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Methods of temporarily causing a lameness in a controlled manner can be useful when conducting research on pain relieving medications. However, most commonly used models are either very short lived and only produce a momentary lameness in response to a brief painful stimulus or are not reversible. Researchers tested the use of a “T” pipe clamp attached around the circumference of the hoof, just above the ground surface to temporarily induce hoof lameness. The clamp was tightened until a 25 to 30% asymmetry index was observed on force plate analysis, and the clamp was left in place for 5 days.
The authors also tested the application of diclofenac cream around the circumference of the foot on and above the coronary band every 12 hours to see if it would relieve the pain associated with the clamp and abolish the lameness.
The clamp reliably produced a moderate degree of lameness that (soon but not immediately) disappeared when it was removed after 5 days. Application of diclofenac cream significantly decreased the asymmetry index and improved the lameness. The authors concluded this technique can reliably produce a persistent lameness that is reversible. Because the lameness does not immediately disappear when the clamp is removed and is relieved by the application of diclofenac cream, this study suggests the clamp causes the lameness by creating a temporary, painful inflammation within the hoof rather than simply a mechanical effect.
— McClure SR et al. JEVS 2017;54:107-113
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