According to federal researchers, lameness has the highest annual incident density of all medical problems in horses, DVM360 Magazine reports. Half of all horse operations with five or more horses have one or more cases of lameness annually. Another federal report estimates lameness incidence at 7.5% to 13.7% annually.
It’s estimated that more than $500 million is being spent on lameness diagnosis and treatment per year. When factoring the loss of use cost, as well as veterinary spending, horse owners’ annual total financial loss to lameness is estimated to surpass $1 billion.
Researchers at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan have teamed with engineers to design and build a robotic lift system to help rehabilitate horses suffering from acute injuries and other musculoskeletal problems.
The lift system that was designed with RMD Engineering can reduce and redistribute the weight the horse is carrying dynamically. The system allows the animal to be mobile with its weight partially or fully supported by the lift, says Julia Montgomery, a large animal internal medicine specialist at the WCVM.
The amount of fatal equine injuries declined 14% in 2015 over the previous year, according to an analysis by The Jockey Club of data from the Equine Injury Database.
Across all surfaces, ages and distances, the fatality rate dropped from 1.89 per 1,000…