Evaluating a horse for lameness is a process that requires not only an evaluation of the horse in active work, but a series of questions for the owner to try and pin point the source of the problem. Knowing what you are treating is so important to a successful resolution of the problem. more...

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A careful review and palpitation (feeling all over) is important during any thorough exam. flexion testing can be done by jogging in hand, lunging or by riding.

This section to be discussed in great detail in the very near future.

Topics to include:

1. How to determine the cause of a lameness.

2. Why knowing what you are treating is so important to a successful resolution of the problem.

3. Forelimb lameness:
  • Navicular syndrome
  • Laminitis(founder)
  • Corrective shoeing needs
  • Tendon & ligament problems
  • Joint abnormalities

4. Hind limb lameness:
  • Stifle conditions
  • Hock conditions
  • Pelvis & back conditions

5. Looking at the entire horse

For now, here is a list of questions I would like to have answers to prior to evaluating any horse:

1. How old is the horse? Sex? Breed?
2. For what sport/performance is this horse used?
3. How long have you owned/been training this horse?
4. History of medication used now/previously?
5. History of prior lameness/performance problems?
6. Supplements fed currently, etc.
7. Other treatments currently used (i.e. acupuncture, chiropractor, herbal, laser, magnets, witch doctor, 1-800-hows my horse psychic?...just kidding...)
8. Duration of problem in your opinion?
9. Prior treatments (including time off or more exercise) which has helped in the past?
10. Intended goals for this next few months/year ahead for this horse.
11. Farrier involvement, same farrier? Shoeing/trim changes, etc. (helped/hindered)?
12. Prior veterinarians attending this horse? Who, for what and when?
13. Prior Radiographs? Ultrasounds? Bone scans? Treatment details/invoices? Can any of this be obtained for review at time of exam by myself?
14. Level of work horse is currently in?


ANY horse which has had time off will look far better than one with an issue in training. Help us and yourselves by ensuring ALL horses to be evaluated are in active work. NO ONE can find a problem which is not currently visible at the time of the exam, irregardless of the diagnostic techniques used.

Thanks (I'll get off my soap box now...)!
Hope to help you soon!