OSU College of Vet Medicine Installs New Horse Treadmill

Tom Johnston
Communications Services
Oklahoma State University
(405) 744-6260

Easy does it !!--Workers from EquiGym of Kentucky and OSU College of Vet Med staff ease the new 7,000 pound treadmill into position in the equine sports medicine lab.
Workers from EquiGym, an equine exercise equipment company from Kentucky and staff of OSU College of Veterinary Medicine worked three and one-half hours this morning getting a new equine treadmill into place at the college's equine Sports Medicine Lab. The 7,000 pound piece of equipment cost $72,000, and was partially funded by the Oklahoma-Bred Advisory Council of the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission.

Dr. Michael Davis, director of the lab, said the lab's old treadmill had lasted about ten years but had just been worn out. Because the lab is getting ready to launch into some aggressive research in equine sports medicine, Davis said it was imperative to have a well-built and dependable treadmill before the project begins.

The research project will be examining hidden reasons for performance horses not living up to expectations. Researchers will be looking for cardiac problems, lung performance, subtle lameness and muscle soreness. And to check on cardiac problems and lung performance, it is necessary to put the animal under the stress of running. While running, the horse's heart is monitored by an electrocardiogram and the lungs and airway are monitored by an endoscope.

The new treadmill will have a top speed of 55 miles per hour. Davis said a "good" horse, at full gallop, will achieve speeds of 30-35 miles per hour, so he feels the new machine will have the capability of testing any horse, regardless of the horse's running speed.

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