Lameness is one of the most common reasons for horses to be presented at the clinic. They may be routine, simple cases or require in-depth investigations.

Detailed static and dynamic orthopaedic evaluation is used to fully evaluate the lameness using our purpose-built facilities for trotting-up, lungeing and ridden exercise, if necessary. Nerve blocks and joint blocks are carried out, if necessary, to identify the source of pain, and this is usually followed by diagnostic imaging, such as radiography or ultrasonography (link to page on diagnostic imaging).

If you need to bring your horse to the clinic for lameness investigation, discuss this with your vet but it is useful to follow some tips to assist us with our investigations. These include:

  • Avoid administration of pain killers such as “bute” or Danilon, in the preceding 3-4 days prior to examination, as this may mask the lameness, unless otherwise stated by your vet.
  • Do not have your horse’s feet trimmed or shod, or shoes removed, in the week prior to investigation, as this may alter the lameness and our ability to diagnose the lameness affecting your horse.
  • Ensure that your horse is lame on the day of investigation prior to transport to the clinic as it is not possible to perform nerve and joint blocks on a sound horse!
  • Do not forget to bring your tack with you, as the vet may request to see the horse ridden.
  • Frequently, lameness investigations may take a considerable period of time. You are welcome to stay, but many owners elect to leave the horse at the clinic and collect later on or the following day. Your vet can advise you of the likely length of time required.

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