Lameness is not always obvious and can be one of the major reasons for a horse’s poor performance. What might seem to be a ‘back’ or ‘muscle’ problem will usually stem from a foot or leg issue and that is why it is so important to contact an experienced equine vet when problems first arise.
Our equine vets will work with you to build a comprehensive history of the horse e.g. what sort of work the horse has done/is doing, changes in shoeing, behaviour, feed etc. If we haven’t seen the horse before, we also need to know of past issues, treatments or medications. Even if the problem seems obvious, it is really important for us to know the history so that we can accurately diagnose and manage your horse’s lameness issues.
In order for our equine vets to conduct a thorough lameness examination and for the owner to get the most out of the consultation we require:
- A lame horse
- A safe area in which to examine the horse
- A competent handler
- A full history
- An even surface on which to lunge and observe the horse
It is vital that the area where the lameness is originating from is isolated so that an accurate diagnosis can be made. If the cause of the lameness is not clear upon initial examination, the following will provide the vet with more information:
- Flexion tests
- Nerve blocks
Decisions about which tests are appropriate and recommended will be made in conjunction with the owner. The Animal Doctors @ Pakenham vets will work in consultation with you at every stage of assessment and management of your horse’s lameness; we encourage communication and questions so that your horse’s recovery is as quick and effective as possible.