Alterations in body lean angle in lame horses before and after diagnostic analgesia in straight lines in hand and on the lunge

Greve, L and Pfau, T and Dyson, S (2018) Alterations in body lean angle in lame horses before and after diagnostic analgesia in straight lines in hand and on the lunge. VETERINARY JOURNAL.

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Abstract

Altered body lean has been subjectively observed during lungeing in lame horses. The objectives were to quantify the influence of lameness on body lean in trot on the lunge and to investigate the influence of improvement in lameness on the differences in body lean between reins. Thirteen lame horses were trotted in straight lines and lunged on a 10m-diameter circle on both reins before and after lameness was subjectively substantially improved by diagnostic analgesia. A global position system-aided inertial measurement unit attached to the tubera sacrale quantified body lean. Differences between reins in body lean before and after diagnostic analgesia were calculated and means were determined. Five and eight horses had unilateral and bilateral hindlimb lameness, respectively. Two of five horses with unilateral and three of eight horses with bilateral lameness leaned more on the rein with the lame or lamer hindlimb on the inside of the circle (difference between reins 5−8°). Two of five horses with unilateral and two of eight horses with bilateral lameness leaned more on the rein with the lame or lamer hindlimb on the outside of the circle (4−10°). Four horses, one with unilateral and three with bilateral lameness, had only 1° difference in body lean angle between left and right reins. When lameness was improved by diagnostic analgesia, the body lean changed significantly towards similar leaning on left and right reins (mean angle changed from 8.8° to 10.0° (P = 0.03) on one rein and 13.4° to 10.8° (P = 0.002) on the other rein). It was concluded that body lean becomes more symmetrical between reins after improvement in lameness using diagnostic analgesia.