How Might Neck Arthritis Affect Horses’ Gaits?
If we’re observant, and we have the science behind our investigations, we can better determine the reason for lameness based on how a horse is lame. And, said a French researcher, we’re one step closer to characterizing neck-related lameness associated with osteoarthritis (OA) and related nerve impairment.
“A lot of times when we can’t find the source of pain in the limbs, we just have to start looking for other sites with expensive imaging exams,” said Gwenola Touzot-Jourde, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVAA, ECVAA, a veterinary anesthesiologist at Oniris Nantes-Atlantic National College of Veterinary Medicine, Food Science and Engineering. “But if we could recognize signs of lameness that are typical of certain conditions like cervical joint degenerative diseases, we could better determine which cases are more likely to need attention to this particular area.”
Touzot-Jourde sought to better understand lameness associated with OA in the C6-C7 cervical vertebrae—a site known for nerve compression due to bone disorders (especially articular process joint arthropathy). That’s why she and her fellow researchers chose to experimentally create nerve root dysfunction at the level of C6-C7 vertebrae in four healthy French Trotters and then observe how it affected their gaits
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