights during stance phase of each forelimb and total vertical head excursion during a complete stride were significantly smaller after PDNB.

Conclusion

Several kinematic measurements of gait can be used to determine improvement of lameness in horses with navicular disease after PDNB block while trotting on a treadmill. (Am J Vet Res 1997; 58:218–223)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective

To estimate sensitivity and accuracy of subjective evaluation of mild lameness in horses during treadmill locomotion and to correlate subjective evaluation with kinematic analysis.

Animals

19 lame and 5 clinically normal horses.

Procedure

Lameness was evaluated by subjective score and kinematic analysis before and after palmar digital nerve block (PDNB). Evaluations were made by 6 clinicians and 7 interns or residents. Within- and between-observer agreement analyses (κ values) were calculated and compared, using a Student’s t-test. Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficients were calculated between clinician’s change in score and the change in kinematic variables after PDNB.

Results

Within-observer agreement was within the range expected for conditions of moderate diagnostic difficulty. Within-observer agreement was higher for clinicians than for interns or residents. Between-observer agreement was acceptable for scores within 1 value of each other. Between-observer agreement of change in lameness score after PDNB was poor. When kinematic variables were ranked with each clinician’s subjective change in score, only 2 were among the top 3 for the majority of clinicians. Asymmetry of vertical head movement between contralateral forelimb stance phases and the point of maximum hoof height during swing decreased as lameness subjectively improved.

Conclusion

Mild lameness may be difficult to evaluate during treadmill locomotion. Although clinicians were more repeatable in their subjective evaluation of lameness than interns or residents, they were not more reliable at detecting the true state of lameness.

Clinical Relevance

Lack of agreement between clinician scoring of mild lameness emphasizes the need to use more objective measures for quantifying lameness. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:1370–1377)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research