The Effect of Lunging with Three Aids on the Thermographically Determined Temperatures of the Distal Portion of Horse Limbs

Abstract: The regulation of head and neck position during physical exercise may be obtained using lunging aids (LAs): Chambon (CH), rubber band (RB), or triangle side reins (TR). The use of LAs would shift the center of horse mass caudally, thereby change the limb load. The aim is to evaluate the pattern of superficial temperatures (PST) of hoof wall (HW), the coronary band (CB), and the dorsal aspect of the fetlock joint (FJ) obtained before and after lunging with LAs and freely moving head (FMH).

Sixteen horses were imaged using an infrared camera. The temperatures of HW, CB, and FJ were measured, and differences between images obtained before and after lunging were evaluated. The correlations between HW, CB, and FJ were then described using respective coefficients (r, rho). Before lunging PST was similar (P < .05) in FMH, CH, RB, and TR, with the strong positive correlations for forelimbs (HW/CB:rho = 0.9022; HW/FJ:rho = 0.7064; CB/FJ:rho = 0.8010) and hindlimbs (HW/CB:rho = 0.7287; HW/FJ:r = 0.7831; CB/FJ:r = 0.7233).

After lunging, PST and correlations changed (P > .05) depending on LAs application. No correlations for FMH and CH, and positive correlations for RB and TR were noted: HW/CB for forelimbs (RB:r = 0.6813; TR:r = 0.8396), CB/FJ for hindlimbs (RB:r = 0.5621; TR:rho = 0.4579). The PST of the distal portion of limbs and relations between measured temperatures change depending on used LAs.

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Reference: Malgorzata Masko, Malgorzata Domino, Lukasz Zdrojkowski, Tomasz Jasinski, Zdzislaw Gajewski. (2020). J Equine Vet Sci Dec;95:103316.

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