A lame horse attempts to relieve pain in the affected limb by redistributing its weight from the painful limb to non-lame or less lame limbs. This mechanism is assumed to require adaptations in muscle contraction and coordination, but these neuromuscular changes have yet to be measured. Researchers will use a noninvasive technique called surface electromyography (EMG) to measure and compare muscle function associated with resulting limb and upper body movements during normal equine locomotion and during unilateral forelimb and hindlimb lameness. Findings will provide a better understanding of the underlying role of muscles in producing gait abnormalities recognized as lameness. This information currently is a missing link in understanding the clinical signs of lameness and may lead to the development of state-of the-art tools to assist with clinical lameness assessment and earlier treatment.
Grant amount awarded
University of Central Lancashire
Lindsay St. George, PhD