In order to study the mechanism of lameness transfer from fore‐ and hindlimb lamenesses 2 hypotheses were investigated. Hypothesis 1: Horses with a true supporting limb lameness in one hindlimb show a false supporting limb lameness in the ipsilateral forelimb. Hypothesis 2: Horses with a true supporting limb lameness in one forelimb show a false supporting limb lameness in the contralateral hindlimb.
Fourteen horses with fore‐ or hindlimb lameness were used for this study. Each horse was measured at the trot on a treadmill with standardised speed, before and after diagnostic blocks (9 horses), or with and without induced lameness (5 horses). The head acceleration asymmetry (HAAS) and the sacrum acceleration asymmetry (SAAS) were used for quantification of fore‐ and hindlimb lameness respectively. Changes were documented by changes of the HAAS or the SAAS.
In all 4 horses with a true hindlimb lameness a synchronous false lameness of the ipsilateral forelimb was documented. In 6 of 10 horses with a forelimb lameness a lameness transfer could be assessed according to hypothesis 2.
The results of this study show, that horses with a true severe lameness in the forelimb show a false lameness in the contralateral hindlimb, and horses with a true hindlimb lameness show a false lameness in the ipsilateral forelimb. This indicates that the location of the truly lame limb can be deduced from the distribution of 2 lamenesses on a sagittal or diagonal axis.
The toelt of the Icelandic horse is a symmetric 4‐beat gait, with alternating single and double support phases. By definition, the duration of the diagonal and ipsilateral stance phases should be similar. The aim of this study was to investigate the stride characteristics of horses ridden at toelt, and to compare these to previous descriptions of this gait. The kinematics of 23 Icelandic horses was measured using the Expert Vision System. Mature and sound horses, used for pleasure riding and/or competitions, were ridden at toelt at 3 different speeds. For each horse, 10 strides were measured at toelting speeds of 2.9 m/s (s.d. 0.28), 3.7 m/s (s.d. 0.29) and 4.7 m/s (s.d. 0.53). Seven horses showed true toelt pattern at one or 2 speeds. At the highest speed, 60% of all motion cycles showed the pattern of 4‐beat pace. This investigation shows that the previously described toelt pattern is present only over a narrow speed range, and toelt at extended speed is, in fact, a 4‐beat pace or rarely a 4‐beat trot.
The aim of this study was to compare supporting forelimb lameness determined by a motion analysis system with the subjective grading of a trained equine orthopaedic surgeon. Trotting on a treadmill, 29 individuals with a supporting forelimb lameness were measured with the SELSPOT II system and judged by the clinician. The vertical motion of the head was measured, analysed using Fourier transform, and the percentages of symmetry determined. The veterinarian evaluated the lameness and graded it according to a clinical routine. Veterinarian and system for motion analysis assigned the lameness to the same leg in all cases, but the grading of the lameness differed in 6 out of 29 cases. The results of this study indicate that motion analysis can be used as an informative tool supporting the subjective veterinary judgement.
The three-dimensional optoelectronic locomotion analysis system SELSPOT II was used for kinematic studies of hind limb locomotion patterns. Two groups, 11 sound horses and 15 horses suffering from hind limb lameness, were examined at the trot. Both graphical and quantitative analyses were compared in sound and lame horses. The parameter hip acceleration quotient (HAQ), using the different peaks of vertical acceleration of one hip during one stride, proved to be a suitable value for quantitative analysis of hind limb lameness. In sound horses the HAQ ranged from 1.03 to 1.54, lame horses showed values between 1.32 and 2.96. Checking and documentation of diagnostic anesthesias or therapies are possible applications.
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