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Blindfolding Horses: Help for Neurologic Diagnosis
Equine researchers* recently suggested that blindfolding horses can be a powerful tool for veterinarians when differentiating between lameness and neurological diseases resulting in abnormal gaits.
Researchers found that blindfolding caused a measurable exacerbation of gait abnormalities in ataxic horses.According to the group of European researchers, “The ataxic horse remains a challenge, especially when the clinical signs are mild to moderate. Even experienced clinicians disagree on the subjective assessment of gait and assignment of ataxia severity grades, as well as whether the gait of a horse is normal or ataxic.”
Clearly, distinguishing between a lame horse and one suffering from a neurological condition must be made in order to institute appropriate treatment strategies, and assess disease progression and response to treatments.
Based on research in human patients, walking while blindfolded exacerbates clinical neurological signs and helps locali