Lameness is a common ailment in horses that can be caused by many issues, and needs a trained eye to identify the problem’s location and cause. If your horse is affected, our team performs a thorough lameness exam, including:
Imaging — Once we identify the problematic area, imaging (i.e., X-ray or ultrasound) may be necessary to diagnose the problem.
- History — The first step in a lameness evaluation is a thorough history. When did you first notice the lameness? Has the lameness improved or worsened? Do you know how the lameness occurred?
- Moving exam — We watch your horse walk and at faster paces, depending on their lameness level, to determine which limb is causing the problem.
- Standing exam — We evaluate your horse’s general appearance and conformation, and palpate their limbs to assess for swelling, heat, and pain.
- Hoof testers — The majority of equine lameness originates in the foot, and we use hoof testers to apply pressure to your horse’s foot to determine if they are painful in a certain region.
- Nerve and joint blocks — In some cases, we use nerve and joint blocks to localize the lameness origin.