This is the mainstay of the practice. Evaluating overall soundness and determining what factors are affecting the horse's movement are the primary focus. There may be conditions that have minimal implications which may require periodic management and others that are more involved and may require treatment to return the horse to work. Fortunately with the diagnostics and treatment options currently available a positive resolution is more likely to take place.
Each lameness case is different and how it is managed is determined by a number of factors. Spending the time diagnostically to pursue an answer is integral to determining the best course of treatment. At Burlington Equine, because this is our primary focus, there will always be adequate time to pursue a diagnosis, consult with experts in referral centers when necessary, perform treatments and offer follow-up.
There are a number of diagnostic steps taken when evaluating a lameness:
- Observe horse under saddle, on the lunge and/or in hand
- Perform flexion tests
- Use local anesthetics to localize the lameness
- Digital x-rays
- Digital ultrasound
Therapeutic procedures offered are as follows:
- Systemic and/or intra-joint medications
- PRP and IRAP treatments
- Intra-lesional Stem Cell Therapy
- Chiropractic adjustments
- Shockwave Therapy
2 images of a Superficial Digital Flexor Tendon injury. The green outlines the tendon and the red indicates the"hole" where the tendon fibers are injured. Over time this area of fiber damage will fill in so that the whole tendon will have a similar pattern as the more white areas.
Two digital radiograph of a horse's spine in the withers and saddle area. The left image is of the withers and just anterior to where the saddle would be contacing a horse's back. The right x-ray demonstrates how the spacing between the vertebrae is markedly decreased in the area where the saddle and weight of the rider contact the horse's back. Because there is minimal spacing and the dorsal vertebral processes are touching ,which is commonly known as "kissing spine disease", an explanation can be given for why the horse has recurrent back pain. Fortunately treatments are available and they were pursued with this horse.