Diagnosing and Treating Equine Lameness

Has your horse got a limp? Determine what’s wrong and help him heal.
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Has your horse got a limp? Determine what’s wrong and help him heal.

Get Smarter About Equine Lameness

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Your horse's conformation, use and temperament are all factors to consider as your lame horse heals. In our FREE guide, Diagnosing and Treating Equine Lameness, we help you become better informed about the nature of his problem so you can apply a more effective treatment regimen.

Lameness can be prevented, or at the very least, predicted. Take what happened with Brenda, for example.

Brenda is one of those people who researches everything. She never plunges. When Brenda, who had grown up riding horses, decided she wanted to enjoy one now that she was older, she shopped around carefully. No lame horse for her!

And when Brenda found what she was sure was the horse of her dreams—a large draft mare—she scheduled an appointment with the vet to have the mare checked out from head to tail in order to ferret out any signs of ill health or lameness. There’d be no cough, poor vision or fetlock lameness in Brenda’s horse, or she’d not buy her. Period.

The vet did an exam—but not an x-ray—and found no sign of front leg lameness or hind leg lameness or anything else wrong, and so Brenda happily purchased the mare and brought her home.

Six months later, the mare began shaking her head and acting as if her hind legs had some kind of lameness that caused her pain. Brenda soon became an expert on hind leg lameness in horses, as well as horse lameness causes, and figured out that her beloved mare had bone chips, a condition known as Osteochondrosis, or OCD.

It’s common in large breeds that grown really fast, and is caused when some of their cartilage and bone fragments break off into the joint space. As you can imagine, this lameness often creates a painful condition for the horse.

The horse may try and compensate for the lameness by not wanting to move the affected leg, or by swinging the affected leg outward in order to try to avoid bending it.

The diagnosis: osteochondrosis.

To learn more about osteochondrosis and other lamenesses, download our free guide HERE.