Lameness is a common problem in all horses and ponies, and can have many different causes. Severe, acute onset lameness most commonly involves the foot, but may also be caused by more serious conditions such as a fracture or tendon/ligament injury.
If the lame leg is obviously injured, swollen or broken, then it is vital to contact the practice as soon as possible to arrange an emergency visit.
If your horse has suddenly gone lame, and there is no sign of any swelling or injury on either the lame leg or elsewhere on the horse, then a foot abscess or bruise is the most likely cause. In most of these cases the affected foot will be much warmer than the other feet, and a digital pulse may be palpable.
Hot-tubbing the foot or poulticing with animalintex may help to alleviate the signs and draw out the infection, however most cases will require a visit to remove the shoe (if present), and pare out any abscess to fully resolve the problem.
Ongoing lameness or recurrent abscesses in the same foot may require further investigations such as radiographs to ensure the pedal bone is not infected or fractured.
For milder lameness problems you should contact us during normal working hours for examination. Some horses will require further investigations at the hospital to help diagnose the problem.
If you are concerned about any lameness problems then you should contact us for advice on 01332 294929.