Effects of balancing and shoeing of the forelimb feet on kinematic gait analysis in five horses with navicular disease


The effects of balancing the foot and shoeing (B&S) on the kinematics of five Quarter Horses with navicular disease were evaluated using computerized gait analysis. Kinematic measurements of the right forelimb and head were made before and after palmar digital nerve block (PDNB) and before and after B&S of the forelimb feet. Carpal and fetlock joint angle, foot displacement, and temporal gait measurements were made for at least five strides in each horse trotting on a treadmill. Kinematic measurements were compared before and after PDNB and before and after B&S by analysis of variance with an α=0.05. The most significant kinematic changes seen after PDNB were in the vertical head movement parameters studied. Total vertical head excursion and measures of head height asymmetry between right and left forelimb stance phases decreased after PDNB. After B&S mean carpal flexion and maximum hoof height during the swing phase of the stride increased, but none of the head movement parameters significantly changed. Results of this study indicate that the ability of treadmill kinematic gait analysis to evaluate for improvement in lameness by monitoring vertical head movement parameters is not significantly affected in horses with navicular disease three weeks after balancing and shoeing the forelimb feet.



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Journal of Equine Veterinary Science