Research Journal

Limb Load Distribution In Laminitic Horses

Subjective assessment of discomfort is the most frequently used method to judge disease severity and therapeutic response in horses with laminitis. Although grading systems like Obel’s attempt to make these assessments more objective, the reliability of such scales still depends on subjective factors.

To provide an objective and quantitative means for evaluating discomfort, Texas A&M University researchers used a computerized force plate system to determine the percentage of body weight placed on each limb (limb load) and the frequency of load redistribution between limbs (load redistribution profile, or LDP) in horses with acute and chronic laminitis.

In chronic laminitis cases, they found a decrease in total forelimb load and an increase in LDP that correlated with disease severity. In cases of acute laminitis, the LDP decreased after the onset of lameness, indicating a reluctance to move. It was concluded this technique might be a useful screening method for detecting acute laminitis, grading severity of lameness and for monitoring rehabilitation in chronic laminitis cases.

— Hood DM, Wagner IP, Taylor DD, Brumbaugh GW, Chaffin MK. Voluntary Limb-Load In Horses With Acute And Chronic Laminitis. 

Ultrasound Detection Of Tendon Healing

Ultrasound is widely used for the diagnosis of equine tendon and ligament injuries, and for monitoring the rate of healing.  However, ultrasonographic assessments of tendon and ligament healing are usually made subjectively.

To help make these assessments more accurate and reproducible, researchers from Australia and the United States used quantitative analysis of sonographic brightness to detect…

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