Research Journal: April 2022

The information, ideas, and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Evaluating Movement Asymmetries During Prepurchase Exams

Clinicians and researchers in Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden used lameness exams and quantitative measures of gait asymmetry to describe a series of cases that included 98 horses presenting for prepurchase exams (84 with minor and 14 with major veterinary concerns) and horses presenting for a single limb lameness. Six different clinicians performed the examinations while vertical movement asymmetry was measured using video motion capture. 

Most (96%) were warmbloods with two-thirds used for dressage and most of the others for show jumping. Age and sports discipline had no association with asymmetry. Individually, none of the measured asymmetry variables identified prepurchase horses with minor or major veterinary concerns. However, a forelimb lameness pattern that included multiple measures of asymmetry did distinguish these two groups. Horses that presented for lameness were more asymmetrical than the prepurchase exam horses. Unfortunately, while it was hoped that the overall symmetry score would distinguish horses that were unfit for competition from those that were fit for competition, this was not the case. 

— Hardeman AM et al. EVJ 2022;54:334-346

Thoroughbred Limbs on Uneven Ground

Researchers in New Zealand used limb measurements obtained by CT examinations and limb dissections along with kinematic data obtained while trotting and cantering Thoroughbred racehorses over uneven ground to develop a model of how structures in the limbs respond to changes in the ground surface. They examined joint movements, muscle-tendon strains and ligament strains. Five Thoroughbred racehorses were exercised at a trot and a canter over…

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Albert Kane

Albert J. Kane, DVM, MPVM, Ph.D.

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