RATER AGREEMENT OF VISUAL LAMENESS ASSESSMENT IN HORSES DURING LUNGEING
M Hammarberg, A Egenvall, T Pfau and M Rhodin
Visual assessment of lameness is inherently subjective; rater agreement during lungeing exercise was assessed in this study. 23 horses were included; videos of these horses trotting on the lunge on a hard and soft surface were evaluated by 86 equine veterinarians of variable experience, with some videos reviewed more than once to assess intra-rater agreement. Raters were asked to identify the lamest limb on each video. Less experienced equine practitioners (<5 years equine experience or doing <100% equine work) showed poor agreement in terms of selection of the lamest limb during trotting on a circle, agreement was moderate for experienced practitioners and found to be higher for forelimb lameness across all levels of experience. Intra-rater repeatability was moderate but varied between raters.
The bottom line:
Consistent identification of lameness is important for diagnosis and reassessment of lame horses; this study found that when assessing lame horses on the lunge the agreement between raters was poor for hindlimb lameness and poor to moderate for forelimb lameness.
Photo: Cloudy Lungeing