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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 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)

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)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the efficacy and safety of intra-articular administration of ethyl alcohol for arthrodesis of tarsometatarsal joints in horses.

Animals—8 healthy female horses without lameness or radiographic evidence of tarsal joint osteoarthritis.

Procedure—In each horse, 1 tarsometatarsal joint was treated with 4 mL of 70% ethyl alcohol and the opposite joint was treated with 4 mL of 95% ethyl alcohol. Lameness examinations were performed daily for 2 weeks, followed by monthly evaluations for the duration of the 12-month study. Radiographic evaluations of both tarsi were performed 1 month after injection and every 3 months thereafter. Gross and histologic examinations of the tarsi were undertaken at completion of the study.

Results—Horses had minimal to no lameness associated with the treatments. Radiography revealed that 8 of 16 joints were fused by 4 months after treatment, with significantly more joints fused in the 70% ethyl alcohol group. Fifteen of 16 joints were considered fused at postmortem examination at 12 months. Gross and histologic examinations revealed foci of dense mature osteonal bone spanning the joint spaces. Bony fusion appeared to be concentrated on the dorsolateral, centrolateral, and plantarolateral aspects of the joints. Significant differences were not detected between treatment groups for lameness or pathologic findings.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administration of ethyl alcohol into the tarsometatarsal joint of healthy horses appeared to facilitate arthrodesis of the joint in a pain-free manner. Results warrant further investigation into the potential use of ethyl alcohol in horses clinically affected with osteoarthritis of the tarsometatarsal and distal intertarsal joints.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To compare a sensor-based accelerometer-gyroscopic (A-G) system with a video-based motion analysis system (VMAS) technique for detection and quantification of lameness in horses.

Animals—8 adult horses.

Procedure—2 horses were evaluated once, 2 had navicular disease and were evaluated before and after nerve blocks, and 4 had 2 levels of shoe-induced lameness, alternatively, in each of 4 limbs. Horses were instrumented with an accelerometer transducer on the head and pelvis, a gyroscopic transducer on the right forelimb and hind feet, and a receiver-transmitter. Signals from the A-G system were collected simultaneously with those from the VMAS for collection of head, pelvis, and right feet positions with horses trotting on a treadmill. Lameness was detected with an algorithm that quantified lameness as asymmetry of head and pelvic movements. Comparisons between the A-G and VMAS systems were made by use of correlation and agreement (κ value) analyses.

Results—Correlation between the A-G and VMAS systems for quantification of lameness was linear and high ( r 2 = 0.9544 and 0.8235 for forelimb and hind limb, respectively). Quantification of hind limb lameness with the A-G system was higher than measured via VMAS. Agreement between the 2 methods for detection of lameness was excellent (κ = 0.76) for the forelimb and good (κ = 0.56) for the hind limb.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The A-G system detected and quantified forelimb and hind limb lameness in horses trotting on the treadmill. Because the data are collected wirelessly, this system might be used to objectively evaluate lameness in the field. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:665–670)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To investigate continuous wavelet transformation and neural network classification of gait data for detecting forelimb lameness in horses.

Animals—12 adult horses with mild forelimb lameness.

Procedure—Position of the head and right forelimb foot, metacarpophalangeal (ie, fetlock), carpal, and elbow joints was determined by use of kinematic analysis before and after palmar digital nerve blocks. We obtained 8 recordings from horses without lameness, 8 with right forelimb lameness, and 8 with left forelimb lameness. Vertical and horizontal position of the head and vertical position of the foot, fetlock, carpal, and elbow joints were processed by continuous wavelet transformation. Feature vectors were created from the transformed signals and a neural network trained with data from 6 horses, which was then tested on the remaining 2 horses for each category until each horse was used twice for training and testing. Correct classification percentage (CCP) was calculated for each combination of gait signals tested.

Results—Wavelet-transformed vertical position of the head and right forelimb foot had greater CCP (85%) than untransformed data (21%). Adding data from the fetlock, carpal, or elbow joints did not improve CCP over that for the head and foot alone.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Wavelet transformation of gait data extracts information that is important for the detection and differentiation of forelimb lameness of horses. All of the necessary information to detect lameness and differentiate the side of lameness can be obtained by observation of vertical head movement in concert with movement of the foot of 1 forelimb. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:1376–1381)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To compare induction and recovery characteristics and cardiopulmonary effects of isoflurane and sevoflurane in foals.

Design—Prospective crossover study.

Animals—6 healthy foals.

Procedure—Foals were anesthetized twice (once at 1 month of age and again at 3 months of age). Anesthesia was induced by administration of the agent in oxygen through a nasotracheal tube. During maintenance of anesthesia, foals were positioned in dorsal recumbency; intermittent positive-pressure ventilation was performed. Characteristics of induction and recovery were recorded. Cardiopulmonary variables were recorded 10 minutes after anesthetic induction and 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes later.

Results—All 6 foals were successfully anesthetized with isoflurane and sevoflurane. There were no significant differences between the 2 drugs in regard to characteristics of induction or recovery, and induction and recovery were generally smooth and unremarkable. There were no significant differences between drugs in regard to measured cardiopulmonary variables; however, both drugs caused initial hypotension that resolved over time.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that isoflurane and sevoflurane can both be used for general anesthesia of 1- to 3-month-old foals. Significant differences between the 2 agents were not detected for any of the variables measured, suggesting that quality of anesthesia with these 2 agents was comparable. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221: 393–398)

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare laryngeal impedance, in terms of air flow and pressure, following arytenoid corniculectomy (COR) versus 3 other airway interventions (left-sided laryngoplasty with ipsilateral ventriculocordectomy [LLP], LLP combined with COR [LLPCOR], and partial arytenoidectomy [PA]) performed on cadaveric equine larynges with simulated left recurrent laryngeal neuropathy (RLN) and to determine whether relative laryngeal collapse correlated with the interventions performed.

SAMPLE

28 cadaveric equine larynges.

PROCEDURES

Each larynx in states of simulated left RLN alone and with airway interventions in the order LLP, LLPCOR, COR, and PA was evaluated in a box model construct that replicated upper airway flow mechanics consistent with peak exercise in horses. Results for impedance, calculated from airflow and pressure changes, were compared between states for each larynx. Multivariable mixed-effects analysis controlling for repeated measures within larynx was performed to calculate the predicted mean impedance for each state.

RESULTS

Results indicated that tracheal adapter diameter, individual larynx properties, airway intervention, and relative laryngeal collapse affected laryngeal impedance. The LLP and LLPCOR interventions had the lowest impedance, whereas the COR and PA interventions did not differ substantially from the simulated left RLN state. Residual intraclass correlation of the model was 27.6 %.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Although impedance was higher for the simulated left RLN with the COR intervention state than with the LLP intervention state, given the clinical success of PA for treating RLN in horses and the similar results for the COR and PA intervention states in the present study, the use of COR warrants further investigation. The residual interclass correlation suggested that individual laryngeal variation affected impedance and may have a clinical effect.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare results for initial body-mounted inertial sensor (BMIS) measurement of lameness in equids trotting in a straight line with definitive findings after full lameness evaluation.

ANIMALS

1,224 equids.

PROCEDURES

Lameness measured with BMIS equipment while trotting in a straight line was classified into categories of none, forelimb only, hind limb only, and 8 patterns of combined forelimb and hind limb lameness (CFHL). Definitive findings after full lameness evaluation were established in most horses and classified into types (no lameness, forelimb- or hind limb–only lameness, CFHL, or lameness not localized to the limbs). Observed proportions of lameness type in equids with definitive findings for each initial BMIS-assessed category were compared with hypothetical expected proportions through χ2 goodness-of-fit analysis.

RESULTS

The most common initial BMIS-assessed lameness category was CFHL (693/1,224 [56.6%]), but this was the least common definitive finding (94/ 862 [10.9%]). The observed frequency of no lameness after full lameness evaluation was greater than expected only when initial BMIS measurements indicated no lameness. The observed frequency of forelimb-only lameness was greater than expected when initially measured as forelimb-only lameness and for CFHL categories consistent with the diagonal movement principle of compensatory lameness. Observed frequency of hind limb–only lameness was greater than expected when initially measured as hind limb–only lameness and for CFHL categories consistent with the sagittal movement principle of compensatory lameness. Equids initially assessed as having no lameness had the highest (103/112 [92%]) and those assessed as CFHL pattern 7 (forelimb with contralateral hind limb impact-only lameness) had the lowest (36/66 [55%]) rates of definitive findings.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

In equids, results of initial straight-line trotting evaluations with a BMIS system did not necessarily match definitive findings but may be useful in planning the remaining lameness evaluation.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effectiveness of administering multiple doses of phenylbutazone alone or a combination of phenylbutazone and flunixin meglumine to alleviate lameness in horses.

Animals—29 adult horses with naturally occurring forelimb and hind limb lameness.

Procedures—Lameness evaluations were performed by use of kinematic evaluation while horses were trotting on a treadmill. Lameness evaluations were performed before and 12 hours after administration of 2 nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) treatment regimens. Phenylbutazone paste was administered at approximately 2.2 mg/kg, PO, every 12 hours for 5 days, or phenylbutazone paste was administered at approximately 2.2 mg/kg, PO, every 12 hours for 5 days in combination with flunixin meglumine administered at 1.1 mg/kg, IV, every 12 hours for 5 days.

Results—Alleviation of lameness was greater after administration of the combination of NSAIDs than after oral administration of phenylbutazone alone. Improvement in horses after a combination of NSAIDs did not completely mask lameness. Five horses did not improve after either NSAID treatment regimen. All posttreatment plasma concentrations of NSAIDs were less than those currently allowed by the United States Equestrian Federation Inc for a single NSAID. One horse administered the combination NSAID regimen died of acute necrotizing colitis during the study.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administration of a combination of NSAIDs at the dosages and intervals used in the study reported here alleviated the lameness condition more effectively than did oral administration of phenylbutazone alone. This may attract use of combinations of NSAIDs to increase performance despite potential toxic adverse effects.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research