Common Lameness Cases Treated at Scarsdale Equine Practice

People often ask us about the types of cases that we see at the practice so these are a flavour of some of the types of recent cases seen.

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People often ask us about the types of cases that we see at the practice so here is a flavour of some of the types of recent cases seen.

Foot Pain

This is incredibly common and the structures inside the foot complex. Foot abscesses are very common and usually present as a sudden onset extreme lameness with little or no heat or swelling.

At the other extreme mild, but performance limiting lameness can be associated with everything from foot imbalance to thin soles or issues within the joints or soft tissue structures.


Laminitis is extremely common. We see it in all types of horses, ponies and donkeys – it’s not just a disease of fat ponies.


Laminitis cases often have concurrent medical problems. Initially the treatment is focused around management of pain however in the medium to long term we work closely with farriers to get the best result for horses.

Suspensory Ligament Desmitis

People have commonly heard of this associated with dressage horses and hindleg lameness.


The ligament is present in both the front and back leg and presenting signs are different depending on which limbs are affected and the area of the ligament damaged.


This is a developmental orthopaedic condition that results in chips in joints, commonly in stifles and hocks.


In some cases, they cause problems in foals however often they do not show as problems until the horse starts work or later in life. They can be removed under GA at the practice by orthopaedic surgeons.

Joint Pain

Joint pain is very common in both high motion and low motion joints.

If lameness blocks to a specific joint, then they can be medicated. Some horses have multiple joints affected and a range of treatments are also available for those cases.

Back Pain

Back pain is very common. Sometimes it presents as a primary problem however we commonly see it in conjunction with hindleg lameness.

We always aim to address the primary problem and work alongside you and your physiotherapist to get a rehabilitation programme.Tendon Injuries

Tendon Injuries

These are often serious injuries. We diagnosis them usually by palpation and ultrasound. Ultrasound helps us know how badly the tendon is affected but also allows us to develop and monitor a rehab programme.


Often the lameness levels are less than people expect however can be devastating if not managed well. We can also offer stem cell therapy, PRP and surgery in appropriate cases

Check Ligament Desmitis

This is seen in both competition horses and older horses. The horse in the photo has a large swelling but they are often more subtle than this.


Horses like to get an injury (and prefer to do so just before a competition). Some cases are straightforward and others need urgent or ongoing treatment.

Please be aware of small injuries – particularly over joints. Always feel free to ring any time of the day or night for advice – we would rather be safe than sorry.

Plus many, many other causes…

We have just highlighted some of the cases we see regularly at the practice – there are many more.

Out of hours emergency

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