Lame horses are one of the most common presentations to us and a source of great frustration to their riders!
Lamenesses can vary from severe cases associated with fractures or hoof abscesses to subtle problems causing a decrease in performance. Lame horses are initially examined to assess the level of lameness and which leg or legs are affected. Palpation of the leg, hoof testers and flexion tests are used initially to attempt to localise the cause. If there is no obvious cause then nerve blocks may be required to localise the problem. Once the problem is localised, then further investigations in the form of X-rays or ultrasound scans may be necessary.
Dependant upon the facilities available, many straight-forward lamenesses can be dealt with at your yard. However, complex cases benefit from being admitted to the clinic for an in depth assessment. We can offer the latest in digital X-ray and ultrasound equipment to provide high quality images.
Our consultants Dr David Platt, Matt Smith and Mark Murrell are available to assist with complex cases. Some horses may require referral for specialised tests such as scintigraphy (bone-scanning) or MRI but your vet will advise you if these are required.