University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna - Research portal

Selected Publication:

Type of publication: Doctoral Thesis
Type of document:

Year: 2006

Authors: Strobach, A

Title: Bewegungsbild der Ataxie des Pferdes.

Source: Dissertation, Vet. Med. Univ. Wien, pp. 34.


Peham Christian

Ataxia is a common problem in equine medicine, and the mechanisms of ataxic gait are still only partially understood. Clinical examination is not specific in determining whether a horse is ataxic. In horses, mild sedation produces reversible ataxia. Measurements of the gait pattern of normal horses, ataxic horses, and sedated horses may facilitate the development of new methods of diagnosis and documentation. The aim of this study was to compare the limb co-ordination of normal horses, ataxic horses, and sedated horses. 17 horses with different degrees of ataxia were measured walking and trotting on a treadmill (Mustang 2200 KAGRA, Switzerland). The data of reflecting markers at four limbs were collected by 3D high speed video system with 120 Hz (Motion Analysis, Santa Rosa, CA). The horizontal movement of the markers was taken to calculate the autocorrelation function (ACF) of the left forelimb and the cross correlation (CCF) between the left forelimb and the three other limbs. The second maximum of the autocorrelation function was divided by the first, resulting in a value close to one for high consistency of the motion cycles and a value close to zero for low consistency. For statistical evaluation t-test for independent samples was used. At the walk and at the trot there were significant differences in the ACF and the CCF between ataxic and normal horses. Only the CCF between left fore and left hind limb at the trot was similar in the normal and ataxic horses. Interestingly, the CCF of the forelimbs of walking and trotting ataxic horses was significantly different from the CCF of the forelimbs of sedated horses. The results of this study may serve as a basic data set documenting the differences between the sedation induced ataxia and the naturally occurring ataxia. The differences between the groups can be used to aid in classification of the gait pattern of questionably affected animals.

ataxia / horse / equine / gait / treadmill / movement / kinematics

© University of Veterinary Medicine ViennaHelp and DownloadsAccessibility statement