Lameness in horses can be severe or have an obvious cause, with heat and swelling of the affected area.
Many cases will progress straight to radiography or ultrasound.
In many cases however the lameness is mild and requires nerve and/or joint blocks to identify the source of the lameness.
Daily lameness clinics are run at the practice by Wendy Furness and Jacqui Paton who have extensive experience in this field.
Investigating lameness in horses and interpreting the results of the blocks takes time and experience.
At the practice we have facilities that have been specially designed for lameness investigation. There is a purpose built gated trot up area that is flat and resonant (some mild lameness are easier to hear than see); uneven bumpy surfaces are not suitable for lameness assessment.
We have an indoor school for riding or lunging and two hard lunge surfaces. Horses are examined on all surfaces if appropriate before being blocked.
For nerve blocks local anaesthetic is placed around nerves that supply a particular area of the limb. The block is allowed to take effect then the whole process repeated. If the horse does not improve then nerve blocks further up the limb are performed. In some cases local anaesthesia is injected sterilely into joints or tendon sheaths if these are suspected as the source of pain.
Once the area of pain has been localised, the area is imaged usually by both radiography and ultrasound. The diagnosis and potential treatment options are then discussed with you the owner.
A comprehensive range of up to date therapeutics and surgery are available at the practice. We work alongside you to rehabilitate your horse to compete in its discipline, be that a competition horse or child’s pony. In any cases we work alongside paraprofessionals such as chartered physiotherapists, farriers and saddlers to help optimise the outcome.
Lameness investigation and treatment is a core part of our Equine Services. Our vets undergo regular specialist training across the UK, Europe and the USA to ensure that we are always up to date with the very latest techniques and information.
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