Research Journal

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

Force Plate Analysis And Lameness Scores

In an experimental trial, researchers at The Ohio State University used a force plate to evaluate kinetic variables as indicators of forelimb lameness in 32 horses exercised in hand at a trot. A fetlock synovitis was created to produce a moderate lameness. During each trial, lameness was scored at several time points by an observer unaware of treatment status and force plate results. Thirteen kinetic variables were measured and compared to the observer’s lameness scores to identify which force plate variables best identified horses with lameness.

Most of the kinetic variables were significantly associated with the subjective lameness scores. Vertical force peak and impulse had the lowest variability, significantly decreased with mild forelimb lameness and also when lameness could no longer be observed subjectively. Vertical force peak had the highest sensitivity and specificity compared with lameness observation. By itself, however, it could only correctly identify lameness about 80 percent of the time.

The authors concluded that of the 13 parameters, vertical force peak and impulse have the best potential to reflect lameness severity and detect subclinical forelimb gait abnormalities.

— Ishihara A et al. AJVR 2005;66:1805-1815.

Recreational Use Linked To Gastric Ulcers

A randomized controlled study was used to determine if activities typical of recreational use cause the development of gastric ulcers in normal horses.

Twenty clinically normal horses, confirmed…

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Albert Kane

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

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