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Field study of the prevalence of lameness in horses with back problems
  1. M. A. A. M. Landman, DVM1,
  2. J. A. de Blaauw, DVM2,
  3. L. J. Hofland, DVM2 and
  4. P. R. van Weeren, DVM, PhD3
  1. 1 Constant Erzeystraat 65, NL-3523 VT Utrecht, The Netherlands
  2. 2 Bodegraven Equine Clinic, Zuidzijde 63, NL-2411 RT Bodegraven, The Netherlands
  3. 3 Department of Equine Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 12, NL-3546 CM Utrecht, The Netherlands


A population of 805 horses (70 per cent dressage, 20 per cent show jumpers and 10 per cent trotters) with orthopaedic problems was examined for signs of lameness and back problems, irrespective of their original complaints. In the horses with a back problem the prevalence of lameness was 74 per cent, and back problems were diagnosed in 32 per cent of the lame horses. These percentages were significantly higher than those recorded in a control population of 399 horses, of which 20 per cent were lame and 12 per cent had back problems. In the group of horses with orthopaedic problems there was a strong association between lameness and back problems and, in particular, there was a high prevalence of lameness among the horses with back problems.

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