Lameness is one of the most common ailments affecting the horse, often resulting in days lost from work.
The first step in lameness investigation is to determine the seat of the lameness. This may be evident at walk but often the horse will need to be trotted and sometimes flexed, lunged or ridden. Some causes of lameness will be indicated by careful examination and palpation of the limbs and body, although follow up radiographs or scans may be required to confirm the diagnosis. Sometimes it is necessary to use a combination of nerve blocks and diagnostic imaging to localise the site of pain and visualise the specific structures involved. This is vital to the provision of appropriate treatments and a realistic prognosis.
Initial lameness evaluation can be performed at the client’s premises. If more advanced diagnostic procedures are required, referral to the hospital may be recommended.