Let me explain the rather bizarre title, albeit halloween is around the corner, so I guess its quite timely. Its all about the one thing I never expected when I started my journey working with animals..I spend most of my day watching how dogs and horses move, spotting subtle (and not so subtle) signs of lameness or asymmetry. The way a horse places a particular hoof can tell me something about the shoulder or hip. The tiny little skip a dog does when going from walk to trot tells me a lot about the potential health of its stifle joint. The problem is, I can't stop - I do it everywhere.The picture belows perfectly illustrates my point.
So when I take my own dog to the park, instead of enjoying the fresh air and a brisk walk, I find myself staring at the dog with the "ooh la la" bum wiggle, and wondering how the owner is coping with the possible hip dysplasia (or if they even know). Or I find myself watching horses grazing in fields, breaking down each step to work out why the front doesnt seem to match the rear. (Don't even get me started about watching eventing). It's now getting to the stage where I can't even enjoy taking my son to the zoo, as this is all I see.
Ironically when we are performing a biomechanical analysis, we are usually too busy checking the camera set up, or processing data, to study the animals gait for ourselves, so we have to purposely do a few runs with the camera off to get a feel for its movement.
But, it could be worse, I could be a vet, and this is probably all they see..
So if you bump into me at the park, I apologise if I seem to be staring at your dog - it's only because I can see its skeleton....
(Pictures courtesy veterinary anatomy world)