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Am J Vet Res. 2005 Oct;66(10):1805-15.

Association between subjective lameness grade and kinetic gait parameters in horses with experimentally induced forelimb lameness.

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Departmentof Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus 43210-1089, USA.



To evaluate the association between subjective lameness grades and kinetic gait parameters and assess the variability in kinetic parameters in horses with experimentally induced forelimb lameness.


32 horses.


Forelimb lameness was induced in each horse via injection of lipopolysaccharide into 1 metacarpophalangeal joint (40 experimental trials). Subjective lameness grading and 13 kinetic gait parameters (force plate analysis) were assessed before (baseline) and at 12, 18, and 24 hours after lipopolysaccharide injection. While horses were trotting, kinetic gait analysis was performed for 8 valid repetitions at each time point. Repeated-measures analyses were performed with 8 repetitions for each kinetic parameter as the outcome, and lameness grades, time points after lipopolysaccharide injection, and repetition order as explanatory variables. Sensitivity and specificity of kinetic parameters for classification of horses as sound or lame (in relation to subjective lameness scores) were calculated. Between- and within-horse variabilities of the 13 kinetic parameters were assessed by calculation of coefficients of variation.


Subjective lameness grades were significantly associated with most of the kinetic parameters. Vertical force peak and impulse had the lowest between- and within-horse coefficients of variation and the highest correlations with subjective lameness grade. Vertical force peak had the highest sensitivity and specificity for lameness classification. Vertical force peak and impulse were significantly decreased even in horses with mild or unobservable lameness.


Among the kinetic gait parameters, vertical force peak and impulse had the best potential to reflect lameness severity and identify subclinical forelimb gait abnormalities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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