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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

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether solar load distribution pattern on a solid nondeformable ground surface is the product of contact erosion and is the mirror image of load distribution on a deformable surface in horses.

Animals—30 clinically normal horses.

Procedures—Solar load distribution was compared among 25 clinically normal horses during quasistatic loading on a solid nondeformable surface and on a highly deformable surface. Changes in solar load distribution patterns were evaluated in 5 previously pasture- maintained horses housed on a flat nondeformable surface. Changes in solar load distribution created by traditional trimming and shoeing were recorded.

Results—Unshod untrimmed horses had a 4-point (12/25, 48%) or a 3-point (13/25, 52%) wall load distribution pattern on a flat solid surface. Load distribution on a deformable ground surface was principally solar and located transversely across the central region of the foot. Ground surface contact areas on solid (24.2 ± 8.62 cm2) and deformable (69.4 ± 22.55 cm2) surfaces were significantly different. Maintaining unshod horses on a flat nondeformable surface resulted in a loss of the 3- and 4-point loading pattern and an increase in ground surface contact area (17.9 ± 2.77 to 39.9 ± 12.77 cm2). Trimming increased ground surface contact area (24.2 ± 8.60 to 45.7 ± 14.89 cm2).

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—In horses, the solar surface is the primary weight-loading surface, and deformability of ground surface may have a role in foot expansion during loading. Increased surface area induced by loading on deformable surfaces, trimming, and shoeing protects the foot. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:895–900)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate patterns of digital cushion (DC) displacement that occur in response to vertical loading of the distal portion of the forelimb in horses.

Sample Population—Forelimbs from 10 horses with normal feet.

Procedure—Patterns of DC displacement induced by in vitro vertical limb loading were determined. Loadinduced displacement of the DC was defined as the magnitude and direction of displacement of 6 radiodense, percutaneously implanted markers in specific regions of the DC. The effects of solar support and nonsupport on displacement of the DC were compared.

Results—Regional displacement of the DC occurred principally along distal and palmar vectors in response to vertical loading. Medial or lateral abaxial displacements were variable and appeared to be dependent on response of the limb to the applied load. Displacement of the DC was not affected by the degree of solar support.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Data indicated that the biomechanical function of the DC is to act as a restraint to the displacement of the second phalanx or as a passive structure that allows flexibility of the caudal two thirds of the foot. Results did not indicate that the DC provides a force that induces displacement of or an active restraint against outward displacement of the hoof wall capsule. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:623–629)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objectives—To compare limb-load distribution between horses with and without acute or chronic laminitis.

Animals—10 horses with carbohydrate-induced acute laminitis, 20 horses with naturally occurring chronic laminitis, and 20 horses without foot abnormalities (controls).

Procedures—Limb-load distribution was determined, using a custom-designed system that allowed simultaneous quantification of the mean percentage of body weight voluntarily placed on each limb (ie, mean limb load) and the SD of the mean load over a 5- minute period (ie, load distribution profile [LDP]). Load distribution profile was used as an index of frequency of load redistribution.

Results—Mean loads on fore- and hind limbs in control horses were 58 and 42%, respectively, and loads were equally and normally distributed between left and right limbs. In addition, forelimb LDP was greater, compared with hind limbs, and was affected by head and neck movement. In comparison, limb-load distribution in horses with chronic laminitis was characterized by an increase in the preferential loading of a forelimb, a decrease in total forelimb load, and an increase in LDP that was correlated with severity of lameness. In horses with carbohydrate-induced acute laminitis, mean limb loads after onset of lameness were not different from those prior to lameness; however, LDP was significantly decreased after onset of lameness.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Quantification of limb-load distribution may be an applicable screening method for detecting acute laminitis, grading severity of lameness, and monitoring rehabilitation of horses with chronic laminitis. (Am J Vet Res 2001; 62:1393–1398)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research