Lameness & Laminitis
Another common problem with horses is lameness. There are many possible causes of lameness in horses – bruises, abscesses, hoof cracks, bowed tendons, splints and laminitis.
Our approach to lameness begins with a thorough physical examination with a particular focus on the feet. We may walk or trot the horse to identify which leg is affected. The hooves are cleaned and examined and tested for sore spots with hoof testers.
Once we diagnose the underlying cause of the lameness, we can advise on treatment options. These might include hoof trimming/shoeing (by a farrier), pain relief, antibiotics and poultices (for abscesses).
Laminitis (also known as founder) can strike horses of any age, breed or size but is particularly prevalent in ponies (especially if old and/or overweight). Laminitis is a chronic progressive condition that causes the hoof wall to detach from the underlying bone. If left unchecked, the bone will end up coming out through the sole of the horse’s foot.
Horses with access to lots of lush green feed or grain are more prone to laminitis.
Treatment of laminitis is more supportive than curative, involving pain relief, corrective shoeing, stall rest with soft footing and time.