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Title: Biomechanics and visual perception of movement in sound and lame horses
Author: Starke, Sandra Dorothee
ISNI:       0000 0004 5353 9149
Awarding Body: Royal Veterinary College (University of London)
Current Institution: Royal Veterinary College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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Lameness is the most common medical complaint amongst domestic horses. Consequently, lameness assessment skills are expected of veterinary graduates as a day one skill by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. However, recognising lameness is inherently difficult, especially for mild cases: even experienced assessors regularly disagree on the affected limb. The impact of a resulting misdiagnosis can be profound for both horse and owner. Even today, the biomechanical changes associated with lameness and the mechanisms of subjective clinical decision making are far from understood. Not surprisingly, there is currently no standardised way to teach students the 'art' of lameness detection. Hence, this thesis investigated core elements of the lameness examination in the framework of task analysis, combining biomechanics, vision science and educational research. Mechanical principles of movement asymmetry adaptations associated with locomotion of sound and lame horses on the straight, circle and after flexion tests were investigated. Subjective perception and objective quantification of asymmetry were compared, ranging from detection thresholds of naIve observers to factors influencing experienced veterinarians. Student performance at different stages was evaluated to understand the foundations students bring to future training. Expert visual approaches to lameness detection were quantified by means of eyetracking, investigating whether general principles can be derived to guide teaching. This work showed that it is possible to model and consequently simplify movement adaptations during lameness for future computer based training tools, however a systematic asymmetry bias of sound horses during lunging and after limb flexion needs to be considered. Differences between visual perception and objective quantification of asymmetry highlight the need for further exploration of perception-based diagnostics. While experts used relatively similar approaches when examining horses on the straight, there were considerable differences during assessment on the circle; in future, it would be of benefit to. develop a reliable and uniform assessment strategy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Horses - Physiology - Biomechanics, Horses-Exercise - Physiological aspects, Lameness in horses