Science & Equine

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Written by Marly Coppens
Posted in Gait analyses

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Lameness examination and effect of lunging on body movements

Lunging influences head and pelvic movement symmetries which are circle-dependent. Hind limb lameness results in compensatory head movement, which gives the impression of ipsilateral forelimb lameness. This may cause difficulties in correctly diagnosing hind limb lameness. Forelimb lameness causes compensatory contralateral as well as ipsilateral hind limb asymmetry. This could imitates hind limb lameness, however to a smaller extent.

Limb lameness was induced by tightening a horse shoe with a bolt on each hoof, causing pressure on the sole. Two accelerometers were taped on the horse, one to the head and one to the midline pelvis. The accelerometers were oriented with their sensitive axis aligned upwards. Additionally, a gyroscope was attached to the the right forelimb to reveal its timing of stance and swing phases of the stride.

Forelimb lameness was most prominent in straight line trot, followed by when the lame fore limb was on the outside of the lungeing circle. When hind limb lameness was induced, it was most prominent when the lame limb was to the inside of the circle. The head and pelvis were raised higher before the lame limb stance and the head and pelvis fell less during the lame limb stance in straight line trot.

When a similar degree of ipsilateral forelimb and hind limb lameness is seen at the same time, with no clear clinical findings clarifying a true forelimb lameness, the clinician may consider examining the hind limb.

> M. Rhodin et al. / The Veterinary Journal 198 (2013) e39–e45. All rights reserved to 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Click here for the Pubmed summary

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