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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2013

Authors: Schwanda, M; Peham, C

Title: Changes in stride parameters caused by induced supporting limb lameness in trotting horses on a treadmill.

Source: Wien Tierarztl Monat (100), 7-8 181-187.

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Peham Christian

Vetmed Research Units
University Equine Clinic, Clinical Unit of Equine Surgery

The aim of the study was to evaluate the influence of supporting limb lameness on the stride phase of twelve sound horses with induced fore- and hindlimb lameness. Lameness was induced by applying pressure to the sole with a special horseshoe developed by MERKENS et al. (1988). Twelve horses were trotted three times on a treadmill at a constant speed for at least ten consistent motion cycles: sound as a baseline and once for each of the two grades of induced lameness (1/4 and 2/4 on the scale of STASHAK, 1987). Data were collected and lameness was documented with a kinematic system as percentage of asymmetry of vertical head and os sacrum movement. Each stride was divided into a cranial and a caudal phase defined by the crossover point between the protracting and the contralateral weight-bearing limb. The mean stride length and duration, the mean protraction and retraction angles as well as the mean difference between cranial and caudal stride phase length and duration were compared between the sound baseline and the two grades of induced lameness separately for fore- and hindlimbs using the ANOVA test for repeated measurements (p=0.05). With increasing lameness the mean stride length decreased significantly (p<0.01) while stride duration and mean cranial and caudal stride phase length and duration did not vary significantly. The protraction angle decreased significantly when hindlimb lameness was induced but was not significantly affected by forelimb lameness. The results show that supporting limb lameness causes shorter and quicker strides but has no effect on the cranial and caudal phase length and duration.

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