A circumferential hoof clamp method to induce controlled and reversible lameness in the forelimbs of eight horses was assessed. Peak vertical forces and vertical impulses were recorded using a force plate to verify induced lameness. Video recordings were used by blinded observers to determine subjective lameness using a 0-5 scale and any residual lameness following clamp loosening. Tightening of clamps resulted in consistent, visible lameness in the selected limbs in all horses. Lameness was confirmed by significant decreases from baseline in the peak vertical force (P < 0.01). Lameness was also confirmed subjectively by elevated median scores (0 at baseline and 2 during lameness). Lameness was not immediately reversible after clamp loosening (median score 1.5), but horses were not obviously lame after clamp removal and were no different from initial baseline (median score 0.5) approximately 3 days later.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the Minnesota Racing Commission and Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Minnesota Equine Center. This article represents a portion of a thesis submitted by Dr. Swaab to the University of Minnesota, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine as partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of Science degree.
- Circumferential hoof clamp
- Induced lameness