Risk factors for the hazard of lameness in Danish Standardbred trotters

Håkan Vigre, M. Chriel, M. Hesselholt, J. Falk-Ronne, A. K. Ersboll

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

A follow-up study focusing on health problems interfering with optimal training of Danish Standardbred trotters was conducted with the participation of seven professional trainers. Our aim was to estimate the incidence of health problems that cause interruptions of optimal training, and to identify associations between the hazard of lameness and selected risk factors. The study population was dynamic and contained data of 265 Standardbred trotters monitored during 5 months in 1997 and 1998. The horses were greater than or equal to2 years old. Optimal training was defined as when the horse followed scheduled training including fast-speed trotting. Interruption of optimal training could only be caused by health problems and castration. A total of 123 new events of interruption of optimal training caused by health problems were reported. Lameness (injury located to joints and tendons) was the most-frequent cause of interruption of optimal training: 84 events in 69 horses (0.09 events per horse-month). Respiratory diseases (16 events) and muscular problems (seven events) were the second and third most-frequent causes of interrupted training. The effects of trainer, gender, age-group, time with a trainer, participation in races and current month on the hazard of lameness were estimated in a multivariable Cox proportional-hazard model. The effects of trainer, gender and age-group were modelled as time-independent. The effects of time with a trainer, participation in races and the current month were modelled as time-dependent variables. Trainer affected the hazard of lameness. Geldings had higher hazard than mares, as did 3-year olds (compared to >4-year olds). Compared to the period where horses. had been trained by the same trainer for >3 months, horses in the period 1.5-2.5 months after they had entered the training regime had higher risk of lameness (hazard ratio: 3.2; 95% Cl: 1.1-9.9). Participation in races increased the hazard of lameness significantly in the 5 days after a races. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Volume56
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)105-117
ISSN0167-5877
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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