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Tip of the Week


Equine LamenessEquine Lameness

Trying to Find the needle in a Haystack

Whether your horse competes in FEI level dressage or national working cow horse competitions, few problems can be more worrisome as a sudden lameness of unknown origin. While a clinical exam and hoof tester application is often all that is needed to diagnose a routine sub solar abscess, many of today’s athletes are affected by more serious injuries.

Oftentimes with today’s equine athlete, multiple soft tissue conditions present affecting different limbs simultaneously, thereby confounding the diagnosis. Sequential regional anesthesia or nerve blocks and repeated gait analysis are often required to define and “un-couple” these conditions.

Once localized to a region or regions, the imagining methods used today to define the cause of lameness range from digital X-ray and ultrasound to nuclear medicine, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Unequivocally defining the exact location and nature of your horse’s lameness issues with advanced imaging techniques better enables veterinarians to design the best treatment plan and quickest route back to the show ring.

This tip was brought to you by Chuck Maker, DVM and KAM Animal Services, home of KAM’s “Equine Learning Circle” FREE webinars, which take place monthly. These webinars are an expansion of KAM’s weekly tips. Go to www.kamanimalservices.com  to sign up for the next webinar. The FREE webinars will conclude with a question and answer session, so be ready with your nutrition questions.