When your horse stands, it should be able to stand on all four legs. When your horse walks or runs, its stride should be even and painless. If your hose has an issue with their gait or stance, they could be suffering from equine lameness, and you should schedule an appointment at Jacksonville Equine.
What Is Equine Lameness?
This condition refers to an abnormality of a horse's stance or gait. This condition can be caused by a neurological issue a mechanical problem, and the most common cause is musculoskeletal system pain in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, or joints. These issues can affect how your horse walks, trots, or canters.
What Are the Symptoms of Equine Lameness?
Equine lameness can be mild and difficult to detect when watching your horse move. In many cases, mild cases can only be felt when riding the horse. In more severe cases, your horse may not be able to put weight on the leg, and they will stand off the lame leg or point that leg more often. You may also see a change in your horse's attitude and behavior due to the pain.
How Is Equine Lameness Diagnosed?
A: If you suspect your horse is lame, you will need to call an equine care provider. There are several ways an equine veterinarian In Jacksonville, FL, can diagnose lameness.
- Thorough history: The vet will take a detailed history, including previous health history, symptoms of lameness, and their normal level of activity.
- Physical exam: During the physical exam, the vet will palpate the entire horse to check for areas of pain, heat, and swelling. They will also test the hooves to determine if your horse feels pain when pressure is applied.
- Lameness exam: The vet will evaluate your horse at different gaits to determine if the lameness is causing visible issues. The exam can be performed when walking along the horse's side, on a lunge line or when you are riding the horse.
- Flexion tests: Your vet will bend the horse's joint for a minute or two and then have them trot off immediately to see if the lameness increases.
- Nerve or joint blocks: The vet can give the horse local anesthetic around the nerves or in the joints to dull specific limb structures. If the lameness improves, the vet will know the pain is coming from that location.
- Diagnostic imaging: When the affected area is isolated, the vet may order a radiograph, ultrasound, CT, MRI, or a bone scan.
Q: How Is Equine Lameness Treated?
A: The treatment would depend on the cause of your horse's lameness. Common lameness can be treated using joint injections and medication to decrease inflammation. For specific conditions, your horse will need to rest and may need rehabilitation. In addition, your vet might give you shoeing recommendations to help with the pain. The vet may need to set you up with a veterinary surgeon to treat the condition in very severe cases.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Equine Veterinarian in Jacksonville, FL
If you suspect equine lameness, don't waste your time on a Google search for "equine vet near me" or "horse care near me." Instead, call Jackson Equine. We provide emergency equine services at our equestrian center and help treat your horse's lameness. If you have an issue with a donkey, sheep, or any other animal, we can help with them as well. Call us at (904) 387-3330 for more information