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A 12-year-old Quarter Horse gelding was examined for bilateral forelimb lameness of 5 years' duration that had increasingly worsened over 4 months, especially when the horse was on hard ground. Previous treatments including corrective shoeing, injection of corticosteroids into the distal interphalangeal joint (DIPJ) and navicular bursa, and administration of phenylbutazone had not improved the lameness. The horse would rock back on its hind limbs on occasion. Bilateral forelimb digital flexor tendon sheath effusion, varus of the metacarpophalangeal joints, and coronary band swelling were detected. Additionally, the horse had small forefeet for its size and bilateral over-at-the-knees conformation. Hoof-tester

Restricted access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

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 assess effects of treatment with phenylbutazone (PBZ) or a combination of PBZ and flunixin meglumine in horses.

Animals—24 adult horses.

Procedure—13 horses received nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in a crossover design. Eleven control horses were exposed to similar environmental conditions. Treated horses received PBZ (2.2 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h, for 5 days) and a combination of PBZ and flunixin meglumine (PBZ, 2.2 mg/kg, PO, q 12 h, for 5 days; flunixin meglumine, 1.1 mg/kg, IV, q 12 h, for 5 days). Serum samples were obtained on day 0 (first day of treatment) and day 5, and total protein, albumin, and globulin were measured.

Results—1 horse was euthanatized with severe hypoproteinemia, hypoalbuminemia, and colitis during the combination treatment. Comparisons revealed no significant difference between control horses and horses treated with PBZ alone. There was a significant difference between control and treated horses when administered a combination of PBZ and flunixin meglumine. Correction for horses with values >2 SDs from the mean revealed a significant difference between control horses and horses administered the combination treatment, between control horses and horses administered PBZ alone, and between horses receiving the combination treatment and PBZ alone. Gastroscopy of 4 horses revealed substantial gastric ulcers when receiving the combination NSAID treatment.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Analysis of results of the study indicates the need for caution when administering a combination NSAID treatment to horses because the detrimental effects may outweigh any potential benefits.

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 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 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 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 whether a shoe with an axialcontoured lateral branch would induce greater lateral roll of the forelimb hoof during the time between heel and toe lift-off at end of the stance phase (breakover).

Animals—10 adult horses.

Procedure—A gyroscopic transducer was placed on the hoof of the right forelimb and connected to a transmitter. Data on hoof angular velocity were collected as each horse walked and trotted on a treadmill before (treatment 1, no trim–no shoe) and after 2 treatments by a farrier (treatment 2, trim–standard shoe; and treatment 3, trim–contoured shoe). Data were converted to hoof angles by mathematical integration. Breakover duration was divided into 4 segments, and hoof angles in 3 planes (pitch, roll, and yaw) were calculated at the end of each segment. Multivariable ANOVA was performed to detect differences among treatments and gaits.

Results—Trimming and shoeing with a shoe with contoured lateral branches induced greater mean lateral roll to the hoof of 3.2° and 2.5° during the first half of breakover when trotting, compared with values for no trim–no shoe and trim–standard shoe, respectively. This effect dissipated during the second half of breakover. When horses walked, lateral roll during breakover was not significantly enhanced by use of this shoe.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A shoe with an axial-contoured lateral branch induced greater lateral roll during breakover in trotting horses, but change in orientation of the hoof was small and limited to the first half of breakover. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:2046–2054)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To characterize compensatory movements of the head and pelvis that resemble lameness in horses.

Animals—17 adult horses.

Procedure—Kinematic evaluations were performed while horses trotted on a treadmill before and after shoe-induced lameness. Lameness was quantified and the affected limb determined by algorithms that measured asymmetry in vertical movement of the head and pelvis. Induced primary lameness and compensatory movements resembling lameness were assessed by the Friedman test. Association between induced lameness and compensatory movements was examined by regression analysis.

Results—Compensatory movements resembling lameness in the ipsilateral forelimb were seen with induced lameness of a hind limb. There was less downward and less upward head movement during and after the stance phase of the ipsilateral forelimb. Doubling the severity of lameness in the hind limb increased severity of the compensatory movements in the ipsilateral forelimb by 50%. Compensatory movements resembling lameness of the hind limb were seen after induced lameness in a forelimb. There was less upward movement of the pelvis after the stance phase of the contralateral hind limb and, to a lesser extent, less downward movement of the pelvis during the stance phase of the ipsilateral hind limb. Doubling the severity of lameness in the forelimb increased compensatory movements of the contralateral hind limb by 5%.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Induced lameness in a hind limb causes prominent compensatory movements resembling lameness in the ipsilateral forelimb. Induced lameness in a forelimb causes slight compensatory movements resembling lameness in the ipsilateral and contralateral hind limbs. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:646–655)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research