Research Journal

Bouncy Tracks And Hoof Acceleration

Researchers examined the relationship between hoof acceleration patterns and dynamic properties of the racetrack surface. Eight clinically normal horses with accelerometers attached to each hoof were galloped along a straightaway in repeated trials. Between each trial, the track was harrowed and water was added to change surface properties. After each trial, dynamic properties of the track were measured near each hoof print for several strides.

Acceleration peaks occurred at impact, the transition from landing to propulsion (negative acceleration), during propulsion and following hoof lift off. The negative acceleration peak, thought by some to be related to injury, was inversely correlated with the rebound rate of the track. Although hardness is related to rebound rate, the soil  factors that link the two together are unidentified at this time. This study suggests rebound rate is a defining factor in track surface safety and increasing rebound rate could improve stride efficiency and track surface safety.

—Ratzlaff MH et al. AJVR 2005;66:589-595.

MRI Useful For Diagnosing Foot Pain

In this study, clinicians described the results of using magnetic resonance imaging to investigate lameness in 199 horses. These cases were localized to the foot using diagnostic nerve blocks but could not be explained using conventional techniques such as clinical, X-ray or ultrasound examinations. Follow-up information was obtained from 6 to 36 months after the MRI examination and the success of treatment was categorized as excellent, moderate or poor based on lameness persistence.

Tendonitis of the deep digital flexor tendon with…

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Albert Kane

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

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