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Appraisal of Static and Dynamic Assessment: Case Studies

The below articles form a part of veterinary physiotherapy degree completion and are based on both canine and equine cases.

Static Assessment

Static assessment is one of the first steps in examination of animal’s condition (Davidson, 2018; Ross and Dyson, 2010). While posture may provide information about animal’s mentation (Lesimple et al., 2012; McGowan and Goff, 2016), adaptations to discomfort and injury (Davidson, 2018), conformation have been used as an indicator of soundness and performance (Weller, Pfau, Babbage, et al., 2006; Weller, Pfau, Verheyen, et al., 2006). While certain conformation deficits are desirable in some equine disciplines, they may limit performance in others (Marks, 2000; Davidson, 2018). For instance, defects in conformation might be means of protection, such as carpal valgus and carpal chip incidence in the race horse (Davidson, 2018; Wayne McIlwraith et al., 2003; Anderson et al., 2004). Especially the canine world, conformation standards vary significantly among breeds (Pedersen et al., 2013). However, perfect breed conformation does not predispose soundness, which was found in over 50 breeds (Asher et al., 2009), including German Shepherds bred for specific rather than functional conformation (Humphries et al., 2020). The patients in this case study were analysed using photographic method while stood as square as possible on an even surface (Denham, 2007).

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Dynamic Assessment and Remedial Exercises

Dynamic assessment forms an important part of an initial evaluation of a patient (Davidson, 2018; Tashman and Anderst, 2003) and provides underlying information for further orthopaedic examination (Carr et al., 2016). Subjective gait evaluation is widely used (Hunt et al., 1999) due to its time efficiency (Lesimple et al., 2012). It has been, however, considered experience dependent (Waxman et al., 2008) and thus less reliable (Back and Clayton, 2013). Compared to computerised motion analysis (Weller, Pfau, Babbage, et al., 2006), no forces and only a limited number of kinematic variables can be observed at one time (Gillette and Angle, 2008). Therefore, to obtain the most reliable results, combination of both subjective and objective methods may be implemented. Patients in the current case were assessed using subjective observation and via slow motion video analysis. Following Dyson (2000) recommendations, animals were encouraged to move freely in hand on a hard surface. Lameness was graded using numerical grading scale (Weishaupt et al., 2004; Scott and Witte, 2011).

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Anderson, T.M., McILWRAITH, C.W., Douay, P. (2004) The role of conformation in musculoskeletal problems in the racing Thoroughbred. Equine Veterinary Journal. 36(7), 571–575.

Asher, L., Diesel, G., Summers, J.F., McGreevy, P.D., Collins, L.M. (2009) Inherited defects in pedigree dogs. Part 1: Disorders related to breed standards. The Veterinary Journal. 182(3), 402–411.

Back, W., Clayton, H.M. (2013) Equine Locomotion. 2nd ed. Elsevier.

Carr, B.J., Resident, A., Dycus, D.L. (2016) Canine Gait Analysis. Recovery and Rehab, 7.

Davidson, E.J. (2018) Lameness Evaluation of the Athletic Horse. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Equine Practice. 34(2), 181–191.

Denham, S.F. (2007) Changes in conformation and walk kinematics of suckling and weanling warmblood foals. Virginia State University.

Dyson, S. (2000) Lameness and Poor Performance in the Sports Horse: Dressage, Show Jumping and Horse Trials (Eventing). . 46, 308–315.

Gillette, R.L., Angle, T.C. (2008) Recent developments in canine locomotor analysis: A review. The Veterinary Journal. 178(2), 165–176.

Humphries, A., Shaheen, A.F., Gómez Álvarez, C.B. (2020) Different conformations of the German shepherd dog breed affect its posture and movement. Scientific Reports. 10(1), 16924.

Hunt, W.F., Thomas, V.G., Stiefel, W. (1999) Analysis of video-recorded images to determine linear and angular dimensions in the growing horse. Equine Veterinary Journal. 31(5), 402–410.

Lesimple, C., Fureix, C., Margerie, E.D., Sénèque, E., Menguy, H., Hausberger, M. (2012) Towards a Postural Indicator of Back Pain in Horses (Equus caballus). PLOS ONE. 7(9), e44604.

Marks, D. (2000) Conformation and Soundness. Proceedings of the Annual Convention of the AAEP. 46, 7.

McGowan, C., Goff, L. (2016) Animal Physiotherapy: Assessment, Treatment and Rehabilitation of Animals. 2nd ed. Wiley-Blackwell.

Pedersen, N., Liu, H., Theilen, G., Sacks, B. (2013) The effects of dog breed development on genetic diversity and the relative influences of performance and conformation breeding. Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics. 130(3), 236–248.

Ross, M.W., Dyson, S.J. (2010) Diagnosis and Management of Lameness in the Horse. 2nd ed. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Scott, H., Witte, P. (2011) Investigation of lameness in dogs. In Practice. 33(1), 20–27.

Tashman, S., Anderst, W. (2003) In-Vivo Measurement of Dynamic Joint Motion Using High Speed Biplane Radiography and CT: Application to Canine ACL Deficiency. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering. 125(2), 238–245.

Waxman, A.S., Robinson, D.A., Evans, R.B., Hulse, D.A., Innes, J.F., Conzemius, M.G. (2008) Relationship Between Objective and Subjective Assessment of Limb Function in Normal Dogs with an Experimentally Induced Lameness. Veterinary Surgery. 37(3), 241–246.

Wayne McIlwraith, C., Anderson, T.M., Sanschi, E.M. (2003) Conformation and musculoskeletal problems in the racehorse. Clinical Techniques in Equine Practice. 2(4), 339–347.

Weishaupt, M.A., Wiestner, T., Hogg, H.P., Jordan, P., Auer, J.A. (2004) Compensatory load redistribution of horses with induced weightbearing hindlimb lameness trotting on a treadmill. Equine Veterinary Journal. 36(8), 727–733.

Weller, R., Pfau, T., Babbage, D., Brittin, E., May, S.A., Wilson, A.M. (2006) Reliability of conformational measurements in the horse using a three-dimensional motion analysis system. Equine Veterinary Journal. 38(7), 610–615.

Weller, R., Pfau, T., Verheyen, K., May, S.A., Wilson, A.M. (2006) The effect of conformation on orthopaedic health and performance in a cohort of National Hunt racehorses: preliminary results. Equine Veterinary Journal. 38(7), 622–627.



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