GaitSmart™ Pegasus for Veterinary Practices
Objective vs. Subjective
All horses have their own unique stride characteristics, which normally change with injury or illness. Until recently, lameness diagnosis has been done largely through the subjective assessment of vets honing their skills through years of experience and observations. In a study done by Keegan et al. (2009) it was reported that when a group of clinicians (average 18.7 years of experience) were asked to choose whether or not the horse was lame and choose the worst limb, after full lameness evaluation, the clinicians agreed on the diagnosis only 51.6% of the time.
GaitSmart Pegasus does not replace veterinary observation or experience, but should instead be seen as a tool developed for accuracy and ease of use. The cannon and hock angle systems have been developed to provide an extremely accurate report of range of movement of all four cannon bones, and hock joints. Cannon analysis will also report coronal (side to side) deviation of the limb. Both systems can be used to highlight any asymmetries or changes in gait patterns.
How GaitSmart Pegasus Quantifies What You Already Look For
When you do a lameness evaluation you look for things like, out of plane coronal movements, symmetry of left and right limbs in the fore and hind limbs, steady stride duration, differences on left and right reins on the straight, or lunge, ridden or in hand, and probably different surfaces. GaitSmart Pegasus quantifies all these things for you to supplement your observations and give you unrivalled accuracy. It also identifies things you may not be able to see such as decoupling in a canter and subtle asymmetries and out of plane movements at the walk and trot.
Short and Long Term Benefits
If a horse is measured when healthy, you can have a baseline measurement of normality for that horse which can be compared with subsequent data as an indicator of illness or lameness. Past and current reports can be kept on file to accumulate an extremely accurate collection of gait data through injuries and illness (or effect of a training program) to peak performance. Assessment of recurring injuries can be aided immensely by having reports showing range of movement or flexion to the degree which could be compared to current gait patterns. Effectiveness of treatments and stage of recovery can be monitored, and referral cases can be accompanied by reports or GaitSmartPegasus files that each vet can compare and contrast to their own findings, providing valuable data for inter-vet or inter-practice collaboration.
GaitSmart Pegasus and Your Practice
GaitSmart Pegasus can add a new dimension to the services offered by your vet practice and can easily slot into any lameness assessment schemes you already have in place. It can decrease the subjectivity of the assessment, allowing for more accurate collaborative efforts between vets of the same practice or between practices conferring on the same case. Results are presented in an easy to understand format for the client to take away giving your practice an added service making you ahead of the curve.